5 Reasons to Participate in Study Abroad or a Foreign Exchange

Study Abroad Have you ever wanted to use a semester to travel to another country? A study abroad or foreign exchange program can lead to many opportunities that you can’t experience otherwise. You’ll come back home with a renewed world view and skillset, as well as unforgettable memories to share with your family and friends.

Here are five reasons to go abroad.

1. You’ll Experience Culture at the Source

There’s no better way to learn about a specific culture than through a study abroad or foreign exchange program. You could always read a textbook, but why wouldn’t you want to discover French history through a walk around Versailles? You can explore another country’s language and customs directly from the source when you study elsewhere. You’ll take classes, meet friends and travel regularly.

These benefits translate directly to your education, as well as your personal life. If your major revolves around history or language, it’s a no-brainer! These real-world moments can solidify how much you understand your concentration. You’ll also become a more well-rounded individual within your personal life.

2. You’ll Gain Valuable Life and Career Skills

A study abroad program can help you bolster your education, which leads to increased job prospects for many participants. But the benefits of foreign exchange programs help you gain valuable job experience directly. These initiatives often pair participants with an employment opportunity. As a result, they have a unique chance to become acquainted with a specific culture.

You may teach English to students who want to learn a second language. This experience can provide valuable abilities to help you solidify a career as a teacher or instructor. You could even work as an au pair for a local family to gain important life skills that you can’t find elsewhere. There are many opportunities for internships and apprenticeships, too!

Every experience that you have as a foreign exchange program participant can shape your career.

3. You’ll Learn How to Be an Adult

Whether you’re a current student or a college graduate, it’s time to embrace your independence! These adventures can help you become an adult. You’ll live somewhere you’ve never lived before — and while this part may seem scary, it only takes a little time to adjust. You set your own rules as a study abroad or foreign exchange participant. You may have responsibilities, but there’s so much that’s up to you.

As a result, you’ll learn how to manage your money and live with roommates. Do you have enough cash set aside to take a weekend trip to a nearby country? You can! You’re able to make decisions that shape your experience. When you return home, you can take those lessons and apply them to your life.

4. You’ll Step out of Your Comfort Zone

A study abroad or foreign exchange program can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for you to leave your comfort zone. There’s no better way to see the world — especially if you’ve never traveled before. Unlike a regular vacation, you’ll be able to rely on a program to support you along the way. This component helps create a buffer that you wouldn’t have otherwise. There are people there to help if you ever have issues.

You should try to leave your hometown at least once. You can enjoy experiences that you’d never encounter at home. As a result, you become an open-minded person who’s ready to take on a new approach to life. You should take this risk!

5. You’ll Appreciate Your Home More

When you spend time away from your home, it’s likely that you’ll come back with a newfound appreciation. You’ll be able to see what you’ve experienced your whole life through a new lens. People around the world have different experiences, both good and bad. As you see these moments firsthand, it’s easier to reflect on your life as a whole. You’ll learn to further appreciate your own personal journey.

This gratefulness helps you live a more meaningful life.

The Benefits of Travel Are Far and Wide

Consider these life-changing effects if you’re thinking about a study abroad or a foreign exchange program. The benefits of studying abroad are vast, and they can allow you to gain valuable skills and experiences that stick with you forever.

About the Author

Alyssa Abel is an experiential education writer with a love for learning. Read more of her work for students and educators on her blog, Syllabusy.