University of Southern Indiana

10 Reasons to Study Abroad

Step 11.  Become more marketable
In an increasingly global marketplace, job candidates who are bilingual or exhibit an understanding for different cultures have an edge. The business world is full of anecdotes about how companies misunderstood a foreign market with disastrous results. On a more basic level, many employers recognize qualities exchange students must have to travel and ones that are acquired through their study abroad experience. Study abroad can illustrate boldness, flexibility, open-mindedness, confidence, character, and curiosity just to name a few traits. In interviews and on your résumé, you should showcase your study abroad experience and tell how it makes you stand out.

2. Study subjects in context
Expand your knowledge of art, literature, history, geography, politics, economics, and much more. Walk through halls where kings signed treaties or stand beneath sculptures that honor ancient gods. Subjects that sometimes feel far-removed here come alive when you study abroad. At the very least, you will gain a new awareness of the world outside the U.S.

3. Meet interesting people
Students who study abroad make contacts all over the world. Whether you want to practice a language, learn about a culture, or network for job prospects, people are your greatest resource. Many students return from study abroad with friendships that cross cultures and last a lifetime. You are almost guaranteed to meet people with a different perspective on the world!

4. Learn about a culture
Immersion teaches more about a culture than you could ever hope to learn at home. Living in a foreign culture as opposed to visiting or just passing through, gives you insights into people and places you've only seen in movies or read about in books.

5. Learn about the U.S.A.
American customs we take for granted may become apparent as you compare and contrast them to those of your host country. Study abroad offers the opportunity to understand cultures which lend them-selves to the heritage of America's Cultural Kaleidoscope.

6. Travel around the world
Study abroad opens the door to travel all over the world. Once abroad, traveling is usually easy and inexpensive. Just take a train to the country next door and stay in a youth hostel. You don't need a car or lots of money, but you do need a budget and a sense of adventure.

7. Promote Peace
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said "If people get together, so eventually will nations," Others in government from William J. Fulbright to President Obama have echoed similar sentiments. Study abroad might not just change your life, but the world.

8. Find your calling
For those unsure of what to do with their lives, study abroad can be an inspiration. It may give you the time and distance to clearly examine your choices in the U.S. or it might serve as the catalyst to an international career.

9. Become a stronger person
The experience expands your mind, but also instills confidence and self-reliance. Learn to navigate a German subway system or order from a menu written in French. The sense of accomplishment is great. After living in a foreign culture with its constant challenges, students say they feel more capable of facing life choices at home.

10. You may never get another chance
Responsibilities tend to increase upon college graduation with work, relationships, and family. This may be the only time in your life when you will be able to take a significant amount of time to study in another country. Don’t let missing out on study abroad be one of the biggest regrets of your college career.

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