A handful of students use college as a way to explore other colleges and cultures around the world. Most colleges or universities offer study abroad programs that allow students to visit as an exchange to other campuses around the world. During this time students may live on campus or with families, while attending school in such places as London, Olso, Seoul, Paris and other major cities.
Not only does studying abroad give students an opportunity to experience another culture, but in the future it is a way to stand out against the competition in the job market. When selecting a study abroad program it is important to choose on that will highlight your career experience while allowing you time to explore a new city.
Studying abroad offers students many benefits. The biggest benefit is learning how to live independently. Students must rely solely on themselves to survive while in a foreign country. The school offers resources, but a person must break out of their shells to learn how to grocery shop, use public transportation and other day-to-day lives in a new city. Mom and Dad are only a phone call away, but they are not there to hold the student’s hand the entire time. While studying abroad a student also learns about a new culture, taking in history, art and social experiences along the way. In the end he will have a better appreciation not only for his own culture, but an understanding to others around him as well.
Though there are more benefits to studying abroad, there are some issues that arise with the experience as well. It is fun to study abroad, but some students do not take the class work seriously and spend more time at pubs and clubs than hitting the books. Some students also grow homesick over time and do not make the most of their experiences.
Aside from classes, international programs also offer internship opportunities for students. Students who are studying abroad have declared their majors and are often on programs tailored to this. Companies in the city work with the college to offer internships to students that are used for college credits or payment as well. Some internships are with top companies and leave the students with an opportunity they could not have at home.
Naturally an internship will look good on a resume, but few students realize the entire experience of studying abroad does as well. When employers look at resumes, they want to hire people with unique qualities. Under education and qualifications you can list skills you gained while studying abroad. This includes any language proficiencies or even understanding new cultures.
Studying abroad is a valuable experience that any student should experience. Those who think they cannot afford the semester abroad do not realize that grants and financial aid are also available, just like a normal semester at home.
The Benefits of Studying Abroad posted by Melissa Warner at USCollegeRanking.org