Everything you need to know before joining
Studying abroad is a major decision. Uprooting your life to start again in an unknown land is daunting, even for the more confident among us. However, studying abroad is also a unique opportunity to challenge yourself, experience something new and transform your future.
There are some excellent education options overseas, so if you’re not convinced already, here are five reasons to help persuade you.
There’s only so much your textbook and audio exercises can teach you. Living in another country means you’re constantly soaking up the language without even realising it. Whether it’s listening to the radio while you’re having your breakfast, paying for your train ticket, watching a film at the cinema, or making new friends, you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can become fluent.
As a former study abroad student, I can tell you that by the end of my time overseas, I was using all the local lingo and slang, and had even acquired a regional accent.
Study abroad students are self-motivated, flexible and confident – characteristics that all employers value and actively look for. It also shows an inquisitiveness and willingness to learn, as well as ease in taking on a challenge and being outside your comfort zone – all things that tick a lot of boxes on the “ideal employee” list.
In fact, an Erasmus Impact Study by the European Commission found that 92% of employers seek graduates with internationally transferable skills, while long-term unemployment risks after graduation were 50% lower for students with international experience.
One of the most rewarding aspects of study abroad is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a new culture from the inside. You’ll be able to sample the food, history, values and way of life firsthand, giving you a unique life experience.
While the culture shock might strike in your first few weeks, by the end of your studies you’ll be wishing you could stay longer. Having knowledge about other cultures makes you a valued employee, peer, friend and global citizen. What’s more, learning about other cultures can also help you learn a lot about yourself at the same time. It’s the ideal opportunity for personal growth and reflection.
If studying in a far off exotic location hasn’t already made you the envy of your friends back home, the travel opportunities that it entails will. When you’re not studying, you’ll have the chance to check out all the local sites and visit nearby cities and landmarks.
If you’re not one for sharing things on social media, why not document your travels in a journal? This will be something you treasure in years to come and will provide endless stories to share with your friends and family back home. Be warned though, this might just be the start of you developing the travel bug – a passion for jumping on planes and exploring new places.
The people you come across on your study abroad journey will make your experience all the richer. The thought of meeting complete strangers and having to speak in another language might be daunting, but you’ll soon treasure this when you’ve got lifelong friends (and lots of acquaintances all over the world you can visit.)
These friends are also going to boost your language and cultural skills and they’re likely to want to know everything about your own culture. You may even make valuable business contacts and networks that you can work with in the future.
Author: Katie Duncan, Editor of Hotcourses Abroad. Originally Posted by Hotcourses Abroad 23 MAR 2016