Each student has their own personal reasons why they want to study abroad. No matter your reasons you’ll be assured of an amazing, life-changing experience. Here are our top 10 reasons to participate in study abroad:
- See the world and visit a dream destination.
The world is a big place and lucky for us (and you) we have partners in nearly every corner of it.
- Immerse yourself in another culture.
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to actually live in another culture, not simply be a tourist or observer. Being a student in another country allows you an opportunity to experience the traditions, culture, and society from the inside. Learn some key phrases (or more), try a national dish, try a new dance, learn to cook, experiment with clothing choices. There is a lot encompassed by the word 'culture' and many new things that you will try when studying abroad!
- Improve your foreign language skills.
Intimidated by another language? Perhaps you're ready to become fluent in your second or even third language? Whether you've failed every language class ever taken in the U.S. or are ready for the next level toward fluency, everyone can enhance their language skills when studying abroad. Learn a language by living it, not by reading it in a textbook.
- Make lifelong friends.
Studying overseas is an amazing experience and you are likely to form strong bonds with those you share the experience with. Friends make every experience better! Bonding in the common experience of living in another culture, you will make lifetime friends who are from all over the U.S., your host country, and around the world.
- Discover confidence and a sense of independence that you never knew you had.
Increased self-confidence, independence, self-sufficiency, patience, adaptability, critical thinking, problem solving, confidence, financial management experience, networking, cross-cultural communications skills, and a willingness to take on new challenges are all examples of the many personal benefits of studying abroad and are all transferable and desirable in a global workforce. The skills you gain while studying abroad will last a lifetime. Challenge what you thought you knew about yourself, try many new things for the first time, and really get an understanding of that phrase 'personal development'.
- Get credit towards your degree.
With planning, you can take courses specific to your major(s), minor, school or college, or general education requirements. You may also do internships and independent study projects abroad, with approval from your academic department.
- Compete in the global marketplace: enhance your resume.
Your experience studying abroad will set you apart from other students in the increasingly competitive global job marketplace. The skills you gain while living abroad will give you an advantage in just about any career field. Did you know that fewer than 10% of state university students have had this experience? Set yourself apart!
- Gain a new perspective about the U.S.
See your home from a new perspective. You will gain a more informed perspective on world affairs and the role of the United States in international politics when you engage in conversations with students and citizens from your host country and other countries. You will begin to understand the range of opinions and complexities when asking questions from a totally different place in the world. You will bring those insights home when you return.
- Studying abroad is affordable!
Study abroad can cost more than studying on campus, but, with planning, all undergraduate students can afford to go abroad. If you currently receive financial aid, your aid can be applied to your program abroad. There are also scholarships (need- and merit-based), grants, and low-interest loans available to students studying abroad. The costs of education abroad programs vary. We will help you find a program that fits your budget.
- Graduate schools are impressed!
Your experiences abroad as an undergraduate will enhance your application and give you additional information that helps you stand apart in the selection process. Some students use research done while abroad to clarify goals when applying to graduate programs. Whether you're bound for medical school or an MBA, your international undergraduate experience can have a profound impact.
And don’t forget: Have fun!
Meet new people, try new foods, have new adventures! Take advantage of your time abroad to expand your horizons academically and personally. At the end of a summer, semester or year abroad, come home filled with stories about your experiences, and excited to share them with others!