Studying abroad isn’t for everyone.
For one? It ain’t cheap. There are lots of options to help with the cost, but one way or another you’ll have to be saving your pennies in the summer up to your time away. You’ll really regret it if you don’t.
It’s also not easy, and requires a lot of dedication. The process is a little smoother if you want to study in Europe, but places like North America and Asia have strict visa regulations, and that almost certainly means making the trek to London to visit an embassy. Not much fun, there.
For people who get homesick, it also can be quite a long time away from home – this is nothing to be sneered at, and could easily put students off considering a year abroad.
On the other hand though? The benefits are pretty amazing. For one, you’re in another country. To live. For up to a year, which isn’t something many people will have throughout their lives – especially once they make their way into the big bad world of work.
Depending on your uni’s study abroad partners, you can also usually choose the country and institution you want to study at, so if you fancy somewhere balmy like Melbourne or California, go for it. The world is your oyster. Want to develop your language skills? Europe is on our doorstep, and there’s no better way to become fluent in a second language than to immerse yourself in the culture.
Chances are that wherever you go, you’ll have a lot of free time for travelling, too.
And what’s travelling without friends to go with? One of the biggest perks of studying abroad is the huge, diverse range of people there are to meet. Not only is there the chance to befriend people from the country you study in, but also students from all around the world who are studying abroad there too. Your international friendship network starts here, and the couch-surfing perks will last a lifetime.
So you think this study abroad gig is sounding pretty good, but you can predict the one-sided conversation with concerned parents, asking what you think you’re doing, taking a year-long holiday.
Here’s where the really neat stuff comes in. Without even realising it, a year abroad will help you to build those coveted skills every employer wants to see on your CV –
confidence, independence, resilience, cultural tolerance, language skills, open-mindedness, leadership, versatility. Employers are increasingly looking for “global” graduates, people who are open and internationally minded to join their companies. What better way to prove you’re just the person for the job, than being able to say you’ve lived abroad, immersing yourself in a completely foreign culture? Game, set and match.
Want to know more about studying abroad? Have a look at our handy guide here.
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