How Studying Abroad Is a Life-Changing Experience

Scenery of Prague: River Vltava and National Theater (building on the left with the with the lights around)
Scenery of Prague: River Vltava and National Theater (building on the left with the with the lights around)

Most things in life can be translated into numbers and college is no exception. An academic year in college is around 250 days and if we multiply this number by four, the average length of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, we get 1000 days allocated to our collegiate career. That is around 3% of a person’s life.

An average college graduate has 22 years until his graduation – which is about 24% of their total life. That means a college student still has 76% of their life to live after graduating.

Wondering how studying abroad is a life-changing experience?

The average semester abroad is 125 days, which is about 0.4% of one´s life. However, within this small percentage lies an opportunity for exponential growth and opportunity. In other words…

Studying abroad – for only one semester – is a life-changing experience.

“While abroad, students gain a wealth of skills, which means they are curious about different cultures” (source: student.com)

Firstly, it broadens your worldview.

Broadening one’s worldview in other words means getting wiser. When you study abroad you expand your knowledge and get exposure to a new culture, mindset and values.

Ironically, in order to gain a better understanding of one’s culture they have to live in another for a while which serendipitously becomes the biggest benefit of a broadening worldview. It is an extremely valuable form of learning that transcends the classroom and has to be experienced firsthand.

“Studying abroad means getting a job 50% faster than your peers. You will land a role within 2 months of graduating, instead of 4” (source: student.com)

Secondly, the broader worldview helps you do significantly better in a professional career.

The first obvious reason is differentiation. Studying abroad makes you stand out from the crowd. That is your resume’s little secret.

Secondly, you experienced a new culture, went out of comfort zone, adapted to another worldview or learned new language. It shows that you went the extra mile to become more globally aware and to become an educated citizen, which is highly appreciated by employers.

International students are more likely to be given greater responsibility at work and find themselves in leadership roles” (source: student.com)

From the perspective of employers, young professionals who studied abroad illustrate a certain level of maturity, curiosity, and dedication.

When a company needs to offer a new position and has two equally performing employees to choose between, differentiation criteria takes precedent. Overseas experience will with no doubt be one of them. Which is why:

“Graduates with overseas experience earn $7,000 more than their peers” (source: student.com)

To conclude, study abroad adds great value to both personal and professional life, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Not to mention it is a lot of fun and you will have a great time!

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