Deciding to study abroad is a big decision both personally and financially.
Part of finding out if studying abroad is a good idea for you is to consider the reasons why many students decide to study overseas, and the positive impact it could have on your life too.
Personal benefits of studying abroad
Experiencing new countries and lifestyles
A huge draw of studying abroad is gaining life experience in a different country and culture. Immersing yourself in a new way of living can be scary at first, but tackling the challenges of living in a new country will grow your self-confidence and independence.
Getting to know a new place also means the opportunity to explore; you’ll learn all about local food, history, and customs. Although your university may be based in one city, there will be plenty of opportunities for traveling to other areas of the country, and maybe even other countries close by.
Weekend trips away can give you some much needed relaxation from studying and help you get to know a country better. Here's "how to choose the right place to live and study for you". (/guides/choose-where-to-study-abroad/).
Meeting new people
You’ll be able to meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds, adding to your understanding of the world and how to interact with a diverse range of people. A benefit of living abroad while studying is the access you’ll have to societies and sports teams, so meeting new people will never be an issue.
Improving language skills
The best way to improve your language skills is to live in a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Living in a different country increases your vocabulary daily, and introduces you to more colloquial ways of speaking in that language.
If you are wanting to perfect your English abilities, studying in an English speaking country is a great way to enhance your academic English, as well as your conversational skills and fluency.
If you’re already fluent in English, then studying abroad may give you the ability to study in English, but learn an additional language from the local community depending on where the university is based.
Academic benefits of studying abroad
Gaining career options
Being able to speak more than one language is always a highly regarded skill, and can open up the opportunity to work in a number of other countries.
Some international students decide to apply for work visas when their course has finished as they wish to search for jobs in that country. Studying abroad can open up a new world of job opportunities in another country, broadening your postgraduate options.
The personal skills you develop while studying abroad can also be appealing to prospective employers. The willingness you’ve shown to step out of your comfort zone, your global outlook and your independence will be traits shown through your decision to study abroad.
Getting a higher quality of education
One of the main reasons to study abroad is the standard of teaching, as it may be higher than in your home country. Having access to a higher level of education can help you in your chosen career, meaning studying abroad could be great value for money.
Having the option to study abroad also means a wider pool of universities to pick from. If you know the type of program you want to study, you can find universities that are world renowned in that subject, and not be limited by what’s available in your country.
Sometimes studying abroad simply makes more sense: you could study roman history in Italy, or English literature in the UK.
Applying for further study
Completing a degree abroad can be a real testament to your academic merit. If you’re looking to do a higher degree, studying abroad can help boost your application, showing your dedication to your chosen subject.
The international academic community is an important aspect of research, so having studied in a different country means you will have international connections and fresh ideas on topics; this can be appealing to universities looking for master’s degree or PhD candidates.