10 Benefits of Studying Abroad: Why You Should Consider It

Home / 10 Benefits of Studying Abroad: Why You Should Consider It

Did you know that studying abroad whilst in college or university has been shown to offer a whole range of benefits and advantages?

From life experience and cultural awareness to career prospects and personal growth, there are many great reasons for students to consider an international study program.

With the number of students choosing to study overseas increasing each year, it’s clear that more people are recognizing these incredible and often life-changing opportunities.

One survey done by Erasmus+ found that over 90% of polled individuals said studying abroad gave them better work opportunities and pushed them out of their comfort zone in a good way.

So if you’re already considering studying abroad or attending university in another country, this article will provide strong motivation to take the next steps towards turning this into a reality.

After reading this, you’ll be excited and prepared to choose your destination, start your visa application, or jump into researching scholarship opportunities!

Whether it’s a summer program, semester exchange, or entire degree overseas – the advantages of international study experiences cannot be overstated.

Read on to learn more!

10 Benefits of Studying Abroad

1. Educational Advantages

Academic Benfitts

Studying abroad can provide a wealth of academic benefits for college students. It allows them to gain a unique perspective on their major, expand their knowledge, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Here are some of the academic benefits of studying abroad:

  • International Experience: Studying abroad provides students with an international experience that they cannot get in their home country. It allows them to learn from different cultures, understand different perspectives, and gain a deeper understanding of international relations.
  • Academic Growth: Studying abroad can help students grow academically. It exposes them to new teaching methods, different academic programs, and diverse learning environments. This can help them become more independent, improve their critical thinking skills, and develop their problem-solving abilities.
  • Soft Skills: Studying abroad can help students develop soft skills such as public speaking, negotiation, and intercultural communication. These skills can be valuable in the job market, especially in today’s global economy.
  • Scholarships: There are many scholarships available for students who want to study abroad. These scholarships can help cover the costs of tuition, housing, and other expenses. Students can check with their college or university, or organizations such as NAFSA, to find out about available scholarships.

Here’s an overview of the top 10 countries where U.S. students opted to study abroad during the 2019-2020 academic year, according to a report by the Institute of International Education:

Rank Country Number of U.S. Students
1 United Kingdom 41,915
2 Italy 35,821
3 Spain 31,927
4 France 17,589
5 Germany 12,217
6 Ireland 10,523
7 Australia 9,361
8 China 9,107
9 Japan 8,937
10 Costa Rica 8,122

As seen in the table, the most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad are in Europe. However, there are many other countries and programs available for students who want to study abroad.

2. Social & Cultural Benefits

Cultural Exposure

When students study in a different country, they get a great chance to experience different cultures directly.

By spending time with the locals and adapting to their customs and lifestyles, students gain an up-close view of diverse cultures.

This kind of experience changes the way they see the world and gives them a better understanding of how people live in other places. Being in a new country helps students become more open-minded, as they learn to recognize and appreciate cultural differences.

As they get to know the reasons behind the behaviors in different cultures, they start to feel more empathy and kindness.

Ultimately, the experience of living and studying abroad can greatly influence students, helping them appreciate the wide variety of cultures around the globe.

Cultural immersion, when studying abroad, offers many advantages for students. These benefits include:

  • Provides firsthand experience with different lifestyles, values, and customs
  • Broadens horizons and perspectives
  • Fosters open-mindedness and cultural acceptance
  • Eye-opening way to learn about new traditions and ways of life
  • Develops greater appreciation for diversity

Different study-abroad destinations offer unique cultural experiences. The following table highlights some of the cultural aspects of popular study-abroad destinations:

Destination Cultural Aspect
United States Diversity within in America itself – explore multiple cultures and groups
Spain Siestas – afternoon naps
Italy Long, leisurely meals are valued
France Greeting with a kiss on both cheeks
Australia Laid-back outdoor lifestyle
Japan Bowing as a respectful greeting
South Africa Ubuntu philosophy of community/compassion
Brazil Importance of family, joyfulness and creativity
China Respect for elders and authority
England Afternoon tea is beloved
Ireland Fun-loving pub and music culture

Overall, studying abroad can provide students with a unique opportunity to experience a new culture. It can help them become more open-minded and accepting of different lifestyles, values, and customs. By immersing themselves in a new culture, students can gain a new perspective on the world and develop a greater appreciation for diversity.

