Why study abroad? (5 Great Reasons!)
Piazza Navona in Rome
Yes, you can go and just be a tourist – but when you study abroad you gain a greater depth of understanding about the country you are in than when you are just a tourist. As a study abroad participant you are able to spend more time in a country, talk to your professors about the culture and deepen your understanding of what it means to actually live there. You also get to explore the country on your own as well as on group trips planned by the program director.
The insights you gain from your personal experiences coupled with the insights of your professors will increase your understanding of other cultures - a valuable asset when you look for a job or interact with people from other cultures (which leads to the next reason).
Have you worked on your resume yet? Have you discovered that you have all the phrases, courses and experiences that 20 of your friends have?
How can you make yourself distinctive? I know – study abroad!!! The experience will broaden your horizons as well as test you in ways that would never happen at home. Even after just one month, you can return with a better understanding of who you are. In fact, many students return with greater self-confidence and poise because of their experiences.
Obviously, not only does this experience add an interesting aspect to your resume, your increased self-knowledge can help you perform better in a job interview.
About 30 years ago, a Canadian English professor named Marshall McLuhan developed the phrase "global village." This phrase has become increasingly popular as people have realized that media, travel and now business have made the world accessible to almost anyone.
On the webpage of YaleGlobal Online, Chanda's review of Globalinc, An Atlas of the Multinational Corporation, points out that multinational corporations have grown from just 3,000 in 1990 to more than 63,000 in 2005. They employ 90 million people and produce 25 percent of the world's gross product. (yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/globaline.jsp)
This means that when you look for a job, you need to know about the world as well as your specific job. You may have a boss or co-workers from other countries; you may be sent to another country for a work assignment. The more you understand about how people in other cultures think and act, the more successful you will be when interacting with them - and that leads to greater success in doing your job well!
Studying in other countries allows you to personally see and experience things you only read about back home: famous palaces, stunning mountain ranges, historic sites and renowned works of art. Below are just a few examples of what you might experience if you decide to study abroad. Throughout this whole website, all of these pictures were taken by me when I traveled abroad. Imagine how your life would be different after experiencing some of these sights!
Fountain at Versailles Palace in France
Ancient underground water cisterns in Istanbul, Turkey
Stunning painting on the way to see the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy
Study abroad programs allow you to have lunch at places like: (see below)
the Spanish Steps in Rome (above) or
Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown!
You also make new friends.
Students having fun on an outing in France.