The many benefits of studying abroad

This is a good summary of the many benefits of study abroad, which we have blogged about quite a bit – just click the category ‘study abroad’ below or in the sidebar. It confirms the key findings of research on the subject: The longer students study abroad, the greater the benefits in terms of personal growth, academic performance, professional preparation, and global competence.

Studying abroad has been described by participants as life-changing for many years now but the beneficial long-term effects are only beginning to be properly understood. The overwhelming consensus is that students will learn more about themselves in one semester than in three years at home, with the unique experience acting as a catalyst for personal growth attributes such as maturity, self-confidence and tolerance. The cultural immersion provides a fresh perspective on the world, with valuable exposure to important global issues related to development, international affairs and politics.

Understanding global context is increasingly important in today’s interconnected world and it can have lasting career implications. A 2009 survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education found nearly all employers valued the cross-cultural adaptation and communication skills gained by prospective employees with international experience and half said they would choose a candidate who had studied abroad over one who hadn’t. International education provides opportunities for students to understand their discipline in different places, build international networks, challenge themselves beyond their comfort zone and identify how they see the world. Learning new approaches to research methods and ethics broadens project management practices while constantly navigating uncharted territories rapidly improves and refines decision-making and problem-solving abilities. [read more]

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