To many American students, participating in a study abroad program is merely a dream. According to NAFSA, only 1.5% of these students enrolled at higher education institutions study abroad.
Many American students do not consider spending a semester abroad due to cost or the fear of not graduating on time. Even so, incredible benefits await those who study abroad.
Here are 5 reasons studying abroad will benefit you:
1. Increased Employability
Studying abroad will create incredible experiences you cannot duplicate in your home country. These experiences will directly translate into practical skills for the workplace including:
- Critical Thinking
- Oral/Written Communications
Research shows 92% of employers value these qualities and look for them in their new hires. Further data from the University of California reveals that 97% of study abroad students find employment within a year of their graduation.
2. Higher Salaries
Not only are study abroad students more likely to become employed upon graduating, but their starting salaries may be higher. Research shows study abroad students make 17% more than their stateside peers.
3. Rapid Learning
Studying abroad leads to achieving better grades. The University of California states that 100% of study abroad students increase their GPA performance upon completing their overseas studies. If you dream of graduating with high honors or obtaining your master’s, consider studying abroad to help you achieve your academic goals.
4. Expanded Linguistics
A majority of European students start learning additional languages in primary school, although this standard varies from country to country. This sets American students far behind, where students typically start learning a new language in high school. Only 18% of American students speak a second language.
With a growing global market, it’s increasingly vital students learn to communicate internationally. By studying abroad, you can expand your vocabulary and deepen your understanding of world cultures.
5. New Perspectives
International education allows you to think about global issues from a new perspective. You are removed from your comfort zone and given the opportunity to learn about culture, history, politics, and humanity in ways you won’t experience nationally.
Why is this important? Because you become a better global citizen.