The Iglu Guide | Blog

9 Reasons why students should study abroad

Studying overseas is about so much more than the academic learning you get from a textbook or lecture theatre. The opportunity to immerse yourself in another country as a student is a huge privilege that brings along with it a unique set of experiences – all of which will set you up for your life ahead. As well as broadening your horizons and exploring the world, you gain new perspectives and build confidence in ways that would not ordinarily be possible. If you want to understand more about the benefits of studying overseas, or need to provide some parental persuasion, here’s 9 key benefits you need to know.

1. Cultural immersion

Relocating to another country allows you to truly immerse yourself in a different culture in a way that is entirely unlike any other experience. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll get to interact with local traditions, potentially learn a new language, try new foods, visit new sights and understand how others live in an authentic and organic setting. You’ll meet students from a range of different cultures, and share unique experiences that will stay with you forever. This type of study opportunity will enrich your understanding of the world. It encourages global thinking and perspective, as well as respect and appreciation for cultural differences that exist beyond your familiar surroundings.

2. Learning a language

Studying overseas gives you a great opportunity to learn a second language – something that will help improve your employability factor for the future. Immersing yourself amongst native speakers is a fast track to language acquisition, and a skill that will elevate your resumé way beyond the requirements of the curriculum. It demonstrates adaptability, independence and the ability to overcome challenges. Language learning also extends your experience beyond the purely academic and encourages you to embrace the cultural differences that go hand in hand with a new environment. As the business language of choice, English is a fantastically useful language skill to have on hand. And a definite advantage when it’s time to seek employment.

3. Personal growth

Whilst living away from everything familiar might seem a daunting prospect at first thought, the skills and experiences you gain as a result are more than worth it. The impact on your personal growth is a huge added benefit of this experience, and that starts right from the beginning of the application process. Even though you’re still living at home, your mind has already started to expand in independence as you consider all the options available to you. Before long, you’re managing daily tasks overseas, navigating a new city and overcoming language barriers. Stepping outside of that comfort zone takes strength and resilience. And whilst you may not think you have that at first, it will grow over time as you adjust to each new challenge along the way. Your ability to live and study independently will be hugely beneficial for the future, and put every subsequent situation into perspective. If you’re worried about missing those close to you, it’s pretty easy to keep in touch and you’ll soon settle into a new rhythm.

4. Academic opportunity

When you choose your study destination, it’s important to ensure the quality of the academic opportunities are up to scratch. Australia has a well-deserved reputation for delivering world-class education and is home to some of the world’s leading universities. The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney often feature prominently in world rankings, and all Australian universities are well known for their strong research contributions and rigorous academic standards. Studying overseas also allows access to different teaching styles and tutelage which contributes to your holistic academic growth.

5. Global perspective

Living and studying in another country will broaden perspectives and foster a global outlook on the world. Experiencing diverse viewpoints firsthand forces us to confront our cultural differences, and encourages appreciation and understanding of other viewpoints. It helps shape an open-mindedness and adaptability that is crucial for navigating unfamiliar situations now and in the future. Studying overseas is great preparation for the real world and will truly open your mind.

6. Career opportunities

Employers are always looking for candidates that demonstrate something beyond the obvious and expected. Cross-cultural communication, adaptability, and intercultural competence are highly sought-after skills that are a natural by-product of taking the decision to study overseas. When you return home, you’ll have a new perspective on global life, a window into different cultures and a good grasp of another language. Additionally, you’ll have shown independence, resilience and initiative. In a globalised world, employers are increasingly valuing graduates that have international experience and education. This  experience is often valued more highly than academic grades – so there is no bad outcome from an employability perspective!

7. Networking

Studying abroad provides opportunities to build a global network of friends, mentors, and professionals within your chosen field. These connections can open up doors to future collaborations or career opportunities that may not have seemed obvious at first. As the world becomes a smaller place, people you meet along the way can crop up at any time within your industry, thanks to the power of technology. Stay open to new connections and it could help get your resumé to the top of the pile when it comes to applying for jobs.

8. Make lifelong friends

The unique opportunity to study abroad will introduce you to a huge range of different people from all over the world, and you’ll come away with some lifelong friendships as a result. The shared experience of living overseas, along with all the challenges that it brings, contributes to a rich social network as you learn to navigate this new way of living. You’ll live together, learn together, make mistakes together and celebrate together. And even if you end up living on opposite sides of the world afterwards, that friendship is there to stay.

9. Travel opportunities

If you’re thinking of studying overseas, the chances are that you already enjoy travel and exploration. This is just the start of an amazing travel opportunity that will be filled with culture and discovery. Starting out, you’ll be able to explore your new neighbourhood and the lifestyle changes that might be just on your doorstep, like the beach or the bush. Once you’ve got to grips with your new surrounds, you can take time out at the weekends to get away and discover the hidden gems nearby. Come holiday time, it’s the perfect opportunity to really make the most of what’s nearby. Just another great advantage to living and studying overseas.

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