Moving to a foreign country to study is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, but the benefits of studying abroad far outweigh the downfalls.

What’s a little homesickness every now and then when you’re sipping “vino” along the coast of Spain?

 

First and foremost, and probably the reason why you’re considering studying abroad, is travel. Studying abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to travel to other parts of the world and introduces you to new cultures which you might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience. Travel is a life experience like no other and the lessons and life-skills learned are things that can’t be taught in a school from the comfort of your own home town.

Learning a new language in its place of origin is definitely the most effective and culturally accurate way to learn. You’ll be forced to practice the language and be surrounded by it every day, even when completing the most mundane tasks like buying milk from the supermarket.

You’ll gain a new level of independence. Living away from your family home in the same country is one thing, but moving to a completely new and foreign country gives you an entirely new level of independence you didn’t know was possible.

Self-confidence – nothing teaches self confidence better than having to fend for yourself in a country where they don’t speak your first language. Attempting to communicate with someone whose language differs from yours can be daunting at first… but just remember, no one is judging you for speaking a different language, and even if you make mistakes… making an effort to attempt to speak the language goes a long way with locals.

Studying abroad gives you a platform to meet people from all around the world who are doing the same thing as you. So it’s likely that you will have things in common. Whether it’s a friendship that lasts for a summer or a lifetime, they’ll be friendships you cherish when you look back on the memories made while studying abroad. And who knows, maybe you’ll meet a best friend, boyfriend or future employer from different parts of the world you had never even imagined being able to visit before. Studying abroad makes these connections and networking opportunities possible.

Finally, research has shown that studying abroad can make you more employable to future perspective employers. Employees who studied abroad are said to have gained skills which are invaluable in the workplace such as abilities to manage cross-culturally, greater independence and shows your employers that you aren’t afraid to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone.

 

Megan Colborne.