Education Abroad Benefits



"Because study abroad programs represent all that is best about the approaches and mandates of universities .... studying abroad is the most worthwhile thing that students can do during their university careers."1
Career Benefits
- Study Abroad builds your resume. You add an international perspective to your educational experience through language learning and cultural immersion.

- Study Abroad makes you more marketable. Careers increasingly favor international competences and experiences.

- Study Abroad prepares you for today's multi-national, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural job market. Daily work experiences are characterized more and more by encounters with people of different international backgrounds.

- Study Abroad improves your language skills. Sixty-five percent of students report that studying abroad significantly increased their ability to speak a foreign language in the workplace.2

- Study Abroad provides you with regional expertise. Many jobs in areas such as business, foreign aid, academia etc. require knowledge of a world region that helps to place one's activities in the regional context.

- Study Abroad opens up new career paths. Sixty-two percent of Study Abroad students say that their experience ignited an interest in a career direction.

- Study Abroad provides an opportunity to network with people from around the world. You can meet future professional contacts while studying or interning abroad.

- Study Abroad is the first step towards working internationally. Anyone interested in working internationally will have to prove that s/he knows how to conduct her/himself overseas.

- Study Abroad will make you more valuable as an employee. Seventy six percent of students said that during their studies abroad they acquired skills that influenced their career paths.
Academic Benefits
- Study Abroad fosters your critical-thinking ability. You acquire knowledge and skills that develop your ability to think systematically and critically.

- Study Abroad lets you immerse yourself completely into a language and culture. This is the best way to learn a language.

- Study Abroad gives you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate school. Study Abroad experiences are one criterion that evaluators look at when reviewing applications.

- Study Abroad lets you transfer credits that count towards your course progression. You do not need to loose time toward your graduation, when you go abroad for a semester or two.

- Study Abroad familiarizes you with different teaching styles. Not only will students profit from the familiarity with different ways of learning new subject matter, but this also prepares them for the increasing number of careers for which life-long learning abilities are integral.

- Study Abroad offers a first-hand experience of a world region. This offers you the opportunity to compare what you learn regarding the USA with the situation you encounter abroad.

- Study Abroad reinforces the interest in academic study. Eighty percent of study abroad students report a rekindling of academic interest.

- Study Abroad expands the knowledge of your academic field. New perspectives on your subject area offered in courses taken abroad enhances your intellectual skills.

- Study Abroad increases your global awareness, knowledge of world geography, and understanding of global interdependence. It is your next step towards becoming a global citizen.
Personal Benefits
- Study Abroad prepares you to adapt to unfamiliar environments. For example, learning how to navigate a city in a foreign country or dealing with a foreign public administration encourages flexible life adjustment skills.

-  Study Abroad increases your ability to communicate with different and diverse groups and cultivates a greater tolerance for ambiguity.

- Study Abroad fosters personal independence. Students report an increase in self-reliance, improved social skills, and a greater sense of autonomy.

- Study Abroad builds self-confidence. Research shows that study abroad cultivates self-esteem and maturity.

- Study Abroad increases your willingness to challenge yourself and move beyond your comfort zone. The knowledge of being able to adapt to an unfamiliar environment lowers inhibitions to move outside of your comfort zone in the future.

- Study Abroad has a positive influence on your ability to relate to different cultures and comprehend your own cultural values and biases. Students gain a working knowledge of cultural relativism.

- Study abroad will have a lasting impact on your world view.
[1] Cooper, Scott and Melody Knutson 2005. Study Abroad Helps to Build a Global Citizenry. In: News for The Faculty and Staff of UCSB 15,9.

[2] The statistical parts of this list are taken from Peters, Courtney 2004. Internship and Career Impact.