Whether you’re a college student or a working adult, studying abroad can enhance your learning experience. Not only do you get a unique look at the world, but you also gain valuable skills that can help you throughout your lifetime.
Studying abroad is an ideal opportunity to challenge your own beliefs and develop new perspectives on life and others. It also gives you the chance to become more culturally sensitive and empathize with people from different backgrounds.
- Experiencing a New Culture
Studying abroad is a chance to expand your horizons, try new foods and cultures, and make lifelong friends. It’s a challenging and exhilarating experience, and one that will leave an indelible mark on your life.
A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that the number one reason students want to study abroad is to experience a new culture. Other reasons cited include gaining international perspectives, gaining skills for a career in the international workforce and developing language proficiency.
When you’re living and studying in a foreign country, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the cultural differences. But if you embrace the challenge, you can build your confidence and be better for it.
- Developing Communication Skills
Studying abroad can enhance your learning experience by providing opportunities to develop communication skills that are essential for working in a global environment. These skills include active listening, speaking clearly and observing others’ emotions.
Practicing these skills can be difficult, but can be accomplished with patience and practice. Attending seminars, workshops and classes can help you become an effective communicator in different settings.
Having the ability to understand and share others’ emotions is an important skill that can help you build teamwork and one-on-one relationships. Empathy can also help you respond appropriately to a variety of situations, from recognizing anger or frustration to feeling positive and enthusiastic about a project.
- Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is an important skill that students need to have to be successful in their academic and professional lives. It involves analyzing information and drawing inferences, evaluating content and synthesising ideas to make informed decisions.
During your studies abroad, you’ll be able to practice these skills while traveling and exploring new cultures. The learning opportunities you’ll gain are invaluable and will last a lifetime.
Teaching children how to think critically is one of the best ways to engage them in the learning process. This involves exposing them to stories that have relatable concepts and asking them to connect the story to other texts and their own experiences.
- Developing Interpersonal Skills
Studying abroad can enhance your learning experience and strengthen interpersonal skills that will be useful in both your personal life and career. These are often referred to as soft skills and are non-technical qualities that employers seek in employees.
Interpersonal skills include the ability to communicate effectively, solve problems, and adapt to new environments. Developing these skills while studying abroad will allow you to set yourself apart in the job market.
- Developing Leadership Skills
One of the most important benefits of studying abroad is that it can help you develop leadership skills. This is an ability that will serve you well throughout your career.
Leaders are the ones who inspire and motivate others to achieve a common goal. They are also the ones who set a vision and communicate that vision to their team members.
Having the ability to lead and inspire others is something that takes time. While some people are naturally born leaders, most of us need to learn and grow into these roles.
To develop your leadership skills, consider a course or program that will give you hands-on experience with the skills. You may also want to take advantage of an in-house leadership development program that your employer offers.