97% of students who study abroad find a job within 12 months of graduation, while only 49% of other college graduates find employment in the same time period. 100% of students who took a semester to study in another country had an improvement in GPA when they returned to the United States for college. There is a 19% increase in graduation rates, 25% higher starting salaries and 19% lower unemployment rate for students that study abroad.
I can rattle off statistics at you all day, but numbers don´t mean as much as experience. What you get from studying abroad is you learn other about cultures, you adapt to change, you are able to see how other countries function, how times differ, all of which you simply cannot learn in a classroom in the United States.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you and everyone you know in college or university should study abroad.
When you graduate from college not much is better than saying you speak another language fluently, or have experience working or studying in another country. Want to impress your potential employers? Live somewhere else. Companies and organizations around the world are constantly investing in the global market as 95% of consumers live outside the United States. To say that you’ve studied, or even worked somewhere else will put your resume on top of the pile.
- Your Own Personal Gain
While it is great to go to another country for the reasons of getting an upgrade on your resume, breaking out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself by stepping into a country that speaks a different language will increase your confidence as well. You can get a better sense of who you are, what your values are, what your good at and what you are not. International travel really shows you what you are made of.
- Learn New Languages
Ever wanted to learn Spanish? Or Chinese? Or French? What better way to study a language than learn it from the locals. Not only is this the fastest way to learn the language, but you also learn the slang and the expressions not taught in a classroom.
- Expand Your Views
Most things you are taught in school are from someone else´s view. Whether it´s from the teachers’ point of view, or from the person describing the event or the place to you, they are not your opinions. Previously held beliefs about other countries will change as soon as you set foot in another country. You will learn about other countries, but more importantly, learn what you think of the world.
- Do Anything and Everything
Ever wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona? Or go bungee jumping off the Macau Tower in China? Or for the non-adrenaline junkies, maybe visit The Coliseum? Or El Reina Sofia? You can do all of these and more. While you are studying abroad, the world is your oyster. Try everything, and experience anything you want.
Take a chance and go abroad. See what the rest of the world has to offer.
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Written by Andrew Aertker