The question БWhy study abroad? Б
is one of the issues explored in our recently released report on, based on global surveys of graduate degree applicants in the last five years. The report examines some of the key motivations and priorities for students applying for a masterБs or a PhD, and particularly those with an interest in studying outside of their own country. HereБs an overview of some of the most common answers respondents gave to the question БWhy study abroad? Б 1. б Study at a university with a strong international reputation A major motivation for many international students is the prospect of studying at a university with a strong international reputation. This underlies the continued popularity of study destinations such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Germany, which boast large numbers of universities that are well-known and respected worldwide. As more institutions succeed in growing their international reputations, thereБs now even greater choice than ever before for prospective international students for whom reputation really matters. 2. б Experience life in a different culture For many international students, the opportunity to spend an extended period of time immersed in a culture other than their own is a huge part of the appeal of studying abroad. This might simply be for the pleasure that comes from encountering new experiences and perspectives, or it could be that students are already looking ahead to their graduate careers; international experience and intercultural skills are highly valued by many employers. Some students may have a specific destination or culture in mind, while others may be ready to explore pretty much anywhere new. 3. б Benefit from scholarships or lower tuition fees Studying abroad is certainly not always a cheaper option; indeed, for many (if not most) international students, itБs more expensive to study abroad than it would have been to stay closer to home.
However, this of course depends on how the tuition fees and living costs compare in your own country and your potential study destination. If youБre based in the US and decide to study in Germany, for example, you could actually end up saving a lot in tuition fees,. You may also be able to benefit from international scholarships, such as. 4. Improve your language skills Lots of students are also motivated to study abroad at least partly by the prospect of improving their language skills, which again can be a major asset when applying for graduate careers. This could mean spending time taking a preparatory language course, in order to study a full degree program taught in the local language. Or you may study in your native language, but have opportunities to improve your foreign language skills through immersion in the student community. 5. б Start building an international professional network Finally, studying abroad can be an opportunity to establish a really strong international professional network, by establishing friendships with classmates from all around the world, which will long outlast the duration of your study program. If this is one of your motivations for overseas study, you may want to make sure you choose a university with a particularly diverse student community.
Of course, itБs not essential to study abroad to achieve this goal; you could choose to study in your own country and still have the chance to meet people from across the globe! Discover more answers to the question БWhy study abroadБ with the full report on Trends in International Student Mobility. Perhaps youre reading this because youre not completely sure whether or not youre ready to go abroad. You may be asking, why study abroad? I didnt make my decision until a week before the application was due (not something I would recommend by the way). I could say that if you really dont think its for you then dont go, but I dont believe that. Its only natural to be a bit fearful of change and facing new and challenging experiences. Anyone who has even a remote desire to go abroad should decide to do it, in my humble opinion, anyway. If for some reason you cant last the semester or year and you have to come home, whats the worst that can happen? You lose one semester of school and graduate when youre 23 instead of 22. In the scheme of life, thats not that big a difference, and the chances of that happening are minimal. One of my biggest fears when I made the decision to go abroad was that I would lose my good friends and be really far out of the loop when I returned home. First and foremost, your being abroad shouldnt change anything. You can still talk via Skype and phones and, if your friends are true friends, they will be excited for you to go and do something with your life, as well as be understanding when you come home. There is still the possibility that you will feel out of the loop when you go back home, but youll catch up on the latest music trends, TV shows and fashion crazes pretty quickly.
Besides, the stuff you pick up while abroad is probably more valuable anyway. Need help convincing the parents? Do they think its just a way to waste time, spend money, and get out of studying abroad for a semester or year, or working for the summer? Its important that they understand the benefits of studying abroad. Tell them that while youre of course going to have a good time and an active social life when you go abroad; youre also going to have a unique educational experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Since youre looking at this website, why dont you share it with your parents? They will be amazed by the thousands of study abroad opportunities that are available to you, and will understand why you are so excited about the prospect of spending a summer, semester, or even a full year in another country. Consider reading or sharing this article with them too. It outlines the different questions and topics you should discuss with them as you research, apply and plan for a study abroad program. If youre looking for more concrete benefits of studying abroad or reasons to study abroad, StudyAbroad. com has done its research to help you understand just that. From study abroad student testimonials to tips for navigating the job search after your return, there are tons of articles about the advantages of studying abroad. Coverage of study abroad in the media has also been growing tremendously due to things like the 100,000 Strong China study abroad initiative. Theres no shortage of articles that show why may be right for you.
Why Study Abroad: A Personal Decision As clich as it sounds, by studying abroad you will become a much worldlier person, and become more marketable to grad schools and employers because of the intangible life skills youre going to pick up along the way. Think of it as gaining a sort of cultural capital. The fact that youve studied abroad will answer many peoples questions about what type of person you are, even before they have to ask. You want culture? Perhaps one of the best ways to experience culture is to live it, which is exactly what youll be doing as a study abroad student. Aside from gaining an understanding for cultures other than your own, you will also gain intangible skills (another great selling point for Mom and Dad). Independence, time management, organization, social skills and self-confidence, just to name a few, will all develop exponentially while youre abroad. There will be a moment while abroad when youll realize that youve made the right decision: Treasure that moment. Mine was on a beach in Spain during a one-week vacation in November. There I was, shirt and shoes off, staring into the 75 degree Mediterranean Sea thinking about how all my friends were in class, possibly bored out of their minds and probably freezing in the cold New England weather. That moment will come when all the stress from the first few weeks of getting acclimated is finally over, and its at that point that you will fully grasp what youre doing, the magnitude of your decision to go abroad and your new found drive to take advantage of every opportunity that lay ahead of you.