The importance of studying abroad

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno


Today, the world is intricately connected on a global scale. The ways that many foreign institutions educate their students allow them to learn how to interact with people from other countries while also emboldening different language capabilities. One way institutions do this is by advocating for students to study abroad. This advocation is the one thing that most American schools and universities lack.

The implementation and encouragement of students to participate in study abroad programs (or even learn a different language) is very slim: The New York Times states that only about 10 percent of American students will ever study abroad.

Study abroad programs give students a very feasible and structured way to get out of their comfort zone, explore the world, and experience different cultures.

Being a part of a study abroad program is an advantage when it comes to employment opportunities. A majority of companies worldwide invest in the global market. Not only are these experiences enriching on a personal level, but employers are more likely to hire someone who has experience on an international level.

Sure, the initial program fees and flights will most likely be a little bit pricey, but there are hundreds of scholarship applications just for students who want to study abroad. Also, depending on the program and country one visits, it can be more cost effective than students may believe. Many countries outside of the United States are the same price as, if not cheaper than, the United States.

Many teachers say that becoming immersed in a culture that speak a different language is the most efficient way to learn a new language. In many career paths, the knowledge of a second language is impressive to employers, if not integral for the position. The skill of knowing a language besides English in the United States is notable when it comes to hiring positions. It can make or break a resume in certain cases. Even moving to a foreign country where being fluent in English as well as the native tongue can advantageous to acquire a position.

Depending on the study abroad program, there are a multitude of opportunities that open up. As a student, the courses that are offered will vary vastly from the courses traditionally offered in the United States. Travelling outside of America is an enriching learning experience in and of itself. Students can learn how to relate and maneuver a culture that is unique from their own.

One of the most valuable experiences a study abroad program can provide is merely the opportunity for a student to break out of their comfort zone. Not only does traveling to a foreign country offer entirely new experiences and new challenges to learn from but it helps individuals gain a different perspective on the world and themselves, as well as a new sense of independence.

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