Studying abroad is an absolutely amazing experience that all college student should try. Why? In addition to learning more about another country and culture, it also comes with many, many hidden benefits. Here are just a few of the positive parts of traveling abroad that help to make the additional educational investment worthwhile:
1. Cool and confident.
Wondering how to react to an unexpected situation? Do you need to improve your project management skills? Want to impress your date by trying out a weird new food? Traveling abroad makes you more ready to deal with wacky situations that pop up from time to time. In fact, 98% of students who studied abroad for one year said they felt more confident by the time they hopped on the plane home according to Marked By Teachers. After all, spending a year in another country by yourself where you may or may not speak the language is sure to lead to some interesting (and confidence-building!) predicaments.
2. Expand your horizons.
Learning about another culture does a funny thing to a person – it makes them want to learn more and more about other places in the world. Travel once, and you’ll never want to stop. Studying abroad helps you stay open and excited about new experiences.
3. Increase your intelligence.
Can studying abroad make you smarter? Absolutely! 80% of students who have traveled abroad say that they’ve returned with an “enhanced commitment to academic study.” In plain language, that means they came back ready to work! Going to class overseas can help you get excited about schoolwork. Simply changing your location makes everything else seem more exciting. Dr. Clark Hendley, a college student in the 60s, said, “My own year in Vienna…served not as the climax of my education, but the beginning.” It’s a great sentiment, right?
4. Tell great stories.
If you think telling great stories isn’t that much of a benefit, then you’ve never been to a networking event. Having a great anecdote at the right moment can make the different between going home with no business cards and being the person everyone remembers.
5. Become a grown up.
Learning how to do stuff for yourself, in another language, when you don’t understand the culture, can help you grow up. Learning to rely on yourself helps you grow up faster – making you better able to deal with situations as they arise.
Study abroad comes with some obvious benefits, but also with some hidden, but just as valuable, benefits. When you’re planning your academic experience, don’t forget to set aside some time for travel – you’ll be glad you did.