by Jill Robinson
You have studied Europe on a Shoestring front to back, worked overtime to save for a flight and you know how to say “I’m lost, can you help me?” in the appropriate language. Now it’s just a matter of convincing your parents that studying abroad is a good idea. Here are five reasons why traveling and living overseas is more than a cultural experience, but an investment in your future.
1. Studying abroad teaches you life lessons that can’t be learned in a classroom.
Being immersed in a new culture can be terrifying, but also really exciting and inspiring. Living abroad will help you develop a sense of resourcefulness and independence, as well as the ability to adapt to new situations you can’t experience in your hometown. Just gaining confidence in learning the public transportation system will carry over to future travels.
2. When you study abroad, your resume will instantly stand out.
When you study overseas, you are setting yourself apart from most applicants. Whether it’s to apply for college, or for a job; your education in Spain is a wonderful way to move your way to the top of a pile of resumes. Your trip abroad shows that you have the ability to adapt to new surroundings, people and ideas. This is critical in any environment, whether it’s educational or professional. Working World‘s website offers an article and video explaining how living abroad can give you three key skill sets that will help you advance at the professional level.
3. Living abroad allows you to travel.
Studying in another country also gives you the opportunity to travel in foreign areas. This is a wonderful way to really see and interact with a new culture. Too often we feel a 5-day vacation is sufficient in understanding a place. Studying abroad gives you a much broader time frame to explore and meet new people.
When learning a new language, there is no better classroom than learning in the country that speaks that language. Survival skills set in when you MUST pick up phrases and slang and other simple sentences. Being able to speak a second language is also one more advantage in the work force and in future travels. When you can communicate, you learn about others on a level way beyond the usual tourist.
5. We are a global community, and understanding diverse cultures is critical to a working society.
With our ever-advancing technology, the ability to communicate on a global scale makes the world smaller. Learning to be open-minded and understanding of different cultures and traditions is the first step in a peaceful community.