Why You Should Study Abroad


The traditional classroom setting can’t even begin to compare to the experience of studying abroad. It just isn’t the same. It doesn’t matter how much time you put into learning a language. What matters is what you get out of it and this is where immersion comes to play.

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something so with that being said, by studying a language for an hour every day for five years you would have obtained 1,825 hours of knowledge. It would take you almost 28 years to master something that you can learn within a month of immersion.

Besides gaining fluency in another language, studying abroad offers many other opportunities. Students that study abroad are not only benefitted by maturity, but also by self-confidence, a broader mind, everlasting friendships, unforgettable experiences, and newfound skills. Studying abroad also helps your studies in your home country by increasing your English and Math skills as well as advanced problem solving skills and international understanding. Studying abroad helps you develop skills that you’ll never be able to obtain in the classroom. It gives you the chance to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and effectively solve new problems.

People who study abroad are benefitted by better job opportunities because employers look favorably among applicants who have studied abroad. As America continues to become more globalized, immersing yourself in another culture shows that you are self-motivated, independent, willing to take on new challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. 89% of students that studied abroad had an enhanced tolerance for ambiguity as well as better managerial and leadership skills.

Studying abroad is an opportunity to experience things that you never could in your own home and it makes you more appreciative of life and more culturally experienced and diverse.

I have experienced studying abroad first hand in Costa Rica. That trip changed me for the better. I came home with so many stories to tell and a world of my own that no one knew about except me. I came back with more confidence, more respect for the world and its people, and I came back with more knowledge than I thought possible to comprehend. It is really the greatest way to expand your mind with so many new and different perspectives.
-Emma, developer of knol.google.com

Only 4% of undergraduates study abroad. Why be a part of the 96% that don’t? Studying abroad can open many doors for you. Which ones will you go to?

This survey by the International Education of Students expresses the percentage of improvement in each area over one summer abroad (these figures increase with the amount of time spent abroad). The percentages are listed below:
Personal Development
Increased self-confidence
Increased maturity
Has had a lasting impact on world view
Academic Commitment
Enhanced interest in academic study
Influenced subsequent educational experiences
Reinforced commitment to foreign language study
Intercultural Development
Helped me better understand my own cultural values & biases
Influenced me to seek out a greater diversity of friends
Continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures
Career Development
Acquired skill sets that influenced career path
Ignited an interest in a career direction pursurd after the experience

If studying abroad is really something that you are considering, you should do extensive research on the areas that interest you and search for programs that would benefit your goals. There are several programs that host volunteer programs overseas in a variety of locations. If you need some ideas see my post The 10 Most Beautiful Cities that I’ve Never Seen or check out YOU Can Go Anywhere in the WORLD to plan your dream vacation.

About Sierra

I'm an accounting major at Texas State University with a passion for all things international. I'm going to learn Russian, Portuguese, Italian, and possibly German one day. I've been speaking Spanish for 8 years and my dream is to one day travel across Latin America. DREAM Act 2015!

Posted on May 21, 2012, in International, School/College and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great blog post Sierra. I totally agree with your points about gaining maturity and skills, as well as immersion being the best way of learning a language. When I spent time learning Spanish abroad with ESL Language Travel – esl.co.uk – I found that the best thing about the whole trip were the local and international friends I made while I was there. Study Abroad is a real life-changing experience.

    • Thank you for commenting. It’s always great to know that people enjoy reading my blog! Where did you study abroad? Staying with a host family really adds to the excitement. I hope to do a summer session next year.

  2. Great Article! If considering an abroad program in Paris, I suggest checking out the American University of Paris: http://www.aup.edu/.

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