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Five Benefits to Studying Abroad

July 19, 2013

Learn about five benefits to study abroad for a semester or year.

If you are interested in learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom, studying abroad might be the answer you’re looking for.  Visiting a foreign country is a great way to learn about new cultures, improve language skills and meet new people.  When you travel abroad you will experience things you never imagined, giving you a new perspective on your own life and the lives of others.  Listed below are just a few of the benefits of studying abroad.

Learn a Foreign Language
If you are a high school or college student, chances are you’ve been studying a foreign language for at least a few years.  Studying in a classroom is good for learning basic phrases, grammar and sentence structure.  But there is no substitute for visiting a foreign country and immersing yourself in the native language.  Speaking with residents of the country you’re visiting on a daily basis will teach you more than you could ever learn in a classroom.

Learn About New Cultures
Sure, you’ve studied other cultures in your history and social studies classes.  You’ve probably even visited a few museums with exhibits from other cultures.  But when you visit a foreign country, you actually get to live life the way other cultures do.  You get to try new foods, speak new languages, talk to citizens of that country, see the architecture, visit historically significant landmarks, etc.  These are things you cannot learn by reading a book or visiting a museum.

Gain Perspective
Many people spend most if not all of their lives in the same place surrounded by the same people, participating in the same activities over and over again without realizing that there are many people in the world who do not live like they do.  Studying abroad will open your eyes to experiencing life in different ways and give you an understanding of and appreciation for the way other people live.

Meet New People
You probably have your circle of family and friends that you spend the majority of your free time with.  If you’re like most people, your circle probably doesn’t change very much from day to day and year to year.  Studying abroad gives you a chance to step out of your social circle and meet new people you normally would not have an opportunity to meet.  The people you encounter while traveling abroad can teach you about their culture and way of life and give you an opportunity to build lifelong friendships with people from around the world.

Earn Academic Credit
Many colleges and high schools give academic credit to students who participate in study abroad programs.  The amount of credit typically depends on the type and length of the program in which you are enrolled.  The credit you earn can free up your schedule for the next academic semester, giving you an opportunity to take more advanced courses or explore other areas in which you are interested.

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