9 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad
With your uni routine in full flow and all of the trees slowly dying outside, you might be thinking: “Man, I want to get out of here!” Well, unfurl yourself from that blanket, my friend, because you’ve got some escape planning to do.
It’s easy to forget that there are a lot more opportunities at uni than the odd field trip which forces you out of bed before daylight. Studying abroad is one of them. It might not come cheap but it is absolutely be worth it. Here are nine reasons why.
One of the most wearing parts of uni, and of life, is getting stuck in the grind of routine. Wake up. Drag self to campus in the cleanest clothes one can find. Try to stay awake in lecture. Drink coffee. Ignore housemate texts about washing up. Go home for a nap.
You get the gist. Here’s a tip: it doesn’t have to be like this! Whether you decide to go abroad for a term or a year, it’s a great way to refresh yourself from this cyclic lifestyle.
Meet new people
Get away from your housemates and the annoying people on your course that you hide from on nights out. Find new annoying people instead! Or find your people.
Living abroad is like first year in that you can make new friends- international friends with different cultures and weird food combinations to introduce you to. The difference between this opportunity and first year is that by now you probably know to be pickier and more forthcoming with social interactions.
Bathe in culture
France, Spain, Russia – even Argentina. There are so many universities all over the world just waiting for your application, and as many different cultures waiting to be discovered. You get to try new things and see what life is really like in another country.
This is an experience that visiting a place for a week or two never truly achieves. Even if when you’re out there you miss the heck out of Tesco, it’ll be worth it for learning to appreciate what you’re used to.
Learn a new language
Being bilingual is like catnip to employers. It’s an invaluable skill, and it might be the one thing that sets you out from others in applications for jobs. Not to mention how interesting it is to be able to fully interact with people from another country. Some things just don’t translate to English, and learning a language is the way to explore this.
If you’re not interested in language or you find it to hard, have a look at universities in the US, Canada, Australia and The Netherlands. There are English-taught courses out there too.
Get out of your comfort zone
It’s one of those things you were always told in school: “We’re putting you into pairs because we want to put you out of your comfort zone.” It was always said like it was a great thing. Guess what? It is.
In fact, not enough can be said for putting yourself out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself. This is the way you truly grow and build character, confidence and other life skills. You will be turned into a courageous young person who is ready to take on the world.
Been mollycoddled all of your life? Hate when your parents smother you? Need to get out of an annoying relationship? Move country.
But seriously, you might have to lean a little bit on your parents for financial support (if you’re lucky enough to be able to), but ultimately studying abroad means answering to no one but yourself.
Yes, this might sound a bit scary. But whether you go or not you’re going to have to be independent one day, so you may as well start now. You can dye your hair green, grow a strange beard, ride a bike at night – whatever it is the kids do these days. Your family will be too far away to stop you.
For some people this is what it always boils down to: how will it look on my CV? If you take the bull by the horns, you can fill that near-empty CV of yours with a language, boosted self esteem and new skills that you learn on the course you study.
As James Connington of the Telegraph puts it: “It’s far easier to identify the skills you are lacking when you step outside your comfort zone.” The confidence and self-awareness students gain abroad is priceless.
Indulge that wanderlust and go on an adventure. Of course you’ll have to study when you’re out there, but you’ll still have holidays and weekends!
Imagine waking up and deciding to cycle five minutes down the road to a warm beach or getting the bus into the bustling city centre. Whatever adventures you’re into can form the basis of the places to look for. Choose somewhere where the course looks good, but don’t forget to include what you can do in your free time as a massive factor for decision making.
Never let your friends and family hear the end of it. By the end of the year, or even the end of the term, you will be a new person with so many stories to share.
Starting your sentences with “When I lived in Amsterdam for a year…” will never get old. You can impart all of your new slick knowledge of local cuisine, language and culture. Make everyone you know insanely jealous that they didn’t make the life choices you did.
Instead of waking up with a sigh in your throat, you can wake up with places to explore, language barriers to navigate and new foods to try. Be done with those threatening dirty plates that have been shoved in your doorway.
What are you waiting for?