Studying abroad in college is an exciting and life-changing experience for any college student who’s looking to explore the global academic world. From exploring new cultures to gaining a superior understanding of current global issues, enrolling in a college study abroad program unlocks a world of possibilities.
But with any major decision, students should consider and weigh the pros and cons, and the viability of international learning. Consider your budget, educational goals, and personal preferences to determine if studying abroad is the appropriate choice for your education pathway.
If you have the chance to study abroad, take it. Students who study abroad often return home with innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. Here are a few simple reasons why you should if you need more convincing.
When studying abroad, undergraduate students can earn a better understanding of another culture. Whether you’re visiting France, Italy, Japan, or Spain, immersing yourself in a new culture can give you a unique and broader perspective on the world and help you grow as a global citizen.
Additionally, studying abroad can help you become more self-sufficient. In most cases, studying abroad is the first instance of a student living out of the country. Studying abroad forces you to become truly independent from your parents and family. Students will enhance their problem-solving skills, social skills, and even time-management skills.
Living in a new country and learning to navigate a new education system can be challenging, but it can also help you witness various learning models. Diverse study abroad offerings enable students to take a deep dive into international studies, clinical opportunities, research, and transformative experiential learning.
Lastly, studying abroad can help make your college resume stand out from the crowd. When graduates are job hunting, a study abroad experience will bolster a resume. Additionally, studying abroad can open opportunities for making international contacts and networking with people from different countries. This can be a terrific way to learn about diverse cultures and explore potential career paths. As the world becomes your playground, you will add new global contacts to your growing network.
However, some minor drawbacks to studying abroad in college may impact your final decision. Let’s explore them in detail.
Studying abroad can be expensive. Depending on the country and school you choose, the cost of tuition, room, board, and other expenses can quickly break the bank. Additionally, it may be difficult to receive financial aid or scholarships to cover the cost of studying abroad. Before you hop on that plane, you may want to chat with your academic advisor about any grants or scholarships you qualify for to absorb some of the costs.
Studying abroad may cause a bit of culture shock. You may find yourself in a completely unfamiliar environment, in which you’re unfamiliar with customs, traditions, and nuances. Additionally, the language barrier can prove challenging for students speaking one language. Moreover, students run the risk of feeling like an outsider, which can quickly become uncomfortable.
Depending on the country and university you’re studying in, the curriculum and standards may deviate from the other programs seen in the United States. Thus, you may have to work harder than usual to keep up with rigorous academic demands.
Overall, studying abroad in college can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision. Study abroad programs can provide an incredible opportunity to explore the world, gain invaluable knowledge, and expand your horizons. You may experience culture shock, homesickness, and other forms of stress, but we encourage you not to let this rare opportunity slip from your fingers.