3. Language Skills

Language Skills

Studying abroad offers an excellent opportunity to improve language skills. Students who study abroad can immerse themselves in a foreign language and culture, which is the best way to learn a language.

Here are some of the benefits of studying abroad for language skills:

  • Language immersion: When studying abroad, students are surrounded by the language they are studying, which helps them to learn the language faster and more effectively. Immersion is the best way to learn a language because it forces students to use the language in everyday situations.
  • Confidence: Studying abroad helps students to build confidence in their language skills. As they become more comfortable using the language, they will become more confident in their abilities.
  • Independence: Studying abroad requires students to be independent and self-sufficient. They must navigate a new culture and language on their own, which helps them to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Teaching style: Studying abroad also provides students with exposure to different teaching styles. They can experience different approaches to teaching a language and learn what works best for them.
  • Culture shock: While culture shock can be challenging, it is also an excellent opportunity for students to learn about a new culture. Students who study abroad learn to appreciate cultural differences and develop a broader perspective on the world.

According to a 2022 survey by Education First, below are the top 10 most commonly studied languages globally among foreign language students:

Language Percentage of Students
English 27%
Mandarin Chinese 13%
Spanish 10%
French 9%
German 6%
Japanese 5%
Russian 3%
Italian 3%
Arabic 3%
Portuguese 2%

Overall, studying abroad is an excellent way to develop language skills. It provides a unique opportunity to learn a language in a complete immersion environment, practice language skills in real-life situations, and make international connections.

4. Global Networking

Global Networking

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to build a diverse network of international contacts that can be valuable for future career prospects. Here are some benefits of global networking:

  • Professional Network: Studying abroad allows students to connect with professors, classmates, and professionals in their field of interest from around the world. This provides a unique opportunity to build a global professional network that can be beneficial in the future.
  • Job Prospects: Having a global network can open up new job opportunities and increase the chances of finding a job in a different country or region.
  • International Education Opportunities: A global network can also provide access to international education opportunities such as scholarships, internships, and exchange programs.
  • Cultural Exchange: Building a global network allows for cultural exchange and learning from people from different backgrounds and perspectives. This can help develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Global Market: With the increasing globalization of businesses, having a global network can provide an edge in the global market.

In addition to the benefits of global networking, studying abroad can also provide opportunities to make friends from around the world. This can help develop communication skills and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures.

A table representing the number of international students in different countries can be found below:

Country Number of International Students
USA 1,095,299
UK 458,520
Canada 642,480
Australia 624,001
Germany 321,569

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that provides numerous benefits, including the opportunity to build a global network.

5. Personal Development

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that offers numerous benefits beyond academic achievements. One of the most significant advantages is the opportunity for personal development. Living in a foreign country, navigating a new culture, and being exposed to diverse perspectives can profoundly shape and transform individuals.

A study abroad experience can boost one’s self-confidence and independence. Being in a new environment forces individuals to step out of their comfort zone and rely on themselves to navigate unfamiliar situations. This can lead to personal growth and the development of independence and leadership qualities.

Moreover, studying abroad offers the chance to become a well-rounded person. Experiencing different cultures and ways of life can broaden one’s perspective and understanding of the world. It can also lead to the development of lifelong friends from all over the globe.

While homesickness can be a challenge, it can also lead to the development of adaptability and problem-solving skills. Being away from home and familiar surroundings can be difficult, but it can also teach individuals how to adapt to new situations and solve problems on their own.

