There is no denying that a number of students – particularly those feeling cooped up in their college classrooms – may see the appeal of jetting off to some exotic destination through a study abroad program. While the sheer pleasure of passing a portion of their academic careers in a foreign country is reason enough for various people, the benefits associated with such experiences do not stop there. Students who study abroad can enjoy the immediate perks of these endeavors, in addition to reaping rewards further down the road in terms of their professional and graduate school pursuits.
As individuals explore uncharted territories and immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures through their study abroad programs, they may undergo all kinds of personal changes. There is nothing quite like experiencing how other people around the globe live and view life for a period of time, as it can enrich your way of thinking and expand your cultural horizons. In fact, 82 percent of students who study abroad maintain that they have a more refined view of the world, thanks to their overseas opportunities.
In addition to developing a more nuanced perspective of the globe, people tend to learn a great deal about themselves. The chance to leave your way of life behind and reflect in an unknown environment could foster personal growth and encourage self-discovery.
Although these personal perks make study abroad initiatives well worth students’ while, the impact that these endeavors could have on their future academic and professional careers make them even smarter investments. When it comes time to apply for graduate school programs and jobs, individuals need to stand out from the crowds of other candidates – a feat easily accomplished by having study abroad on their resumes. Oftentimes, employers and educators alike are well aware of the invaluable insight and unique development that students go through during these overseas learning experiences. As a result, they may look more favorably on applicants who took initiative and spent some time studying abroad.
Within a year of completing college, 97 percent of graduates with study abroad experience under their belts land a job. When compared to the percentage of overall grads securing employment in this first year – 49 percent – the professional rewards of overseas study may be obvious. On top of this, 52 percent of study abroad alumni continue their education at the graduate level, which is significantly higher than the 9 percent of graduates in general. Given these figures, international learning may be a smart move now and in the future.