Based on personal life situations, I never had the opportunity to study abroad so I am so excited for my son who just started college. He still hasn’t solidified a major, but what he is certain of is choosing to study abroad during his sophomore or junior year.
I’ve done thorough research on the programs offered at his university, read hundreds of reviews from the students and staff and even talked to my former students who have studied abroad during college and 100% of them all say it was the best part of their college experience. Think about it….when in your life are you going to be relatively unattached and as care free to travel and learn about yourself?
For those who are hesitant about studying abroad or worried if your child is considering making this choice, here are five compelling reasons not to miss such a beautiful, life-changing opportunity:
- Studying Abroad will Enlighten Your Mind
Being immersed in a completely new cultural setting could very well be terrifying at the beginning, but also more exciting than anything ever experienced. It’s an opportunity to explore not only new cultures, but new philosophies, ideas and abilities and conquer new challenges. Studying abroad will force you to learn to adapt to unfamiliar situations and become an effective problem solver.
My former students have told me that upon returning home, they have acquired new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. They feel more informed and have a less biased perspective towards those from diverse cultures. They created life-long memories, friendships and some even met their spouses. The abroad experience will definitely challenge you to reconsider your own comfortable beliefs and values. Living in another country may strengthen these values, alter them or cause you to completely abandon them and embrace a totally different perception. These things can never be taught from a textbook.
2. Studying Abroad Sets You Apart From The Rest!
Through the eyes of an employer, a student who has studied abroad is a flexible thinker, a risk-taker, self-motivated, independent, open-minded, has advanced communication skills, is willing to embrace challenges, and competent in coping with diverse situations. Your resume will set you apart from the majority of other applicants. There’s not a company in our globalized world that is not looking for or will benefit more from employees with international experience. If you are bilingual, that only enhances your resume even further.
3. It is not as expensive as you think.
Many people believe that studying abroad is too expensive and this is simply not true. It is extremely affordable and available to students of any financial means. All study abroad programs work with financial aid to adjust your cost of attendance, often making more grant and loan funding available. You can receive assistance with all costs from plane tickets to passports. Studying in a foreign country often costs the same as in the United States. Whether you are paying tuition at your university or abroad, it really depends on where you choose to study.
Here are the 10 most affordable countries to study abroad.
Never having this opportunity is truly a regret and I often think about where in my life I’d be if I had this chance, but for my son, the world is wipe open and I hope he realizes how invaluable this opportunity will be.
Have you studied abroad?