Students tend to have a number of items on their summer vacation dockets. Some may choose to catch up on sleep and the last three episodes of “Breaking Bad,” while others opt to earn a little cash to cover the cost of next semester’s textbooks. That said, wouldn’t it be more worth your while to use your summer off as a way to enrich your education?

No, this doesn’t mean that you should lock yourself in your room so that you can read and analyze “Ulysses” in its entirety in the hopes of becoming more cultured. The only way to be more worldly is to see the world.

Expanding your educational horizons
Summer study abroad may not have ever been something you’ve thought about when you were planning out your past breaks. However, you should place having an international learning experience at the top of your priorities list for this coming year.

While you obviously spend the bulk of your school year trying to cram information into your brain, you may find that the best learning tool cannot be found in the confines of your library. It is not enough to memorize facts and spew them off for the sake of passing exams. Instead, Money Crashers advised that you look to expand your knowledge base and refine your ability to communicate certain concepts by immersing yourself in another culture.

Globalization emphasizes cultural insight
You’ve probably noticed that the use of social media outlets and other online channels have made the world a lot smaller. With easier communication, companies and consumers alike have been able to increase their operations on a global level. As a result, if you are planning to enter the workforce sometime in the future, chances are you must be able to take what you’ve learned throughout your entire academic career and translate it for an international audience.

Of course, this is not translation in the literal sense. Even though your Spanish minor may help you secure a job at some point, the importance of surpassing cultural boundaries to represent your future employer and yourself in an effective manner is far more useful.

“Studying abroad at the postgraduate level provides an opportunity to expand one’s field of view and helps one to understand and analyze problems and phenomena from a longer-term, worldwide perspective,” said Sarah Han with the Department of International Cooperation at the Korean Council for University Education, according to Top Universities.

Studying abroad for a summer will give you the international exposure that you need to start breaking down those walls separating the world you live in from the rest of the globe. Completing any sort of coursework in a global setting will shed new light on a subject, even if you have already touched upon specific topics in school.

“Students are more open to new knowledge and expertise when abroad, and that knowledge is often more easily applicable and adaptable to situations requiring international interaction; thus one can expect to be more competitive in today’s era of globalization,” Han added.