10 Ways Studying Abroad Can Change Your Life

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity for so many reasons. If you ever get the chance to take some time from your studies and go to a university in a foreign country, then we highly recommend that you take it! Here are just a few of the ways that studying abroad can change your life:

1. Learn a new language. There's no better way to sharpen your language skills than to be immersed in a situation where you're forced to practise them. Even if your teaching is in English, you can still practise your language skills every day.

2. Improve your social skills. There's a real knack to being able to talk to people from different backgrounds and from different walks of life from you. Going abroad will help you work on your social skills and make you a more rounded person.

3. Make new friends. University is a great chance to meet like-minded people, and you'll find plenty of opportunities for making friends if you study abroad. You'll be able to meet people who share your academic interests, but who have a different perspective and culture from what you're used to. Getting out of your comfort zone can lead to developing some really close and beneficial friendships!

4. Gain a new perspective on your studies. Whatever subject you study, it's likely that there are a number of different schools of thought within that subject. For example, if you study philosophy in Britain or the US it's likely that you'll focus on analytic philosophy. Go to a philosophy class in continental Europe, however, and you'll see approaches like phenomenology which are rare in the UK and US. Studying in another country increases the chances that you'll be exposed to a new perspective on your subject, which broadens your knowledge and gives you new tools for thinking about your topics.

5. Learn from other professors. A good teacher can be an incredible source of information, and if you're studying at a new institution then you'll get the chance to interact with many more professors and other academics. Maybe you'll find someone who explains their subject in such a way that you're instantly invested, or maybe you'll be inspired to try a new subject altogether.

6. Gain your independence. University can be a tough time in terms of your personal growth as well as your education. You're supposed to be growing up and becoming an adult, but this isn't an easy process! Going abroad and putting yourself into an unfamiliar situation will help you grow as a person as you face unexpected challenges and become more at ease with the unknown. These are skills you'll take home with you and will be using long after your study abroad comes to an end.

7. Sharpen your communication skills. In addition to language skills, you'll also need to be able to communicate effectively in written and oral forms, even through challenging language barriers. Being able to understand other people and make yourself understood is a hugely useful skill you'll learn from your time abroad.

8. Boost your CV. If you're looking for a way to make your CV stand out from the crowd, then time spent studying abroad can do just that. Show the skills and experience that you gained abroad and your CV will catch the eye of more hiring managers and academics.

9. Challenge yourself. The thought of packing up and moving to a new place where you don't know anyone and where you'll have to make your own way and study in a new manner can certainly be intimidating. But for the ambitious student, this offers a chance to stretch yourself and prove to yourself just how capable you are.

10. Learn about a new culture. One of the joys of travelling is seeing the different ways in which people live, eat, and entertain themselves around the world. Try new foods, listen to new kinds of music, or adopt an approach to day scheduling that you'd never try at home – studying abroad will let you learn and experience all these new things.

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