Going to college is about more than simply getting a qualification, and many students are finding that a period of overseas study offers the exciting social experience they’re looking for. Read on to discover five reasons why you should consider studying abroad.
1) You’ll experience something totally new
College is one of the rare times in your life when you have the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new culture and environment, and it doesn’t get more different than studying in a new country. Whether it’s Europe, the Middle East or Africa,graduate courses at international universities offer students the chance to widen their horizons, and get some fantastic life experience along the way. Before you apply, think carefully about the kind of place you’d like to study in. You’ll need to consider, for example, how you will cope with a different climate, language and environment.
2) You could become multi-lingual
Employers in fields as diverse as business, media and engineering are often on the look-out for candidates that have more than one language under their belt. One of the best and fastest ways to develop your foreign language skills is to live and breathe it, every day. Of course, many institutions now offer courses in English, but the language you will pick up day-to-day will always be an advantage in your career, as well as later in life.
3) You can get closer to your area of expertise
Studying abroad can bring you closer to the global hubs of the subject you choose to study. For example, London, Hong Kong and New York are widely regarded as being key cities for the finance sector, whilst Dubai is the place to be for budding property developers and Brussels or Washington DC are the centres for some of the world’s leading political institutions. Being close to the action can mean having access to some of the best resources and academics in your chosen field.
4) You can find new interests and make new friends
Academic life aside, studying abroad can help you to discover new activities and interests that you might not have tried back home, such as hiking, new sports, or cultural activities. College is ultimately a social experience. For many people, the friends they make there become life-long friends. Studying in a different country will allow you to meet people from all different cultures, giving you a truly eclectic social circle as well as touch points around the world for future globe-trotting.
5) It can help you get the career you want
A period of studying abroad on your resume looks really impressive, and signifies to prospective employers that you are independent, not afraid to take on new challenges and can adapt to situations that take you out of your comfort zone. Studying abroad is also a great way to demonstrate that you take your education, and your career, seriously.
It is important to consider all of the above in making a decision about where to study. Talk to people you know that have done it – they’ll be able to tell you what the difficulties and advantages have been. It may be a daunting prospect, but perhaps there’s never a better time in your life to take the plunge.