Why Study Abroad & the 12 Benefits of Studying Abroad
People often ask me “why study abroad” and I have lots to say on this matter which I thought I would share in this article. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to develop additional social, academic and language skills, whilst at the same time adding numerous advantages to employability after finishing University. In this post we will go through my 12 reasons to study abroad and why studying internationally can be right for you. We will also discover the top 10 destinations to study abroad
Why Study Abroad? -12 Benefits to Studying Abroad
Study abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons ‘why study abroad’ . Here's my list of 10 reasons to study abroad
1. Travelling abroad is one of the main benefits of studying abroad! - This may seem obvious, however having the ability to take extended leave once working life begins, is not only challenging for personal reasons (e.g you may have a family) but also for professional reasons. Thus taking the opportunity may be difficult to come across and one that should not be taken for granted.
2. Making friendships with other students studying abroad is one of the second major benefits of studying abroad
The opportunity of studying abroad allows you to meet new people from all over the world and allows you to develop friendships which will last for a lifetime.
The friends you will meet will be your weekend travel companions, study buddies, and will be there for you when you’re feeling homesick. Meeting people who understand you is the key to building long lasting friendships! For example, you could be studying abroad in Europe and meet life long friends from countries that may not have visited before, which can be exciting and interesting! Then when you return and your original friends ask you 'why study abroad' ? You can then fill them in on all the great experiences you had with all your fellow study Abroad students you met in your host country.
3. Learning a New Language is the third major benefits of studying abroad whilst undergoing your international exchange -
Being able to learn a new language now-a-days is as simple as downloading an app. However, I believe there’s no better way to really learn a language than by living in the country in which it is spoken, as the ability to practice your learning and pronunciation can be done almost immediately, thus learning from trial and error can boost your confidence, learning as well as understanding, which makes it a key reason as to 'why study abroad'
4. Improving your resume is the fourth major benefits of Studying Abroad and studying internationally
This may not be the core reason to go study abroad, nevertheless on various occasions being interviewed for summer internships, I frequently got the question 'Why Study Abroad?', 'What is studying abroad in Japan like?' - The interviewer is almost sidetracked and because you will be able to speak with enthusiasm (With your eyes lighting up) your will appear even more desirable and well rounded. Don't just take my word for it, a report by the British Council found that - '83 % of students believed that study abroad had strengthened their job prospects'. (check out my blog, which discusses studying abroad and employability)
5. Of course, experience a new culture is one of the additional major benefits of Studying Abroad - 'experiencing culture' is not something you can do as a tourist. Yes, of course, as a tourist you can 'try new foods, visit festivals, sight see ect.... However, experiencing such rituals as an 'student' or as a 'almost'-local, the experience is completely different. For example, in Hong Kong, living a 9-5 University life allows you to feel, experience and live almost as a native in which should not be taken for granted, as such experiences will be hard to come by once you immerse yourself in working life. That is why when people ask, 'Why Study Abroad?' I say it is for the 'experience' of living in a new country, which studying abroad grants you.
6. Improving yourself academic is another great reason to 'Why Study Abroad'
If you're not a native speaker of the local dialect, studying abroad can bring an added depth to your academic abilities in a variety of ways. Firstly, you may be able to undergo a course which falls outside your module of study, which is a great way to strengthen your study skills. Secondly, after returning from your studies abroad you may find that you have a new pursuit or a new found interest for lifelong learning.
7. 'Become an adult' is one of the seventh major benefits of Studying Abroad - Becoming an adult in one sense means speeding up the transition from teenager to adult. The main reason why studying Abroad helps with this process is by allowing you to leap into the unknown and by taking on a new challenge. By that, i mean you’ll have to fend for yourself, buy your own meals and wash your own clothes ect...But! Do not let this put you off study Abroad. As developing your self and learning new things, is one of the major benefits of study Abroad as it steps you out your comfort zone for a brief time period.
