10 Reasons You Should Study Abroad
Studying abroad and living in a new and foreign country is one of the most enriching and challenging experiences you will ever experience. In addition to more obvious benefits such as language skills and improved job prospects, throughout your time studying abroad you are likely to make new friends, learn about yourself, and meet people who will challenge your perspective and help you discover new ways of thinking.
No matter where you are and how long you study for, here’s some of the reasons why you should study abroad and some of the life lessons you will take away from your studying experience.
- Materialistic things aren't as valuable as new experiences and memories: We bet you in 5 years time you’ll be glad you spent your money on a trip to Paris and a set of priceless new memories instead of on those new pair of jeans you wanted-but-didn’t-need.
- How to talk to strangers: One of the most important skills you will learn from studying abroad is the ability to talk to strangers. Language barriers mean that typical icebreakers such as ‘where did you go to school’ or ‘where do you work’ are useless when speaking to people who don't share the same language as you, so instead you’ll learn to be creative and innovative when starting conversations and communicating with people who speak different languages.
- How to budget: Regardless of whether you’re travelling or studying, living abroad will not only teach you how expensive food is (you’ll reconsider the necessity of ordering a starter and a dessert when you’re paying for it yourself) but also the importance of keeping a stash of money for emergencies. Instead of spending money on unnecessary items, you'll learn how to manage your money for necessities.
- There is no such thing as normal: Once you have travelled and lived in another country, you will soon reassess your definition of normal. You'll realise that the things you have grown up with are simply just what you are used to and that there are other (and sometimes better, or at least refreshingly different) ways of doing things.
- A side of yourself you never knew: From meeting new friends and communicating with strangers, to becoming more independent and learning how to budget, one of the biggest things you will take away from your learning experience is that you are stronger and more confident than you think you are. With new experiences and new challenges, you’ll discover new traits about your personality, and will ultimately surprise yourself by doing things you used to think were impossible.
- How to become more independent: It may be normal at home for your mum to make your dinners and wash your clothes, but once you’re living alone in a new country, you’ll have to be more self-sufficient. Instead of relying on those around you to look after you when you’re ill and sort out your travel arrangements, you’ll take pleasure in being more independent and doing these things for yourself (which is not to say your new friends won't offer to help you out!).
- To appreciate your hometown. Whether you’ve moved abroad to study or are simply travelling, it is very likely that you’ll realise that you took your home country for granted, and that many of the things you previously disliked were not as bad as you thought they were. (Yes, we’re talking about your home cooked meals, caring parents and annoying siblings)
- How to think outside the box. Living and studying abroad while being surrounded by people from different cultures and different nationalities will inspire you to think more creatively. You’ll develop a new perspective, and broaden your reasoning and problem solving skills.
- Anything is possible. Leaving your hometown and moving to a foreign country makes you realise that you have the opportunity to do ANYTHING. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve with a little confidence, courage and patience.
- Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone. Although it's cliché, studying and living abroad will teach you that life really begins when you step outside of your normal routine and do things that challenge you. Whether it's discovering a new hobby or conquering a fear, by stepping outside of your normal routine you'll grow as a person.
Has this blog inspired you to study abroad? Be sure to check out our top tips on how to reduce the cost of studying abroad to help make the dream a reality.