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Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Studying Abroad

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Study abroad programs provide a variety of growth opportunities beyond in-classroom learning. In this post, we outline five reasons why you should consider studying abroad.

Refine your foreign language skills.

Speaking multiple languages can:

  • Bring you closer to a country’s people.
  • Increase your job prospects.
  • Become more aware of the mechanics of your own language.

According to the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages, there is a correlation between bilingualism (or multilingualism) and:

Reinvent yourself.

  • Who would you be if you could start from scratch?
  • How would you approach your experience in the absence of what others thought of you?
  • What would you try if the fear of failure was limited to a finite time (4-months, 6-months, 1 year)?

Examine your own value system and behaviors.

  • What makes you who you are?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • When do you feel most (un)comfortable?
  • What makes you feel most alive?
  • What do ideal friendships and family relationships look like?
  • Who are you in the absence of friends and family?
  • What does success look like to you?
  • When do you feel most (un)comfortable?
  • What does your life mean relative to humanity?

Try new things.

  • Meet people with different ideas and values than your own.
  • Acquaint yourself with new religions, cultures and traditions.
  • Participate in the local culture’s customs and activities.
  • Try new foods.
  • Travel to places in the surrounds of your new home base.
  • Participate in the local culture’s customs.

Examine how society functions in different parts of the world and come up with your own framework with how it should ideally function.

In your country of study, survey how the items below function. Compare how they relate to your home country and examine which structure you prefer.

  • Government – local and national
  • Economic system – what drives the economy, products imported and exported
  • Healthcare
  • Family structure
  • Eldercare
  • Education, including university and trade schools
  • Work
  • Food – production, supply chain, cost, eating customs
  • Pregnancy, delivery and parenthood for women and men
  • Public transport
  • Male-female relationship structures (colleagues, friendships, romantic, family etc.)
  • Infrastructure
  • Emergency protocols

Opportunity to reflect upon where your home country excels and where it can improve.

  • Gain a newfound appreciation for elements within your culture.
  • Identify areas of improvement in your culture.

Are you thinking about studying abroad? If you participated in a program, what do you most value about the experience?

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