Why Study Abroad :
Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re not completely sure whether or not you’re ready to go abroad. You couldn’t make my decision until a week before the application was due (not something I would recommend by the way). It could say that if you really don’t think it’s for you then don’t go, but experts don’t believe that.
It’s only natural to be a bit fearful of change and facing new and challenging experiences.
Anyone who has even a remote desire to go abroad should decide to do it, in experts opinion anyway. If for some reason you can’t last the semester or year and you have to come home, what’s the worst that can happen? You lose one semester of school and graduate when you’re 23 instead of 22. In the scheme of life, that’s not that big a difference, and the chances of that happening are minimal.
One of student's biggest fears when student made the decision to go abroad was that he would lose his good friends and be really far out of the loop when he returned home. First and foremost, your being abroad shouldn’t change anything. You can still talk via Skype and phones and, if your friends are true friends, they will be excited for you to go and do something with your life, as well as be understanding when you come home.
There is still the possibility that you will feel out of the loop when you go back home, but you’ll catch up on the latest music trends, TV shows and fashion crazes pretty quickly. Besides, the stuff you pick up while abroad is probably more valuable anyway.
Need help convincing the parents? Do they think it’s just a way to waste time, spend money, and get out of studying abroad for a semester or year, or working for the summer? It’s important that they understand the benefits of studying abroad.
Tell them that while you’re of course you’re going to have a good time and an active social life when you go abroad; you’re also going to have a unique educational experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Since you’re looking at this website, why don’t you share it with your parents? They will be amazed by the thousands of study abroad opportunities that are available to you, and will understand why you are so excited about the prospect of spending a summer, semester, or even a full year in another country. Consider reading or sharing this article with them too. It outlines the different questions and topics you should discuss with them as you research, apply and plan for study abroad.
If you’re looking for more concrete benefits of studying abroad or reasons to study abroad, StudyAbroad.com has done its research to help you understand just that. From study abroad student testimonials to tips for navigating the job search after study abroad, there are tons of articles about the advantages of studying abroad. Coverage of study abroad in the media has been growing tremendously due to things like the “100,000 Strong” China study abroad initiative. There’s no shortage of articles that put study abroad in a good light.
Why Study Abroad: A Personal DecisionAs cliché as it sounds, by studying abroad you will become a much worldlier person, and become more marketable to grad schools and employers because of the intangible life skills you’re going to pick up along the way. Think of it as gaining a sort of cultural capital. The fact that you’ve studied abroad will answer many people’s questions about what type of person you are even before they have to ask.
You want culture? Perhaps one of the best ways to experience culture is to live it, which is exactly what you’ll be doing as a study abroad student. Aside from gaining an understanding for cultures other than your own, you will also gain intangible skills (another great selling point for Mom and Dad). Independence, time management, organization, social skills and self-confidence, just to name a few, will all develop exponentially while you’re abroad.
There will be a moment while abroad when you’ll realize that you’ve made the right decision: Treasure that moment. Mine was on a beach in Spain during a one-week vacation in November. There I was, shirt and shoes off, staring into the 75 degree Mediterranean Sea thinking about how all my friends were in class, possibly bored out of their minds and probably freezing in the cold New England weather.
That moment will come when all the stress from the first few weeks of getting acclimated is finally over, and it’s at that point that you will fully grasp what you’re doing, the magnitude of your decision to go abroad and your new found drive to take advantage of every opportunity that lay ahead of you.
10 Reasons to choose Study Abroad :
Have you considered studying abroad, but are not sure whether it's worth your time? If you ask anybody who has studied abroad, he or she will most certainly tell you that it is a life-changing experience and one of the most rewarding things he or she has ever done. Perhaps you're not certain what benefits you can reap from an extended stay in a foreign country. Here are 10 very excellent reasons why you should take the plunge:
1. Study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language. There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis and are seeing and hearing it in the proper cultural context. Language learning happens most quickly under these circumstances. [Read why you should learn a language.]
2. Study abroad provides the opportunity to travel. Weekends and academic breaks allow you to venture out and explore your surroundings - both your immediate and more distant surroundings. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit. Some more structured study abroad programs even have field trips planned in or around the curriculum.
3. Study abroad allows you get to know another culture first-hand. Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, appearances, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that s/he views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally can come to truly understand where other cultures are coming from.
4. Study abroad will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide. Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting is scary at first, but it's also exciting. It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
5. Study abroad affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world. While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself.
6. Study abroad helps you to learn about yourself. Students who study abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values. The experience may perhaps strengthen those values or it may cause students to alter or abandon them and embrace new concepts and perceptions. The encounter with other cultures enables students to see their own culture through new eyes.
7. Study abroad expands your worldview. In comparison with citizens of most other countries, Americans tend to be uninformed about the world beyond the nation's boundaries. Students who study abroad return home with an informed and much less biased perspective toward other cultures and peoples.
8. Study abroad gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic routine. Study abroad is likely to be much unlike what you are used to doing as a student. You may become familiar with an entirely new academic system and you will have the chance to take courses not offered on your home campus. It's also a great opportunity to break out the monotony of the routine you follow semester after semester.
9. Study abroad enhances employment opportunities. Did you know that only 4% of U.S. undergraduates ever study abroad? Yet, the world continues to become more globalized, American countries are increasingly investing dollars abroad, and companies from countries around the world continue to invest in the international market. Through an employer's seyes, a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience living and studying in a foreign country, negotiating another culture, and acquiring another language will all set you apart from the majority of other job applicants. [Read about careers in foreign languages.]
10. Study abroad can enhance the value of your degree. While abroad, you can take courses you would never have had the opportunity to take on your home campus. In addition, study abroad gives your language skills such a boost that it is normally quite easy to add a minor in a language or even a second major without having to take many more additional courses after the return to your home campus.
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