Making the decision to study abroad can be a challenging and confusing process. If you have thought about studying a language abroad, but can’t quite decide if it’s the right choice for you then here are 10 reasons to consider packing your luggage, finding your passport, and booking your language course abroad now:
When you study abroad you experience the best way to learn a language.
There’s just no better way to learn a language than to be immersed in it; being placed in an authentic setting forces you use the language to interact with people and find the things that you need.
When you study abroad you travel with purpose.
When you travel somewhere new to learn or improve your language skills, not only are you traveling with a specific goal in mind (better your language skills) but your mission becomes more sincere. As you consciously try to learn your new language, you interact more with the people and culture around you, and your efforts to integrate become part of your mission. Sure, backpacking with no plans ahead might be fun, but study abroad language learning makes your experience meaningful.
When you study abroad you experience the culture first-hand.
Every culture reflects the beliefs, dreams, and values of its people and impacts the way that its people view the world. Studying abroad allows you to experience a new culture from your own perspective and helps you to understand cultural differences as well as inherent human similarities.
When you study abroad you develop skills far beyond the classroom.
When you learn a language in the comfort of a familiar classroom, you learn textbook sayings for textbook situations. When you study a language abroad you learn the real-life language in a real-time situation. Studying abroad is an opportunity to discover your strengths and to learn more about yourself as you face fun and exciting daily challenges and learn how to communicate effectively under pressure.
When you study abroad you experience people and make friends from around the world.
When you study abroad, not only will you have the opportunity to meet the local people and experience their culture first hand, but you will also meet students just like yourself from around the world. Most of these students will be just as excited as you are to meet new people to explore the new culture around them with new friends.
When you study abroad you learn things you didn’t know about yourself.
You might find yourself in a marketplace, bartering with a street vendor with your new language skills when you realize, “Wow, I never knew what a good negotiator I was until now," and that’s when it will hit you: there are a lot of things you’ve learned about yourself during your study abroad trip that you otherwise may not have known.
When you study abroad your experiences expand your worldview.
The famous American writer Mark Twain once wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness," and we couldn't agree more. When you return home from your study abroad adventure, you will have experienced and grown from the many different world-views you came across during your trip.
When you study abroad you can ditch your regular academic routine.
Studying abroad is a great opportunity to break out of the routine you have established on your own turf. You can take unique courses, you can go on trips that you couldn’t otherwise go on, and you can arrange your schedule and classes to fit your learning and traveling goals.
When you study abroad you open doors to great employment opportunities down the road.
In today’s new global economy nothing looks better on a resume than a multilingual, well-traveled applicant. Your language travel experiences will set you apart many other job applicants and potential employers will see your decision to study abroad as an indication that you are self-motivated, willing to try new things, and able to work with people from different backgrounds.
When you study abroad you strengthen the value of your degree.
Nowadays, most job applicants have a degree from an accredited college or university, and you can’t just rely on a college education to get you a job or into the graduate school of your choice. Language courses abroad help strengthen your degree by acting as a supplement to your education: showing that you took the initiative to study a different language abroad makes you a valuable asset for many employers, schools, and other organizations who take notice of extracurricular activities such as language learning and travel.