11 Jan Benefits from studying abroad
Have you ever thought about studying abroad and the benefits that it could bring you?
Studying abroad is one of the best decisions that I ever made and I am grateful for. Whether it is during college, for a high school exchange or a sabbatical year, spending time in another country is always beneficial for you and, based in my experience, here is why:
1. Learn a new language
This is one of the most popular reasons why people decide to study in a different country. Being able to understand and express yourself in a different tongue is one of the most important skills that you can have. There is a great quote that could not be truer: “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”.
From travelers to employees and business owners, learning a foreign language will open up a bunch of opportunities and offer life changing experiences. As a traveler, you will be able to understand the local culture of the visited country, find places, communicate with locals, ask for directions and even order the most traditional food. For business, being able to communicate in a different language will help you understand the needs of your international clients and will facilitate the global interaction of different departments for international companies.
Academic studies even show that learning a foreign language can enhance your cognitive skills! Learning a different dialect is a complex process and involves a tremendous brain activity that will help you improve your memory skills, creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
Tip! To quickly adapt to a new country and its language we recommend taking a few classes when you are studying abroad if you are not familiar with it! Our friends from Habla y Olé are really good at teaching Spanish through conversation classes!
2. Make lifelong relationships
During your year abroad you will meet new people and build new relationships. It is likely that the people you meet are living a similar experience abroad or are local people excited of meeting new friends from all over the world. From your flat mates to your classmates, the connection and the support provided by other exchange students in a similar situation will create a strong bond that will hardly be soon forgotten by your new friends.
The trips, the parties, the hangovers and all the life events that you live together throughout the year will be remembered for a long time and I’m sure that
you will keep in touch with your international friends as I have done with the people I met when I lived abroad. You may even find the love of your life! An exchange year creates a link so strong between the people you meet that will last a lifetime.
3. Discover yourself
An exchange year abroad also means that you will need to learn how to live with yourself. You will discover a part of yourself that you probably did not know before. You won’t have your parents to cook for you, do the laundry or clean the house among other things. Learning how to do that stuff by yourself and being able to live alone is great.
Sometimes it may be difficult to be far away from your family, the things you love and the people you know but it is a great opportunity to develop yourself and become a better individual. Well, you know what they say… magic happens outside your comfort zone and in the end everyone will be back home the year after so there are only benefits!
4. Open your mind to new experiences
An adventure in an unknown country broadens your mind and refreshes your spirit. The fact that you need to adapt to a different culture and an unknown language opens up your mind and forces you to try new things and experience moments that you haven’t lived before.
New food, new whether, new customs, different values…everything! But there is nothing as good as trying something new and discovering yourself in the process.
5. Learn to love your origins
Surprisingly, the farther away you are from your home country, the more you will love and appreciate it. Everybody that I know who have been abroad has the same opinion on this point. There will be moments when you miss your house and nostalgic memories will invade your mind. The place you were tired from will suddenly be one of your most loved places ever! It is a great feeling.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Now is the perfect time to start planning your next adventure abroad!
I’m sure that by the end of your year abroad the last thing that you will want to do is go back home. Studying abroad is a life changing experience that I would recommend for everyone. You will learn a new language, meet amazing people, discover more about yourself, learn to adapt and love the place that you come from.
Written by @aluengo91