Finally, studying abroad can help develop critical thinking and time management skills. Students must manage their time effectively to balance coursework, social activities, and travel opportunities. This experience can help individuals become more organized and efficient in their daily lives.

In summary, studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that offers numerous benefits for personal development. A list is suitable here, highlighting aspects like independence, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.

6. Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Studying abroad can significantly enhance future career opportunities. It provides an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, develop new skills, and expand professional networks. According to a survey conducted by the Institute for International Education, 97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, compared to only 49% of college graduates who did not study abroad.

Types of Career Benefits

The following table showcases the types of career benefits that students can gain from studying abroad:

Aspect Before Studying Abroad After Studying Abroad
Job Prospects Limited to home country Global job opportunities
Skills Gained Limited to academic skills Multicultural awareness, language proficiency, adaptability, and problem-solving
Salary Increases Limited to home country rates Competitive global salary rates

Studying abroad also provides work opportunities such as internships, which can be a valuable addition to a resume or CV. A study conducted by the British Council found that 64% of employers value international experience when considering job applicants.

Furthermore, studying abroad can also provide a competitive edge in the job market. Employers value candidates who have the ability to work in a multicultural environment and have experience with diverse cultures. Studying abroad can demonstrate to employers that a candidate possesses these qualities.

In summary, studying abroad can provide numerous career benefits such as global job opportunities, valuable work experience, and multicultural awareness. It can also provide a competitive edge in the job market and increase the potential for higher salary rates.

7. Travel Opportunities

Travel Opportunities

Studying abroad offers students the opportunity to explore new countries, cultures, and cities. It provides a chance to see the world and gain a global perspective. With the ability to travel to neighboring countries, students can make the most out of their study abroad experience.

During weekends and excursions, students can visit local landmarks, museums, and natural wonders. They can also participate in adventure activities such as hiking, skiing, and surfing. This not only allows students to have fun but also helps them to develop new skills and interests.

Studying abroad in Europe provides a unique opportunity for students to explore multiple countries with ease. With the Schengen Agreement, students can travel to 26 European countries without the need for additional visas. This makes it easy for students to plan and enjoy weekend trips to nearby countries.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and guidelines are in place. Students should check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before planning any trips. It is important to prioritize safety and follow all regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Overall, studying abroad provides an excellent opportunity to travel and explore new countries. It allows students to gain a global perspective and develop new skills and interests. With the ability to travel to neighboring countries and explore Europe, students can make the most out of their study abroad experience.

8. New Perspectives

New Perspectives

Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity to gain new perspectives on the world, which can be invaluable when it comes to personal and professional growth. Exposure to different viewpoints and cultures broadens one’s perspective, and can lead to a more well-rounded understanding of the world.

One of the key benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to develop a global mindset. This involves being open to new ideas, cultures, and perspectives, and being able to see the world from different angles. By studying abroad, students can learn about different cultures and ways of life, which can help them to become more adaptable and flexible in their thinking.

In addition to developing a global mindset, studying abroad can also help students to become more curious and critical thinkers. When students are exposed to new ideas and perspectives, they are forced to question their own assumptions and beliefs, which can lead to new insights and discoveries. This can be particularly valuable when it comes to problem-solving, as it allows students to approach problems from different angles and come up with innovative solutions.

Overall, studying abroad can be a transformative experience that helps students to develop new perspectives on the world. By gaining a better understanding of different cultures and ways of life, students can become more open-minded, curious, and critical thinkers, which can be invaluable in both their personal and professional lives.

9. Improved Self-Confidence

Studying abroad can lead to an increase in self-confidence. According to a study by the Institute for the International Education of Students, students who study abroad report an increase in self-confidence, independence, and self-esteem [1].

Living in a foreign country and adapting to a new culture can be challenging, but it also provides opportunities to develop new skills and overcome obstacles. This can lead to an increase in confidence in one’s ability to handle difficult situations and adapt to change.

