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10 Reasons to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a big step. Why do so many students leave all of the comforts of home to attend a university abroad? Here is's list of the top ten reasons why you should study abroad.

1. Become Independent

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Many of your friends who attend university at home will face a harsh awakening when they graduate and stand on their own legs for the first time. As an international student you will have picked up crucial ‘’adulting’’ skills in an even more challenging environment making it easier to adjust post-graduation.

You’ll come home grateful to be able to pay bills in your native language, make new friends who already share a lot in common with you, and negotiate your rent with someone who doesn’t already know you have no clue of the going rate.

You’ll already know how to put yourself in the driver’s seat to face life’s challenges making you more confident and assured.

2. Get to Know a New Culture

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In an increasingly globalizing world, it’s more important than ever to explore other cultures in-depth rather than through a screen or even a short vacation. Studying abroad will immerse you in a new culture’s politics, culture, and language and make it easier for you to understand different views.

The classroom experience will show you new perspectives on the same historical events, and opinions on what the future should look like. In addition to getting an encompassing view of the culture, you’ll also meet other international students and start to construct a much broader understanding of the world.

3. Make yourself stand out to employers

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We’ve written about it before, employers appreciate applicants who have studied abroad. You’ll come to the interview table with more maturity, confidence, problem-solving, and communication skills along with real anecdotes to demonstrate these skills.

If you’re applying for an entry-level position after graduating and competing with carbon-copy applicants with few differentiating factors, study abroad can help tip the decision.

4. Broaden your knowledge

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Studying abroad can be a tremendous advantage to students in countries whose educational institutions don’t match their skills or ambitions.

Even if your home country has premiere institutions, studying abroad can open up opportunities to pursue your passion. You could study at universities with leading researchers in your field of interest or have access to historic libraries, local archives, or cutting edge art scenes which could all contribute to a better education.

You could also combine your studies with a location where you can deepen your hobbies. For instance, if you scuba dive on vacations but would like to enhance your skills, certifications, and experiences, living within commuting distance of diving destinations will make your university years more meaningful to you.

5. Find out more about yourself

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Until you live abroad, it’s hard to get a complete picture of who you are and why you are the way you are. When you move abroad you’ll discover that many aspects of your personality and habits that aren’t questioned by your culture were not deliberate choices.

If you would like to truly find yourself, studying abroad will show you other ways of life and make you make more conscious decisions of how you live your life. You might also call into consideration personal space, what friendship means to you, your views on political systems, and what a meaningful life can look like.

6. Set yourself up for a lifetime of traveling

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The first time you do something new it can seem really scary.

For many international students, their studies offer them their first opportunity to leave their home country. Those students get a bit of a guiding hand from the university, as they expand their borders and learn how to live in a new country independently.

Studying abroad imparts valuable travel skills that you can use anywhere in the world. Navigating international airports, identifying restaurants that are likely to give you food poisoning, learning how to find your way around an unfamiliar city, knowing when you’re being taken for a ride, and how to avoid looking like a tourist.

Although you’ll become an expert at living in your study-abroad city, you’ll learn transferable skills along the way that will open up the world to you.

7. Make friends from around the world

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When you study abroad it’s easy to make friends from every continent. You’re all in the same boat, excited, maybe a little nervous, and ready to make friends and explore your new country. While most of you may return to your home countries at the end of studies, international students have a tendency to continue their travels making it easier for you to connect in the future.

8. Learn a new language or improve your foreign language skills

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Unless you’re a skilled foreign language learner, it’s unlikely that you’ll ‘’absorb’’ the language of your study abroad country to fluency, but, a little effort goes a long way towards immersion.

Taking courses taught by skilled native teachers, joining a language exchange clubs, and making an effort to converse with local acquaintances and friends in their language, will speed up your language learning and open up more international opportunities.

9. Find hidden gems

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As you learn to navigate your university’s city like a local, you’ll discover all the best parks, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shopping spots that make for unforgettable experiences.

You’ll also find out where the locals vacation: charming seaside resorts, restaurants overlooking waterfalls, camping sites near picturesque lakes, mountain cabins, castle ruins, with plenty of gems that have never made the guide books.

10. Enjoy coming home

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After returning from study abroad and overcoming some reverse culture-shock, you’ll take in your home country with new eyes and have a deeper appreciation of what’s really good about your hometown.

The mundane things that you walk past every day at home might just hold more value for you, and the elements of your culture that you longed for when you studied abroad can become very meaningful to you on your return.

You’ll also return with a full store of confidence to try new things and explore new places to approach your homeland with a traveler’s mindset.

What do you think - are you ready to study abroad? Take our quiz ''Where Should I Study Abroad?'' to find your dream study-abroad destination.

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Last update: 01 Aug 2017

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