8. Gaining a global mind-set is an additional reason to 'Why Study Abroad'
Developing a global mindset simply means, having the ability to take in information, traditions, and cultural norms from around the world and be able to conceptualise how to make an impact in all environments. One easy way to develop such mindset is by study Abroad! Whereby living in an unknown environment you will be able to see the world from a completely new lens, which can help you in a variety of ways, if that be withing your working life or within your social life.
9. Get the perks of international student discounts is one of the additional benefits of studying Abroad
Student discounts are always fun, that is why the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) offers all all international students the ability to receive fantastic discounts for shops and services at home and abroad in over 130 countries. Also the card can operate as a form of ID, therefore when you are studying abroad you will not need to get your passport out when heading to the nightclub as the ISIC card can act as your gateway into the clubs. Check out my blog post about clubbing in Gangnam, Seoul if you wish to learn more about clubbing as a study abroad student.
10. Another reason to 'Why Study Abroad' is that you will increasingly appreciate your home and family life
Deciding to leave your home country and study abroad is a courageous step, however ones you arrive you will soon become to realise that any parental arguments or sibling rivalry you may have had will be a distant memory and you will slowly become to realise how grateful you are to have those individuals in your life. Likewise, they’ll have time to forget about all your less attractive qualities too… When you get back these relationships will be a lot stronger!
11. The eleventh reason to 'Why Study Abroad' is that Studying Abroad increases your international job prospects
While you can always go home at the end of your time as an international student, many choose to stay put and apply for a working visa. Even if you return home or decide to seek work elsewhere, the international experience provided by studying abroad is likely to be looked on favourably by employers.
12. The final reason to 'Why Study Abroad' is that international student funding is becoming more common
Studying abroad doesn’t have to be expensive or costly. It is clear that with the increasing number of scholarships, studentships available for international exchange students, which are offered by governmental bodies, Universities and non-Governmental bodies. Illustrates how studying abroad can be increasingly affordable and manageable.
If you are interesting in learning more about scholarships for the UK check out our other pages to find out how studying abroad in the UK can be funded.
Best Countries to Study Abroad
Where to study abroad? - Is a question faced for most prospective study abroad students
As we have discovered, studying abroad is a great opportunity to develop additional social, academic and language skills, whilst at the same time adding numerous advantages to employability after finishing University.
Now we have established the core benefits of studying abroad we will now explore the top 10 places to study abroad, by ranking our assessment based on five equally weighted criteria (culturally accessible, fun, cultural attractions, quality education and prospects post-graduation).
One reason Spain is one of the best countries to study abroad in to study abroad in Spain is that the education system is very structured and straight forward. Another reason to study abroad in Spain is that the cost of living in Spain is cheaper than most European countries, for example ordering a local beer, which usually comes with a free tapas can cost as little as $2, as well, because of the warm climate, many basic food items are inexpensive . Additionally, another reason to study in Spain is down to the beautiful year-round weather homing the most beautiful beaches.
Finally, for educational purposes, being able to immerse in the country will allow you to either develop or improve your Spanish speaking abilities. Interestingly, with over 20 Countries having Spanish as its native language, makes it increasingly worthwhile to learn and develop for employment purposes.
9. South Korea
Korea is one of the best countries to study abroad in as it is home to one of the most advanced economies in Asia, as well, Korea has been recognised as one of the top Asian countries for study, with 13 South Korean institutions in Time Higher Education Rankings of the top 100 Asian universities in 2015. With such positive statistics, it is clear that South Korea is a continuously rising country in the global arena. Making the decision to study abroad in South Korea will be the beginning of a grand world adventure in which you explore a language, culture, and history that has thrived for thousands of years, and continues to innovate at the head of the curve.
Studying abroad in Germany is a great choice, as the Country has a wide selection of highly ranked Universities, such as 'LMU Munich' and the 'Technical University of Munich' which not only promises strong employability after graduation but also allows you to be in the geographic centre of Europe, so opportunities can be found in all directions. Another reason Germany is one of the best countries to study abroad in, is that the Country has a long and rich cultural heritage and a fantastic art scene, therefore there will be plenty to do and plenty to see.