A before-and-after comparison in a tabular format could effectively show the growth in self-confidence, including aspects like social skills, language proficiency, and cultural adaptability. For example, a student who previously struggled with communication skills may find that they are able to communicate more effectively in a foreign language after studying abroad.

In addition to improving communication skills, studying abroad can also provide opportunities to develop cultural competence. Exposure to different cultures and ways of life can broaden one’s perspective and lead to a greater appreciation for diversity. This can lead to an increase in confidence when interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Overall, studying abroad can be a transformative experience that leads to personal growth and an increase in self-confidence.

10. Lifelong Memories

Lifelong Memories

Studying abroad is more than just attending classes and learning new things. It’s an opportunity to create lifelong memories that will stay with you forever. Whether it’s exploring a new city, trying new foods, or meeting new people, studying abroad offers a wealth of experiences that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

One of the most significant benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to make lifelong friends from different parts of the world. These friendships are often forged through shared experiences and challenges, such as navigating a new culture or language. These friendships can last a lifetime and provide a network of support and connections that can be beneficial in both personal and professional settings.

Studying abroad also provides a unique opportunity to gain life experience and develop valuable skills such as independence, adaptability, and problem-solving. These skills can be applied to all areas of life and are highly valued by employers.

In addition to making new friends and gaining valuable life experience, studying abroad also offers the chance to create unforgettable memories. Whether it’s hiking through a scenic landscape, attending a cultural festival, or simply enjoying a meal with new friends, these experiences will stay with you for a lifetime.

Overall, studying abroad is an experience that offers much more than just academic benefits. It is an opportunity to create lifelong memories, make new friends, and gain valuable life experience that will stay with you forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country receives the most international students?

According to Edvoy, the United States receives the most international students, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada. However, the number of international students in each country varies each year.

What are the visa requirements for studying abroad?

Visa requirements vary depending on the country you plan to study in. It is important to research the visa requirements for your specific country of interest. As International Student notes, some countries may require a student visa, while others may allow you to study with a tourist visa. It is important to apply for a visa well in advance of your planned departure date.

What is the most popular type of study abroad?

According to Go Overseas, the most popular type of study abroad program is a semester-long program. However, there are also summer programs, year-long programs, and even short-term programs available.

What are the language requirements for studying abroad?

Language requirements vary depending on the program and country. Some programs may require proficiency in the language of the host country, while others may be taught in English. It is important to research the language requirements for your program of interest. As Immerse Education notes, learning a new language can be one of the benefits of studying abroad.

How can I maintain my well-being and mental health while studying in a foreign country?

Studying abroad can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also be challenging. It is important to take care of your well-being and mental health while studying in a foreign country. According to Alpha Edu Abroad, some tips for maintaining well-being and mental health while studying abroad include staying connected with family and friends back home, finding a support system in your host country, staying active, and seeking professional help if needed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, studying abroad offers numerous benefits that can positively impact an individual’s personal and professional life. By immersing themselves in a new culture, students gain a unique perspective that helps them develop a more global mindset. Additionally, studying abroad allows students to develop their language skills and gain experience in an international setting, which can be attractive to future employers.

Studying abroad also provides students with the opportunity to make new friends and connections from all over the world. This can lead to valuable networking opportunities and the development of lifelong friendships. Furthermore, students who study abroad often report increased self-confidence and independence, as they must navigate a new country and culture on their own.

Other benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to travel and explore new places, as well as the chance to learn new skills and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. Additionally, studying abroad can be a transformative experience that helps students gain a better sense of who they are and what they want to achieve in life.

Overall, studying abroad is an excellent way for students to broaden their horizons, gain valuable experience, and develop important skills that will benefit them both personally and professionally. Whether you’re interested in learning a new language, exploring a new culture, or gaining valuable international experience, studying abroad is an opportunity that should not be missed.