Six reasons to study abroad
There are many reasons why you should study abroad. Here we list some of the biggest benefits and what to think about to get the most out of your studies abroad.
1. Get more attractive on the job market
Several studies show that students who have studied abroad are more attractive on the job market. It is easier for them to get a job, they are less likely to stay unemployed for an extended period of time and their initial salary is higher than for people who have not studied abroad.
There are many reasons for this. Most of which can be found below in this article. Employers appreciate employees with good language skills, international understanding who are willing to take on new challenges. Study abroad stands out in your CV and if two candidates have a similar CV employers tend to choose the one with international experience.
If spicing up your CV is your main reason for studying abroad you should pay careful attention to where and what you choose to study. Studying at a well-known prestigious university can really stand out on your CV. Another option is to broaden your education by studying a complementary subject abroad. If you for example have a degree in Computer Science from your home country it can be a smart move to study business for a year abroad since many IT-companies work with different business systems.
2. Taking a subject you can’t take at home
If you are from a smaller country your choice of schools and educational programs may be limited and it can be very challenging to get accepted to popular programs like Medical Education, Design Programs or Music Education. However you don’t have to give up if you dream about a career in one of those professions, you have the option to apply to such a program abroad instead.
If your plan is to return and work in your home country after your education is finished it is important that you check which programs are accepted in your home country and if you need to take some kind of conversion program before you can use your foreign degree. If you plan to work within business, design or performing arts this is usually not a problem but if you for example study Medicine abroad you might need to take a conversion program. Studying law requires extra caution since the legal systems can wary a lot between different countries.
3. International understanding
We are all different. We act and react in different ways and what is obvious to you might seem strange to someone else. These differences are strongly influenced by our cultural backgrounds. There is no better way to gain understanding of a different culture than to live in that country for an extended period of time, especially if you live like a local and not like a tourist.
If you really want to get to know and understand the country where you study you should take this into consideration when you plan your studies. Step one is to learn the language. Maybe you start your stay there with a language course or take a language course parallel with your main subject. Take cultural classes if you can to learn more about the country. And choose whom you spend your time with. If you only hang out with other international students you will never get a deeper understanding of the country and its culture. Choose a school where natives study and try to make friends with them.
Another great way to get to know the local culture is to stay with a host family. That way you will really live like a local. Many students are intimidated by the prospect of living with a host family but if you have a strong cultural interest I really encourage you to try. Start by booking one month with a family. If you like it you stay and if not you move to some other accommodation after the first month.
4. Personal development
I was 18 years old the first time I studied abroad. I had never been in the US before, I had never flown alone before and I had never lived for a long time with someone else than my parents before. Studying abroad is a great way to accelerate your personal growth and become more independent. We learn by doing new things and when you study abroad basically everything that we experience is new. It can be challenging at times but hang in there and you are in for a very rewarding experience with friends and memories that will last a lifetime.
5. Learning a language
As I mentioned above learning the language is the key to truly understanding a different culture and to get the most out of your studies abroad. Language skills are also highly valued by employers. There is no better way to learn a language than to study it in the country where it is spoken. You don’t only learn in the classroom but everywhere you go you are exposed to the language and more or less forced to use it. It can be incredibly rewarding when you realize that you can make yourself understood and have a real conversation with natives of another language.
If your main goal with your studies abroad is to learn the language and or to get to know the local culture I recommend that you study at a dedicated language school. The sole purposes of those schools are to help people like you to improve your language skills. They usually focus on conversation and practical language usage and classes are much smaller than in universities. Just make sure to check that the school you pick have good reviews and/or is accredited by relevant quality organizations.
6. Have fun!
Who does not like to travel? When you study abroad you really get the chance to explore a new country and see things that ordinary tourists would never experience. Every day offers the opportunity for new adventures. Just beware that studying abroad does involve actual studying with homework and tests etc. If having fun is your primary purpose for studying abroad you probably should look for a school that is not so costly or demanding for example taking a part time language course. Or maybe studying is not for you at all. There are other options like Work and Travel or backpacking if travelling and having fun while discovering the world is your primary goal.
Why do you want to study abroad?
Take some time to figure out your own reasons for studying abroad before you apply for a school. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you choosing the right location, school, program and accommodation.
We and our partners can help you to find and apply to suitable schools abroad. Fill out an information request to get help with your studies abroad.