You may have already heard the hype about studying abroad: how it transforms who you are as a person, how you’re able to develop deep and profound relationships while in a foreign country, and that as a whole, studying abroad impacts your life—for the better.
Young adults around the globe continually make this trek to another country and participate as a student while being immersed in a culture far different from their own. Their wanderlust is palpable, but traveling is just the beginning. If you want to know how studying abroad truly impacts your life, check out these five ways listed here.
Instead of going through the same routine of showing up to boring classes in your home university, you’ll find yourself excited to learn. Perhaps it’s the thrill of the new environment, or maybe you just like seeing new faces every day. Often times, dull history classes come to life because you are suddenly in the presence of the subject of which you are learning.
Renaissance art suddenly becomes thrilling when you’re exposed to Van Gogh paintings in the South of France. The atmosphere will be your classroom, and you’ll find your education come to life. In turn, this makes you a much more engaged student.
"It’s difficult to learn a new language when you’re constantly surrounded by people and customs that use your native tongue. However, studying abroad provides a unique opportunity where everything you experience is foreign—especially the language. Although it might take a lot of practice and dedication, you can easily grow accustomed to speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a completely new language." - said Sharon Davies, academic writer from BestEssays.
This is the type of skill that is highly valued by employers. Plus, it allows you to communicate and interact with a group of people that could be misunderstood or underrepresented. Learning a foreign language is an exciting endeavor, and with enough time spent in your chosen country, this ability will only intensify even more.
If you haven’t enjoyed being alone thus far, studying abroad will change that. Once you arrive to your destination, chances are good that you won’t know too many people who know your background or speak your language. This makes it challenging to form new friendships right away, but that’s actually great for you.
When you don’t have anyone to rely on, guess what? You learn to rely on yourself. Not only will you experience trouble communicating with others at first, but you’ll also encounter situations where you have to listen to your gut instinct. On the other hand, this means you get to explore breathtaking places as well. No outside influence creates a dynamic where you call all the shots, and even the more unfortunate decisions result in a learning experience.
“One time, I moved to a foreign country for months and learned all of their customs, practiced their language, became part of the community, and gained an excellent education.”
This could be a standard story you tell people after you’ve studied abroad. It’s just a snapshot to describe the experience you had, but it’s a bold enough statement to impress family members, friends, employers, and strangers from your home country. You navigated an entire foreign country by yourself—and received a quality education, too? That’s impressive, and you know it. From this point on, you’ll know for sure that if you could tackle studying abroad, you can handle any type of obstacle that comes your way.
Without a doubt, studying abroad is a bridge to a world of new opportunities. In your native country alone, employers typically seek out candidates with global experience more than those without. While you’re abroad, you also might have the option of working in an internship, which can be extremely beneficial for real-world job experience in a foreign economy.
There are other opportunities that can come about, and they are most likely completely unique to your situation. For example, if you choose to reside with a host family while abroad, that family may offer to house you for an extended period of time or anytime in the future. No matter what your situation is, as long as you make connections with people you will have new opportunities that you would not have had otherwise if you never studied abroad.
Studying abroad in a foreign country is an experience of a lifetime. Although these five points cannot begin to express the level of transformation that will take place during this journey, they are ideas to keep in mind, should you ever decide to go. Unlike what you may think, studying abroad is definitely not overrated. It’s full of excitement, wonder, and learning—so what are you waiting for?