More than ever, college students are realizing the importance and benefits of spending time in another country to study. About three hundred thousand American students studied in another country for college credits, and this number is on the rise.
Experiencing Another Culture
Many people enrolled in college are eager for study abroad experience because they are aware that it will be a life changing experience. Going to school in a foreign country will give you insight into the culture and traditions in another place that you wouldn’t have access to simply by visiting as a tourist. Many programs last a whole semester, so it is likely that you will have the opportunity to learn the native language of the country you are studying in.
Gaining World Perspective
Traveling to another country gives you a chance to see the world in a new light. If you are in a new place around people who are citizens of a country other than your own, it will help you to see things through another culture’s eyes. You will be able to get a better understanding of the role America plays in the world and see how people from across the world feel about your own culture. It also might be interesting to see how people from another country shape their educational system and to see how other students are approaching their studies and handling their college life.
Working Towards Your Degree
Getting out of the country and studying in a new place can help to give you a more varied college experience. Studying abroad gives you the chance to earn college credits in an entirely different setting. Find out through your college which programs offer credits that can be transferred to your college and put towards your degree.
Learn About Yourself
We often find out the most about ourselves when we find ourselves in new or challenging circumstances. Going to a different country to be in a completely new setting around total strangers is a brave decision that will challenge you to adapt and grow. While meeting new people, you will learn to bridge cultural gaps and end up making friends you may have for the rest of your life.
Being exposed to things you have never experienced may help you to discover tastes you haven’t yet uncovered, or even hobbies you didn’t know existed! Not only are you working to better understand your field of study, you are working to understand yourself.
Paying for Study Abroad
Often times you will find that your college offers scholarships for study abroad programs, or that other organizations have scholarships available for this endeavor. You can apply for grants or even extra loans to help you cover the cost of your experience.