Living abroad is an adventure you will always remember, but there are more reasons to consider going overseas. Some reasons are practical, others more personal, but all involve changing your life.
1. 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
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.
There are many myths about studying abroad ranging from it being too expensive to having to know a second language to study abroad. Don’t let these myths stop you from studying abroad! Check out the reality of what USI has to offer!
#1: Too expensive
Reality: The University of Southern Indiana provides a variety of Study Abroad Programs. Some are more expensive than others. However, USI does offer a program called International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), an organization committed to affordable international programs through direct exchange. Through this program students pay the same USI tuition, fees, and room and board that they are used to paying every semester. USI also offers a variety of scholarships specifically for students who study abroad.
#2: A waste of time and money
Reality: Some students (or their parents) believe that studying abroad is not really studying. The reality is quite different. In other countries the teaching methods can be different from what you are used to, but that does not make studying less valuable. In addition to the formal instruction you receive, very important part of learning takes place outside the classroom. You will gain experience you could never get at your home university. The entire experience abroad will change your life as well as employment potential. In fact, international companies are mostly looking for employees with the ability to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.
#3: Financial aid does NOT transfer
Reality: Most forms of financial aid and scholarships will apply towards programs approved by USI, because students are billed through USI.
#4: Have to speak a second language
Reality: While some programs do have a language requirement, many programs are taught exclusively in English. Some of these programs are located in countries where English is an official language (ex: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom) and some are hosted in countries where English is a secondary language (ex: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey).
#5: My courses abroad will NOT transfer at USI
Reality: You will receive USI credit for all coursework successfully completed during your study abroad program. Sometimes study abroad can put you ahead of schedule.
#6: It is NOT possible to complete major requirements while abroad
Reality: USI provides a variety of programs that offer a wide range of major courses. USI has sent students abroad from every college on campus. Students should meet with their USI academic advisors prior to studying abroad to determine how their study abroad courses will transfer. Courses may count toward their major, electives, or Core Curriculum requirements.
#7: Studying abroad will delay graduation
Reality: Many students study abroad and graduate in four years. Students earn credit toward graduation requirements for many courses taken abroad. By frequently consulting and meeting with academic advisors, students can even study abroad for an entire academic year without affecting their graduation date. In fact, some students study abroad two or three times and still graduate on time.
#8: It would be better to go abroad after graduation
Reality: It is difficult to find time after graduation to study or travel in another country. College is a unique time that allows for a summer, semester, or year studying abroad. After graduating, most people find that the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities prevent them from spending significant time abroad.
#9: It's safer to stay in the U.S
Reality: Most risks faced by students around the world are similar to those in the U.S. The University of Southern Indiana closely monitors our programs and current worldwide news and events. All programs and cities are thoroughly researched before students are permitted to apply.
#10: Doesn’t help your career
Reality: Employers look to hire well-rounded employees who are able to demonstrate the ability to adapt well to new situations and thrive in multi-cultural environments. Businesses are increasingly growing into international companies and utilizing skills gained from a study abroad experience gives potential employees an edge that others lack.
#11: It's difficult to get accepted
Reality: Most of the students who meet the minimum qualifications and complete the application process are accepted to study abroad. The University of Southern Indiana is looking to increase the number of students studying abroad, and will work closely with students to find the program that best meets their needs and qualifications. USI provides individual meetings as students decide on a programs, as well as group orientation sessions to help prepare students for their study abroad experience.