4/22/10

International | The Right Fit, 12

(image via: here.)

Some students yearn to study abroad for a semester. But you may find yourself craving a study abroad experience for the entire four years. There are many benefits to choosing an overseas education. Do any of these strike you?

  • You want to learn a new language. Yes, colleges offer language classes from the basic Spanish and French to German, Russian, Latin, Chinese, etc. But the optimal way to acquire a foreign language is through immersion.
  • You want to travel. Not only will you be traveling the country where your school is located, but you'd have many opportunities to travel around that country or nearby ones. You can take weekend trips, hop on a train during an academic break, or sign up for a school sponsored field trip. Imagine the places you'll go!
  • You want to experience a different culture. By studying in a different country, you'll be surrounded by new and different foods, etiquette, architecture, fashion, beliefs, customs, etc. And you'll experience it all first-hand.
  • You want to learn and experience things that a home-soil college can't provide. You'll be whisked away from the American definition of normal and while it may be terrifying at first, it's an amazingly exciting opportunity. You will learn to adapt in ways that you wouldn't need to at home. And you'll become a more well-rounded person because of it.
  • You want to make international friends. You'll probably meet other Americans who are studying abroad, but you'll meet tons of peers from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures.
  • You want to learn more about yourself. Studying abroad provides a unique chance to discover yourself. You'll abandon old perspectives and embrace new. Or maybe what you find will strengthen your original beliefs.
  • You want to expand your view of the world. You'll be familiar with much more than your home state after studying abroad for four years.
  • You want to do something different than the typical college routine. Many international universities are structured different. It's an entirely different academic system and will probably take some getting used to, but you'll have the chance to undertake challenges and do things that you couldn't do on a traditional American campus.
  • You want to kick your employment opportunities up a notch. The world is becoming more and more globalized. A future employer may be very impressed to see that you've done some schooling overseas.
  • You want to increase the worth of your degree. You won't just be getting a diploma---you'll be gaining tons of knowledge, experiencing a different culture, picking up language skills, and overcoming challenges that make your degree a whole lot more valuable.
If you're worried about not being able to speak another language, select an international school that offers classes in English. But do try to at least pick up some language training so that you can converse in everyday settings with people in the country you go to. If you really want to be surrounded by English, consider sticking to somewhere like the UK. If you don't want to go off the continent, consider a quality education in Canada.

Any study abroad office at a college can probably give you information about selecting an international school. If you already know what country you want to go to, the Universities Worldwide website hosts a listing of different colleges in all countries of the world. To check it out, click here.

Amore.

1 comment:

Aury said...

Wow, would you believe this is something I never really thought about when I was applying to schools for undergrad. I just always assumed I'd go to school in the US no matter what country I happened to be living at the time. But I did school for a year in switzerland before i transferred here for my sophomore year so I guess thats good. Great post :)