Studying abroad is a chance for you to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and try your hand at activities that may not be on offer in your home country. If you didn’t get into any of the Ivy League universities, fret not. There are thousands of universities in the entire world, surely there’s one that’s the right fit for you.
We could give you a million reasons to study abroad, but for the sake of brevity we are giving you the top six:
1. Smaller student loans
Studying abroad need not be expensive, it can even be more cost effective than studying at home. If you worked hard in high school, your grades might be good enough to get a scholarship. A lot of institutions and government bodies offer scholarships to students who are willing to study abroad. Imagine that, being paid to go abroad and study for free without having to wait on tables, while enjoying an exciting experience of living in a foreign country!
Even if the picture is not that rosy, and your grades or situation in life does not qualify you for a scholarship, you can still take advantage of lower tuition fees. This of course depends entirely on what part of the world you choose to complete your studies, but many places in continental Europe, Asia and Latin America have highly reputed universities that do not require you to graduate with a debt to pay.
Your best bet in finding such universities is to research them extensively. There several online places that can lead you to find your desired university such as Go-over-sea, Iss, School apply and many others out there that have the information you need to check out for major universities abroad.
2. Explore other cultures
Staying in your home country is all very well and patriotic, but seeing the world is better than being a big fish in a small pond. Culture has many facets, from the local cuisine and native language, to various traditions and customs.
Isn’t eating bruschetta in Rome infinitely more satisfying than ordering pizza from the restaurant around the block? Studying abroad is the best way to explore your taste buds. Experience what different cuisines in other parts of the globe have to offer.
Whether you are a social butterfly or an absolute introvert, you will meet a diverse range of people who will help you grow in many ways. Their customs and traditions will teach you to view life at home in a different light.
3. Looks good on your resume
Many jobs today require globetrotting. Even if you are not required to travel, you may end up working with people from different nationalities or you may have international customers. Having a well-rounded education that equips you with the skills needed to understand and communicate with people from different cultures give you an edge.
Employers prefer hiring people who can demonstrate that they have the experience and expertise to get along with everyone in the workplace. Having a foreign degree speaks volumes in this regard. Furthermore, interviewers invariably ask the ubiquitous questions of defining your strengths, weaknesses, and talking about challenging situations and how you tackled them. Sharing anecdotes of foreign travels make your interview interesting, shows strength of character, and separates you from the herd. In short, studying abroad can help you market yourself better with prospective employers.
4. Evoke your wanderlust
Nothing evokes wanderlust quite like studying abroad does. If you go study in France, would you be satisfied with not exploring say Spain, Germany and/or Italy? Being hundreds of thousands of miles away from home makes spontaneity and spirit of adventure easier to come by. There is virtually nothing stopping you from becoming a globetrotter, other than your parents refusing to foot the bill. However, there are always part time jobs available to students.
Studying at home may not prompt you to travel as much as living abroad does. At home, you probably may not explore the city you live in, abroad however you will feel the lure of travel and end up seeing more countries than you ever planned to.
5. Get to know yourself
Fending for yourself in an unfamiliar place will teach you intangible life skills. You may miss your family and friends, but you get to meet amazing new people and strike lifelong friendships. Students abroad usually have few belongings, so you will learn to make do and appreciate the smaller things in life.
All this will enable you to get to know yourself better. Far away from home, you will discover qualities you never knew you had. Meeting people from vastly different cultures and backgrounds will develop your people skills and give you firmer knowledge to recognize friend and foe, leading to a deeper knowledge of self. Stepping out of your comfort zone will teach you independence, self-reliance, courage of conviction.
6. An unforgettable experience
Studying abroad may be your best shot at experiencing the world while you are old enough to enjoy it, but young enough to not be bogged down by responsibilities. Bragging rights and exaggerated stories aside, living abroad is magical on so many levels. You can re-invent yourself. The polish of international travel alone is enough to make one seem glamorous.
Being in a foreign land makes sunsets more dazzling, the rains more magical and the moon more beautiful. The girls are more alluring, the wine is sweeter, and the dating pool is far more exotic. You might even end up making the foreign country your home. The one thing that we can promise you is that you will never forget the magic of living in a foreign country.