Going to university is a time for young people to learn and grow as individuals. It is the time of life when young people really transform from children into young adults. There are many ways that the university helps students mature into adult members of society, but one of the best ways it does this is through the opportunities afforded students through study abroad programs such as Eramus. There are a number of ways in which students grow as individuals while they study abroad, and the following is a guide to the five best benefits for university students that take the opportunity to study abroad.
1. Opportunity for Language Development and Cultural Enrichment
Learning a foreign language is one of the most commonly cited reasons that students choose to study abroad. It is widely known that one of the best ways to increase your knowledge of a foreign language is to be immersed in that language. This is an incredible opportunity that students in a foreign country have. They talk with their host families, shopkeepers, new friends and members of the community in a foreign language. Students take the bulk of their classes in their native language, but they will also have a foreign language class. The rest of the time they will be immersed in the foreign language, improving by leaps and bounds over the course of a semester or two.
As well as language acquisition, students get to learn about their host country’s culture as well. They will be immersed in the culture just as deeply as the language. This is a wonderful way to learn to approach problems from a fresh way, as being immersed in a different culture forces students to learn new ways to approach the world.
2. Forced Social Growth
When students are at universities in their home countries, they can often settle into comfortable routines and small social circles. Therefore, they do not grow as much as they should. However, when a student takes the opportunity to study abroad, they are instantly immersed in strange and challenging circumstances. This environment stimulates social growth by forcing students to work hard to communicate. They will overcome the difficult challenges of communicating in a foreign culture, which will lead to greater social confidence when they return home.
3. Building a Resume
Whether planning on going on to graduate studies or entering a career straight out of university, a study abroad opportunity will help a person’s chances. The world is becoming more and more connected all the time as the world increasingly become one big community. Therefore, students that take the chance to go to another country to study will be giving themselves a leg up over students who fail to seize this opportunity.
Employers will jump at the chance to hire people that have experience in a foreign country. This experience shows that the potential employee is adaptable, and that they will have the strength and flexibility to handle any challenges that come along. Also, students that have polished their language skills in a foreign land will have greater opportunities than those without such language skills.
Graduate school admission committees also will look favorably on study abroad students, as this demonstrates a commitment to learning. It also shows the students have developed critical thinking skills, cross cultural understanding and an ability to deal with new and challenging circumstances. All of these will increase the chances that an admissions board will accept a student’s application.
4. Learning to Think with a Fresh Perspective
It is often said that the most important thing for students to learn during the education process it the ability to think critically. This process can be learned in the classroom, but it gets a jumpstart by students smart enough to take the chance to study abroad.
When students are studying in a foreign land, they gain invaluable experience in how their host country looks at the world. This is often very different than the way people from their home countries look at the world. When students can combine a new country’s perspective with their home country’s perspective, this can create a new way of thinking that may have never existed anywhere in the world. This is the kind of exciting benefit that perspective employers dream about.
5. Growing as a Person
Although studying abroad has a positive impact on employment and graduate school chances, the best reason to do it is the personal growth it induces. Students will be far away from home, learning new things almost every minute. This is the kind of growth that can only occur when students leave behind the familiarity of their home countries for the exciting cultures of new lands. This helps them be not only better students and employees, but better human being as well. Learning about a new culture helps an individual learn how interconnected everyone on the planet is, leading them to have a new care and respect for people throughout the world.
Study Abroad with a Program like Eramus
It is easy to see that there is a wealth of opportunity afforded by studying abroad. Students will grow their knowledge and understanding of the world, increasing their future chances for both personal and professional fulfillment. Students should definitely take advantage of the opportunity for growth and success that a study abroad program like Eramus has to offer.