For me, studying abroad in Japan is one the best countries for studying in.
Japan was in fact my ultimate study abroad destination, so perhaps a little biased, but after researching, it has been found that Japan has always been one of the best countries for international students, whereby over 300,000 international students are currently residing there. What's more, Japan is often seen as the epicentre of the advancement in technological innovation, because of this Japan is usually popular with students who are interested in science, IT and engineering. Also, looking at the safety of the country, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, with Tokyo being the safest City in the world. Furthermore, healthcare services service are modestly inexpensive which makes it one of the best countries for foreign students. for students. Lastly, the food is amazing, the culture is so interesting, and the landscape is endless, if you wish to find out more, check out my blog.
France comes 6th in terms of best countries to study abroad in.
The reason for this being that France is one of those countries that has it all. From its arts, its different foods found within all the fantastic regions. What's more, because of such a combination of educational institutions, arts and culture, and national history, makes the country a prime location and one of the best countries to study for international students. Lastly, going to university abroad in France, it is key to add that the education costs are very reasonable compared to other top destinations.
Canada is on my list of best countries for studying in as when you study abroad in Canada, you can polish up your French skills as well as your English, as these are the two leading languages. Also, Canada is often voted as one of the top countries for quality of life. Whether you want to see the snow covered mountains, visit Niagara Falls, visit the sea-salted coasts or buzzing metropolitan cities you’ll find that Canada will be the country for you. What's more, the Canadian education system prides itself on being a world-leader in research while remaining diverse and accessible for study abroad for international students.
4. Hong Kong
Studying abroad in Hong Kong, allows you to study within one of the special administrative departments in China, however, most universities use English as the medium of instruction rather than Mandarin, therefore allowing you to be in the heart of Asia whilst at the same time benefiting from an English taught institution. What's more, Hong Kong is one of the best countries for studying abroad as it is home to many world class universities. For instance, 3 of Hong Kong's universities made it into the top 10 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Asian University Rankings in 2019.
Australia is always one of the best countries for studying abroad in. Firstly, the reason to study abroad in Australia is that the ling cost and tuition fees are very low and often international students can receive scholarships which can help to lower prices even further. Australia also offers a variety of student working visas, which are attractive for international students post graduation. A final reason to study in Australia is that the country has a diverse landscape, from deserts to cities, to beaches to mountains, providing great weather and a big party culture, and so it is very popular for students.
Studying abroad in the United Kingdom, undergoing an international student exchange program has always been popular for international students. Not only does the UK have some of the best universities in the world, such as Cambridge and Oxford. But also the country has a rich culture, heritage which provides a rewarding experience overall. What's more, the UK has a fantastically rich history and is one of the most diverse countries in the whole of the world. Plus, it is the home of the English language, giving you the perfect opportunity to hone your language skills.
If you wish to learn more about Studying in the UK, head over to our other pages for more information!
America is in my opinion one of the best countries to study abroad in. The main reason to study abroad in America, is that studying in the States is probably one of the most diverse countries in the entire world, ranging from the Deep South of Texas to the City of New York, you can immerse in America's vibrant culture whilst at the same time be studying in very best universities in the World. Though the cost of studying and living in America can be high, the quality of the courses when studying in the USA is worth it.
Useful links to consider
We hope to be able to answer any questions you may have about 'why study abroad' & 'The benefits of Study Abroad'. However, the following websites may also be useful for your Study Abroad journey.
Passport Information (USA)
Passport Information (UK)
My Recommended Hotels, Hostels, & Accommodation:
Flight Booking Sites
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"Do not go where the path may lead. Instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Still wondering “Why Study Abroad?'
If you're asking yourself “why study abroad”
I hope this article has helped. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.