Having an opportunity to study abroad offers rich experiences that are impossible to get in the average classroom, and there are several reasons to consider this as part of your undergraduate education. It's truly the affordable way to pick up on an uncanny array of skills that you might not even notice you've learned until you return to the United States. With more schools offering subsidized student exchanges and study abroad programs than ever before, there are few good reasons to avoid studying abroad. Just in case you need additional motivation to take action, though, remember these as the most important reasons for studying in a foreign land.
One of the most important elements of education that goes beyond graduation is your ability to network. The more people you know, the better your chances of having a foothold into places that would otherwise prove impenetrable. Do you want a top company to give your resume a close look? Or perhaps draw on references for graduate school recommendations? You can obtain it all and more with a global presence.
By studying abroad, you're sure to interact with a variety of international academics, student peers, entrepreneurs, artists, and more. It's important to make your experience an active one. Arriving in a foreign country and hitting the books isn't enough. Instead, try to have out of class conversations with professors, and join some of your schoolmates in exterior study sessions. If you have the opportunity to work with skilled business persons or successful artists outside the United States, seize it. Their name alone is a fantastic talking point for any interview, and a verbal or written recommendation from them could push your applications for jobs and higher education over the top.
Why confine your reputation to one country, when it can extend to two or more? Building up a network of trusted friends and references is vital if you plan to return to the country after college, or even settle there permanently. These connections may be invaluable for getting on the fast track to work permits and steady income streams.
For practically any career path, studying abroad lends a gigantic host of benefits that make you a more attractive candidate and a better worker. Foreign languages train the mind to tie together data accurately and think from new angles. Unfortunately, learning them is difficult, but no method is easier than complete immersion. By gaining exposure to an unfamiliar tongue constantly, you'll be more encouraged to take in your grammar lessons, and practical experience teaches you fine points of the language that no books can.
Adding an international perspective to your abilities is excellent from a business stand point. You'll walk away with an enviable ability to pierce through cultural barriers and plan in ways that were previously inaccessible. Having key insights into how another culture goes about its business may lead you to solutions in life that are only obvious with a richness of vision.
Study abroad programs aren't just a way to pick up new contacts and abilities. Don't be surprised if you come out of your journey with a refined identity, one that contains a broader understanding of what it is to be alive and successful. Few experiences aside from studying abroad can give you that.