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Top 10 reasons to study abroad

We explore the top 10 reasons why studying abroad can benefit you and your future including employment, salary, and personal development.

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Why study abroad?

5.3 million international students choose to study abroad each year (UNESCO 2019). This leads us to wonder, why do so many students study outside of their home country? In this article, we explore some of the top reasons why students choose to qualify abroad. This list should help you decide on your next steps in higher education. Whether you’re thinking about studying at the undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD level, use our list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad to help you decide if it’s the right move for you.

 

1.Meet people from all over the world

 

Studying abroad puts you in an environment where you can meet lots of new people from countries all around the world. Whether on your course, in student housing or clubs and societies, universities make a particular effort to create communities for international students. However, you will also be settling into a new country, meeting local people, and should try to embrace this new way of life.

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your mind and speak to people from all walks of life, people with different opinions, ideas, lifestyles, religions etc. You will be exposed to a variety of personalities and backgrounds which will help you to develop as a person and become more accepting.

 

2. Experience world-class education

 

Some of the most popular study destinations include the UKUSAAustraliaCanada, and New Zealand. This has a lot to do with the high-quality of education on offer in addition to the unique lifestyles, weather, and natural environments. These countries are home to world-leading universities which attract large cohorts of students for the prestige of the teaching and programmes on offer.

 

Studying at a credible university is essential for securing a job after university. Some institutions and courses are particularly well-respected by certain employers, such as a master’s in business administration from a university in the USA. So, if your home country doesn’t offer the same level of education, studying at a university abroad might be the right move for your future. Read more about top universities in:

 

 

3. Develop as a person 

 

Leaving your home comforts, family and friends can be tough. However, it’s also an opportunity for you to gain increased independence, autonomy, and new experiences. While you may experience homesickness at first, you’ll soon adapt to your new routine and environment. Living in a new country will broaden your mind as you will be speaking to different people, eating new food, and trying new things.

 

These experiences and memories will last a lifetime, all of which you can take home with you once you finish your studies if you’re ready to leave that is. The important thing to remember is that you get out what you put in. Your study experience will only be as good as you make it, so put yourself out there. Join a club/society, start conversations with new people and get as involved as possible. Feel the fear and do it anyway. This will boost your confidence too which is a vital life skill.

 

4. Boost your employment prospects

 

Studying abroad demonstrates to employers that you can adapt to new surroundings and embrace different cultures. It also shows dedication to your education and ability to learn in an unfamiliar setting. This will look great on your CV, even if you just do a year abroad.

 

A survey revealed that 41 per cent of employers consider offering a higher salary to students who have studied abroad (Employability and Study Abroad, Hostel World 2018). This survey also indicated that international students can apply their understanding of culture and global businesses which is appealing to many employers around the world.  

 

5. Join an international student community

 

Many universities around the world are particularly conscious of helping international students to feel at home. This includes running international student welcome events and organised trips to local attractions. This is a great opportunity to meet other international students who will be feeling similar to you, particularly in the first few weeks.

 

If you are struggling or you want to find out about events on campus, you can contact the international team at your university. You can find this information on university websites and social media. Being part of this international student community can help you to feel less homesick and is a great way to make new friends in the same position as you.

 

6. Make global connections

 

Making friends and meeting people while studying abroad is an excellent way to make global connections. Having these international contacts can come in handy when travelling for leisure or work. Also, these contacts may even prove useful when applying for jobs as they may have family members who work in the industry that you’d like to enter into.

Your lecturers will also encourage you to speak to your classmates and other students when looking for work as this can lead to employment opportunities or collaborations.

 

7. Improve your language skills

 

If you choose to study in a country that speaks a different language to your mother tongue, studying abroad is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. Immersing yourself in the culture and being forced to interact with people is a sure-fire way to improve. Many courses are conducted in English as it is a global language of education, and it is taught all around the world.

 

To be accepted onto a course, you will need to prove your proficiency with an English language test (or equivalent) such as IELTS or TOEFL. Studying abroad will give you the motivation to learn English as it will enable you to gain a reputable qualification and boost your employment prospects.

 

8. Travel

 

While gaining a top grade should be your number one priority while at university, there will also be time for extracurricular activities and leisure. Seeing as you will be in a new country, make sure you spend some time seeing the local area and nearby attractions. For example, if you study in New Zealand, go hiking on the weekend. Or if studying in Australia, head to the beaches and go snorkelling.

These experiences will make your time abroad extra special and memorable. During reading weeks and a half-terms, you could consider getting a group of friends together, hiring a car and taking a trip further afield. Make sure you spend time enjoying yourself too.

 

9. Discover new traditions and foods

 

It's only when you live abroad that you truly realise how diverse the world is. This is your chance to learn about different countries, what they value and celebrate. For example, you can attend national festivals like Mardi Gras in the USA or Burns night in Scotland to soak up the culture. You can try new cuisines, such as a roast dinner in the UK or a beach barbeque in Australia, each country offering iconic dishes. You might even gain new skills such as learning how to cook the food or playing the national sport. You may find that you have new passions that you want to explore.

 

10. Gain a unique perspective  

 

Living and studying in a country other than your home can help you to better understand the world. You may see your home country differently or feel passionate about lending your new skills and knowledge to the community back home. Or you may see that there are lots of opportunities to grab hold of in other countries. For example, you may want to stay in your study destination to work or continue travelling. There are several routes you could take after graduation. So, you never know where it could take you and what perspective it could give you. 

 

Although studying abroad might seem scary right now, isn’t it scarier to stay in one place for the rest of your life, never really knowing what’s out opportunities are out there?

 

Next steps:

Head to our course matcher tool to find the right programme, university and study destination for you.

 

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