One of the things I regret not doing is taking the chance to study abroad. Although there were some exchange student programs available during my time as a student, I didn’t take advantage of them, so I feel nostalgic whenever I see ads about studying abroad. If you are in the midst of deciding whether you should study abroad, here are some things that will help you decide.
The Opportunity to Travel
Most of the time, we get to travel within the country. For those yearning to explore places they’ve never been to, studying abroad will open the doors for them to quench their thirst for adventure. Meeting new friends from different parts of globe and even learning another language are just some of the exciting things that come with travel. Unlike when you're on holiday, studying abroad allows you ample time to explore the country to your heart's content and discover the more in-depth background of its rich history. Remember to bring student travel insurance as a precaution in case you might have health emergencies.
A Chance to be Independent
If you are tired of being coddled at home by overprotective parents, studying abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to break free of your sheltered lifestyle and a chance to finally be independent. By independent, I mean being responsible for yourself and being able to survive on your own without the help of your family. Don't abuse your new-found freedom by being reckless and throwing caution to the wind. You should protect that independence by proving to your parents that you are capable of standing on your own two feet and completing your studies even without them hovering over you.
A New Environment for Learning
Learning is not just limited within the walls of a classroom. Studying abroad is like hitting two birds with one stone. You learn but at the same navigate a completely different world you’ve never been in before. When you study in a foreign country, aside from academics, you also learn about a new culture and gain a better understanding of the country's customs and traditions.
Developing Better Social Skills
If you're an introvert who prefers little interaction with other people, studying abroad is going to draw you out of your shell and advance your social skills. It will force you out of your comfort zone and throw you into uncharted watersâ€”testing your survival skills in the social arena. Studying abroad will also teach you how to deal with different personalities, how to mediate between clashing ones, and how to discern a person's true character. You will learn how to bridge the gap and how to communicate better with all types of people. Crossing international borders will allow new friendships to flourish, and some of these friends might prove to be lifelong ones despite the distance.
Every time you step out of the door and try something new, you gain courage. How much more when you step out of your home country into a completely exotic one? Experiencing new things is a given when you're studying abroad. You'll learn alternative ways of teaching and learning. You'll also be surprised to discover that you actually have the courage to try things you never thought you could do. After each new experience, you become more bold and unafraid to explore choices you never had before or the many possibilities that come with them. You become more open to other people's ideas and broaden your understanding of differences and how similarities can arise from these very differences.
A Journey of Self-Discovery
When you’ve been in the same place and around the same people your whole life, this contributes to the partial foundation of who you are and how people perceive you to be. But when you are in a foreign place and trying to survive on your own, other facets of yourselfâ€”including those you were not aware ofâ€”come to the surface. Studying abroad allows you to come into your own without family or friends to influence your choices. It gives you time for introspection, to know who you truly are, what makes you happy, and what you want to do in your life. Studying abroad is akin to a coming-of-age journey of self discoveryâ€”a trip that will leave you changed.