Benefits of Studying Abroad
The benefits of studying abroad are endless. However, here are some of the major benefits for students no matter where they study, what their major is, or what their professional/career interests are.
Professional Life and Career
In today's global economy, study abroad can be a defining element to every student's undergraduate degree. Many companies increasingly desire leaders with the ability to live successfully in a variety of countries and work with people of various cultural backgrounds. Study abroad can provide the structure for students to acquire these skills and give them an edge over the competition. The distinction of having studied in another country for a summer, semester, or year can be invaluable to your son or daughter's future career in today's competitive job market.
Language Development and Learning
While some academic programs have a foreign language requirement, there are many opportunities for English-speaking study abroad experiences. Greece, Sweden, and Korea are just a few examples of such programs where although the native language may not be English, academic courses are taught in English. In some locations, students may study the native language at a beginner level and have the perfect chance to practice their new skills outside the classroom. Study abroad is also the best opportunity for those majoring or minoring in a language, or those who are looking to advance or perfect their already existing second language skills. Whatever language level your son or daughter has achieved, where better could he or she practice the proper usage and pronunciation than surrounded by native speakers? The ability to speak a foreign language remains a vital asset in any field or career.
Students on study abroad programs undoubtedly encounter unexpected situations that will allow them to develop self-sufficiency and independence. The more times participants successfully navigate such situations, the more confident they will become in their ability to fend for themselves. Opportunities to take weekend trips to different cities, traveling before or after the program, and even daily life will teach valuable lessons such as resourcefulness, flexibility, and critical thinking. By the end of the program, most parents notice a definite change in how independent and responsible their son or daughter has become.
Developing Character Traits and Skills
Maturity, independence, responsibility, empathy, cultural consideration and sensitivity, decision-making skills, ability to manage obstacles and ambiguity, and living within a budget are only some of the character traits and skills your son or daughter will have the opportunity to learn and strengthen while they're abroad. It is through the experience of living, learning, and traveling independently to another country (or countries!) that your son or daughter will be able to grow and strengthen these skills and traits. Challenging your son or daughter to be the front navigator with your support in this experience will only help them become a stronger person.