The pros of being an international student galactically outweigh the cons. Looking at various aspects of one’s life, studying abroad adds value to your character, academic knowledge, and career prospects. But these are not the only things, or to be precise, that’s just scratching the surface. From an in-depth perspective, here are the key benefits you get from being studying abroad:
Wherever you decide to study, the host country’s education style and the system will undoubtedly be different from your home country’s. Seeing a side of your major that you’ve never been exposed to will motivate you to learn more and more. When you interact with and learn from professors of different educational backgrounds, it gives you multiple perspectives into studying. If that’s not a crucial point, what is?
You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, their traditions, culture, and history. Tasting traditional cuisine from an authentic place, or attending a local music gig are some of the things that you could do to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be living and studying abroad. Many cities, like London, Sydney, New York, Vienna, and Barcelona, are originally touristic; they all have incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis or Linguistic Relativity theory suggests that learning languages is associated with changing how someone views the world around them and determines their actions and thoughts. Whether you’re studying in the UK, Australia, or the USA, residing in an English speaking country beats any other means of becoming closer to a native speaker. Beyond your academic experience, it’s not only about improving your language skills but developing your character as well.
Have you ever heard of transferable skills? These are the skills you develop when you are an avid traveller or when studying abroad. An Erasmus Impact Study by the European Commission found that 92% of employers are actively hunting graduates with transversal skills: Adaptability, flexibility, good communication, problem-solving, and self-control. Possessing this set of skills, in addition to being multilingual, is priceless to international companies trying to land clients from all over the globe.
This should be obvious by now! Since we’ve already talked about how learning languages changes the way you think and behave, and how living abroad helps you acquire new skills, it’s kind of expected that you’ll do some soul searching and get to know yourself better. Away from family, home, traditions, or any social constraints, you’ll discover your true self. You’re more likely to come up with new rules and traditions of your own. Studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. As a student building your character during college, that’s your solace.
There’s something that most international students forget about themselves: they’re special. If you conduct a little research, you’ll find that your mother tongue is of huge importance in your host country. Most international students are excited to listen to foreign languages, seeing their names written down in foreign letters and the sort. Try visiting the international affairs office at your university; they might be offering courses for learners trying to master your mother tongue. It’ll be great if you can offer some help and make a difference. Or even working in a restaurant that specialises in cooking traditional cuisine of your home country is a valid option too. It’s fun! Leave your mark and embrace that you’re special and make a difference.