Why You Should Study Abroad This Summer

Posted: April 25, 2016 by dunnclare in Things to do this Summer
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Travel Luggage” by anaa yoo is licensed under CC BY ND20

A traveller packs their bags for their trip.

By: Clare Dunn

Summer is approaching fast, and with it, the buzz of excitement that comes when travel plans become tangible realities.

This year, hundreds of thousands of college students will be travelling to different countries in the pursuit of a new world view, fun times with classmates and an excellent résumé builder. The fulfillment of all of these goals is present in summer study abroad.

Common advice given to students when they first enter into their university or college is that they should study abroad. Recent studies have shown that studying abroad helps students think more complexly, often making our thought processes more flexible and creative.

It also broadens your cultural and educational experience. Often, when a students study abroad, they go to on site locations like museums or historical landmarks, becoming exposed to different teaching and learning methods in the process. It offers a chance to practice language skills picked up during previous schooling. And it aids students in finding new interests, because they are more likely to try new things in a new place.

Future employers and graduate schools favor graduates with study abroad experience. Studying abroad shows that an individual doesn’t shy away from challenges and embrace new experiences.

The thought process behind professionals wanting employees with study abroad experience is that the world is ever globalizing. By leaving their home country, students learn how to interact with people from different cultures. And pushing student’s boundaries through foreign study is not an unreachable goal.

There are options that fit schedules and budgets. Universities are willing to work with students by advising them through class, half-semesters and semesters abroad. But some students and parents remain anxious about 20 year olds being in foreign countries.

Safety while studying abroad is important. But threats have not hindered students who want to get personal experience in order to form their own opinions about sociopolitical conflicts. Since 9/11, study abroad rates have risen by 20%. Students specifically have asked for trips to places with religious or political conflicts, and in June 2015, were given options for trips to Palestinian territories. Many advisors say that students should still seriously consider studying abroad, because the benefits are greater than the risks.

In many ways, study abroad is a way for students to push themselves out of their comfort zone. It’s one of the best ways to become an integrated global citizen.

 

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