Do you have a college student that is currently considering applying for a study abroad program? As a parent, you would be wise to encourage your child’s decision to pursue this exciting path. Studying abroad delivers a host of positive benefits that you cannot find in a traditional college setting. Here are five benefits of studying abroad for your college student.
See the World
One of the most common reasons why some college students choose to study abroad is because it provides an excuse to get out and see the world as they are continuing their education. There is never an easier time to discover new places and people than when studying in a new country and not tied down to employment. Remember that participants are not limited to exploring just the host country. They can also use this opportunity to visit neighboring areas to gain a better appreciation of the diversity of this world. Many programs make this easy by giving ample time off and long weekends so that students can get out and explore their surroundings.
Boost Your Resume
There is no doubt that participating in a study abroad program is an instant resume booster. Regardless of if your students want the experience to use on a job application or for graduate school admission, this type of program shows that they are not afraid to put themselves in new situations and find new challenges. Students who study abroad also demonstrate that they are committed to continuing their education, a trait that employers will appreciate. If your student decides to study in Canada, they will show that they are willing to step out of the box to learn more and become a more well-rounded person. This will automatically be a positive asset to any resume.
Make Lifelong Friends
College is a pivotal time in life when it comes to making new friends and creating meaningful relationships. Participating in a study abroad program only enhances this social aspect of the college years. Your student will find a variety of like-minded people when they choose to study abroad. However, they will also mix with students from the host country and from all over the world. This will give them the chance to expand their friendship group. Be sure to encourage your child to stay in contact with the friends that they make while abroad. Not only will this yield lifelong relationships due to a pivotal shared experience, but the connection is also a strong networking tool for when they are out in the real world.
There is no better way to hone your life skills than by moving to another country for a time. Your student will gain a whole new set of skills when they are forced out of their comfort zones. Being on your own in a foreign country certainly will accelerate the process of gaining independence and becoming more confident in yourself. Students who choose to study abroad inevitably discover new ways to take care of themselves. Despite it being overwhelming and challenging at times, your child will come out of the experience knowing that they can make it on their own even when in unfamiliar surroundings. This type of real-world experience cannot be replicated in a traditional classroom stateside.
Learn a Second Language
There is no better way to learn a second language than to simply jump headfirst into a new country and culture. You may be surprised at how quickly your student hones their language skills when they are forced to immerse themselves completely in a new language. Even if you are studying in a primarily English-speaking country such as Canada, there are some pockets that still use French as a primary language. In addition to the language that participants pick up in daily life, the host university generally offers some type of formal instruction to help to further these skills. There is no substitute for the language skills gained through a study abroad program.
There is no shortage of reasons why your college student should consider a study abroad program. The knowledge, skills, and emotional intelligence gained through this experience is something that will stay with them for years to come.