10 Benefits of Studying Abroad

students studying abroad

Studying abroad is a transformative experience that benefits students during their studies and long after. 

10 Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is a transformative experience that benefits students during their studies and long after. Here we will cover some of the top benefits of studying abroad and how this experience can transform your future.

1. Experience a New Culture

Living in another country, even for a short period of time, can open your worldview and help you see the world differently. With new foods to try, languages to speak, and sights to see, there is something new and exciting to be discovered every day. 

Make the most of your time abroad by meeting locals, touring historical sights, and getting involved with local organizations. Many universities provide cultural immersion experiences for foreign students that help them safely navigate the local area with likeminded students.

2. Learn a New Language

While learning a language in the classroom can help students build vocabulary and grammar skills, being immersed in a culture of native speakers is the best way to become fluent. Studying abroad will give students the chance to understand the nuance of communication and the way in which language is situated within different forms of life. 

Learning a foreign language can increase your cognitive flexibility and change the way you think. Speaking multiple languages also gives students a competitive advantage in the job market and can open up new professional opportunities. Studying abroad can allow students’ foreign language skills to grow by leaps and bounds.

3. Experience Different Styles of Education

Students are often unaware of aspects of education systems they have been immersed in their entire lives. Studying abroad can give students a fresh perspective on learning and education by providing an external perspective. Education is a sociocultural practice that shapes and is shaped by the community it is situated within. Studying abroad will expose students to new educational styles and often allows students to learn more about learning itself.

4. Academic Opportunities

Another benefit of studying abroad is the new academic opportunities it provides. Students will learn from new faculty and instructors with slightly different perspectives and areas of expertise. While studying abroad is a holistic experience, it’s important to research the classes you will take while overseas. Students can also maintain connections they make with professors in study abroad programs and develop fruitful collaborations in the future.

5. Employers Value International Experience

Studying abroad is not only a great personal and educational experience, it can strengthen students’ employability. In addition to foreign language skills, students who have studied abroad will be well prepared to work in diverse environments and often have enhanced communication skills. In fact, 73% of employers say that experience studying abroad is a significant factor when evaluating resumes. Studying abroad displays initiative and the ability to take on new challenges.

6. Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Moving to a new country even for a short period of time provides students with a significant challenge that usually results in personal growth. Growing up in a culture affords familiarity and confidence within a range of contexts. Studying abroad usually takes students outside of this familiar context and can challenge their perspectives on the world and assumptions about fundamental aspects of life such as relationships, education, career, and family. Entering a new context can make students aware of shared beliefs and values of their home culture.

7. Gain Independence

Students from any background will develop a new sense of independence when they study abroad. Studying abroad requires students to become self-sufficient and learn new skills. Studying abroad also gives students a short pause from their current social circles and can support critical thinking and fresh perspectives. Individuals who have lived overseas have a sense of global citizenship and confidence gained from adapting to different cultures.

8. Experience Personal Growth

While universities support students throughout the study abroad process, there will always be challenges associated with living in another country. Adjusting to a new way of life, social customs, transportation systems, and schedules can build your resilience. Adapting to new cultural norms can give students a sense of humility and the ability to learn from new experiences. 48% of students who participated in study abroad programs reported significant personal growth.

9. Meet People from Around the World

Studying abroad allows you to build a global network of friends and professional connections that can benefit you personally and professionally for years to come. This can open doors to international organizations for future career prospects. You’ll also likely meet academics from other countries that you can collaborate with on research projects. 

10. Enhance Graduate School Applications

Study abroad experience can greatly enhance your graduate school applications by highlighting your ability to communicate cross-culturally and have a global perspective within the classroom. 

Studying abroad shows that you are adaptable and willing to learn new skills, a trait that many graduate admissions counselors are looking for. Students who have studied abroad can bring a unique perspective to the table and shows that you are willing to try something new and work through challenges. 

Study Abroad with PBA’s Rinker Center for Experiential Learning

The Rinker Center for Experiential Learning provides students at PBA with the opportunity to travel the world. Choose from a semester abroad, traveling as part of a class, or taking a service trip during spring or summer break. Wherever you go, these powerful experiences have the potential to change your life forever.