Benefits of Study Abroad
Start making the most out of your everyday and become a full-time learner.
Traveling outside of Ireland will be an education in itself. There’s no need to limit yourself to a classroom; while studying abroad you will be able to become a 24/7 student, from the student lounge to the city streets. Study abroad for a few weeks or a year; don’t let time constraints hold you back, just work around them. Many students who go abroad report that, in addition to enjoying and learning in their weekly classes, they learned some of the most valuable lessons outside of the classroom.
Become fluent in another language.
For those of us who have toiled at learning another language, we know the way to truly become fluent in a language is to be immersed in it. If you’ve studied a language for several years and wish to gain fluency in that language, studying abroad is a vital way to make that wish come true.
Learning a foreign language will make you more attractive to future employers, improve your communication skills, and give you a first-hand insight into local culture. As well-known among sociolinguistics, grasping another language will help you appreciate literature, music and film in that language, and better understand the culture in which you live.
Improve your academic, professional and financial potential.
International experience is a critical and impressive part of any resume. In addition to the personal growth you’ll undergo while overseas, the international and cross-cultural interpersonal skills you’ll develop will certainly expand your employment opportunities and, consequently, your income potential in our increasingly globalised society. Globally-minded employees are in high demand. Many companies seek out individuals with multi-lingual and multi-cultural experience and skills.
What is more, while studying abroad, students can also take advantage of internships for an international work experience that is highly valued among employers.
Take control of your future by exposing yourself to new paths.
During your time abroad, you will be exposed to countless different experiences that will influence the rest of your life. Some students even end up changing their major or career path as a result of the new things they learn from being abroad. Others discover a newfound passion for travel, decide they want to work abroad, or desire to learn a new language. After studying abroad, you may find your travels have had a profound influence on your career or personal goals.
Gain a competitive edge for graduate school.
If you wish to continue with your higher education into either a masters or a doctorate, study abroad experience will give you an edge on the competition. Graduate programs, law schools, and medical schools all look favourably on such global experience. You never know who may be impressed by your travels.
Fight stereotypes by educating others about what you represent.
There is a distinct challenge everyone faces abroad. Many other cultures only have experience with different ethnic groups through the media (e.g. news, sports, music, and movies). Students may become frustrated when the same stereotypes from home follow them overseas.
Dispel your own stereotypes.
In addition to serving as a cultural ambassador to dispel other’s misconceptions, studying abroad gives you a chance to break down some of your own stereotypes about other countries and peoples. Not only will you have the chance to immerse yourself in another culture, you will also meet people from different backgrounds and make personal connections with people that you may have never expected. Learn to interact with people who may not necessarily think or communicate like you.
Gain perspective by broadening your world experience.
There are countless amazing sites around the world: experience different natural landscapes and climates that do not exist in the United States, and see historical landmarks in countries that have shaped world history. Expand your knowledge of the world by actually getting out there, seeing it, and touching it; pictures in text books do not do justice to standing under the Eiffel Tower or on the Great Wall of China. Is there a place or landmark you have always wanted to see? Do it! Studying and living in a different culture will help you see the world from a completely different perspective; it is an amazing experience that will change your life.
See your own country and customs through new eyes.
Growing up and residing in one country tends to give us a limited view of our world. Traveling outside the country will show you how the United States affects and fits into global society, and how you as an individual fit into this world. From the vantage point of someone else’s culture, you can truly see your own, and by being exposed to so many diverse traditions you will better understand the significance of them.
Improve your network through new friends and acquaintances.
The relationships formed while studying abroad might become some of the deepest friendships you will ever develop. You will have the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures, and some of these people may even become life-long friends. Study abroad returnees often report meeting others with whom they expected to have no common ground and then discovered that, despite being from different parts of the globe, they have much in common and much to learn from one another.