Why Study Abroad?

There are multiple reasons to study abroad. As you think about possible abroad programs and destinations, we recommend that you develop a list for why you want to study abroad. These reasons below may help you start this list.

Study abroad will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide.

Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting is scary at first, but it's also exciting. It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.

Study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language and get to know another culture first hand.

There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis and are seeing and hearing it in the proper cultural context. Language learning happens most quickly under these circumstances.

In addition, such immersion will help you consider cultural differences. These are more than just differences in language, food, appearances, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that s/he views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally can come to truly understand where other cultures are coming from.

Study abroad helps you to learn about yourself and can expand your worldview.

Students who study abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values. The experience may perhaps strengthen those values or it may cause students to alter or abandon them and embrace new concepts and perceptions. The encounter with other cultures enables students to see their own culture through new eyes.

Study abroad can enhance the value of your degree, enhance your employment opportunities, and increase your earning potential.

While abroad, you can take courses you would never have had the opportunity to take on your home campus. In addition, study abroad gives your language skills such a boost that you return more confident in your abilities to communicate effectively in the foreign language. In addition, if you participate in a longer program, you may take enough courses in the foreign language that adding a minor in that language after you return may be possible. You may even be able to create a double major. A minor or double major with a foreign language can add tremendous value to your degree.

Further, did you know that only 4% of U.S. undergraduates ever study abroad? Yet, the world continues to become more globalized, American countries are increasingly investing dollars abroad, and companies from countries around the world continue to invest in the international market. Through an employer's eyes, a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience living and studying in a foreign country, negotiating another culture, and acquiring another language will all set you apart from the majority of other job applicants.

Study abroad affords you the opportunity to travel and make friends around the world.

Weekends and academic breaks allow you to venture out and explore your surroundings - both your immediate and more distant surroundings. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit. Some more structured study abroad programs even have field trips planned in or around the curriculum.

While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself.