Spending time in a new country opens your eyes to different ways of thinking and living everyday life. Studying at an international university combines all the best benefits of culture shock with an international education that can help you gain your dream job in today's interconnected global marketplace.
Here are the 5 biggest benefits of studying at an international college.
1. Build your employment opportunities
There is no question, the world has never been more interconnected. With fields such as hospitality, graduates who have an understanding of how other cultures operate are more attractive candidates for open positions. Language skills add additional value.
Studying in another country provides you with an opportunity to build language skills and familiarize yourself with other cultures, while deepening your skills in your field.
When you graduate, the data proves that your language skills and cultural experience can help your resume stand out from the rest. A study from the Erasmus Student Network found that 64 percent of employers value "study abroad" experience and look for it when recruiting talent. The Erasmus study also found that 92 percent of employers placed a high value on transversal skills, which include interpersonal skills, information literacy, global citizenship, and critical thinking. Exposure to another culture boosts your transversal skills in addition to language and cultural competency.
2. Grow as a person
Much of the growth you will experience when studying internationally is as a person. Studying in a new country breaks you out of your daily routine and shows you how "your normal" is really tied to your cultural heritage. Facing challenges and solving problems in a new country can build your independence while making you more resilient. Things aren't as easy as they are at home -- and that's actually a good thing!
Travel and study abroad opportunities also clarify things for you, by showing you what is really important in your life, including goals and dreams for the future. Many students find that international programs really alter their career paths (and their character) by showing them new opportunities and new ways of thinking, which they would not have discovered if they had stayed home.
3. Find new interests
If you study in a country that's very different from yours, you'll probably go through a phase of culture shock as you realize how different things really are in your host country. Culture shock can be frustrating and disorienting. Students often miss favorite foods from home, get frustrated with language skills, or long for something familiar. Once culture shock passes, students feel increasingly at home within their host country and it's here where new hobbies and interests can appeal.
Whether it's a new sport that doesn't exist in your home country, new foods you love (and want to learn to cook), or traditional musical instruments or dance styles that appeal to you, new countries offer a range of hobbies and interests. Of course, you might find the opportunity to try new skills that are available to you at home, such as skiing, because you are now studying near mountains.
4. Be a more worldly person
Personally and professionally, there are benefits to be gained from studying internationally. As you learn more about the world and develop friendships with citizens of other countries, you will become more worldly. This may give you greater comfort when traveling or help you better understand current events and cultural connections. Back home, the open minded perspective you have learned by studying overseas can help you broaden connections within your community.
5. Earn more money
If these reasons are not enough to convince you of the value of studying internationally, consider that it could set you up for higher earnings. Data also indicated that individuals who have studied in another country earn up to 25 percent more than their peers who did not study internationally!
There are only a handful of the benefits you can realize by studying internationally. There are many more you'll experience, depending on your interests, field of study, and career goals. Studying in a new country may be cheaper than you imagined, and there is no question that the opportunity has the potential to be life-changing!