Why Study Abroad?

What are the Advantages of Studying Abroad?

If you’ve been thinking about studying abroad, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I study abroad?  What are the advantages of studying abroad?”  There are many answers to this question.  You could study abroad in order to improve on a foreign language, to study the art, culture, anthropology, architecture, climate, history, and politics of a country first hand.  You could study abroad in order to get a close look at different plant and animal species that are not present at your home university or in your home country.  Another motivation for studying abroad is to investigate archaeological remains or mineral samples that you cannot find at home. For students from the United States, the most popular destination for study abroad is the United Kingdom, followed by Italy, Spain, France and China. Of these popular study abroad destinations, with exception of the United Kingdom, it is useful to have at least a basic conversational level in a foreign language to help the study abroad scholar to get the most out of the experience. The next most popular destinations for students from the United States on study abroad are Australia, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, and Costa Rica.   For these countries only Australia and Ireland have English as an official language.

 

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Recommended reading:
Study Abroad: How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience

The Global Classroom: An Essential Guide to Study Abroad (International Studies Intensives)

Study Abroad 101

Study Abroad For Dummies

Study Away: The Unauthorized Guide to College Abroad

Where Should I Go for Study Abroad?

If you already recognize the advantages of participating in a study abroad program, but have not yet decided where to study, consider the following ideas.

When will you be studying abroad and for how long?  Will you be studying for a trimester, a semester, or for a full academic year?  Would you also be interested in earning your entire university degree abroad?

Have you checked with your student services offices and departmental offices to discover the connections your university has abroad?  Do they have their own campus abroad?  Do they participate in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) or feature any other means of student exchange?  ISEP allows students from the home university to study at participating schools worldwide.  Click here to see a list of ISEP participants in the United States.  Are there internship programs from your university for students to perform internships abroad?

Do you speak any foreign languages?  If so, in what countries are those languages spoken?  Are your language skills strong enough to perform coursework in a foreign language?  If not, will your coursework be done in English?

If you’re only going to be studying during the wintertime, are you interested in a getaway to a tropical climate or a temperate summer climate?  Countries such as Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand have their summer while North American’s are having their winter.  If you’re only getting away for three to six month on study abroad, does the idea of skipping winter appeal to you?

When it comes to choosing a country for study abroad, there are many things to consider.  Remember to plan your study abroad experience as far in advance as possible to arrange the visas and housing needs. Allow time to understand expenses at hand and investigate any possibilities for study abroad grants and scholarships.