After earning your Bachelor’s degree, you might feel exhausted. Like you need a ‘well-earned’ rest to reflect on your future. Or you might be eager to leave your studies behind, start a career and make a name for yourself. Or you might feel like you need to learn more and specialize by taking a Master’s degree.
We are all different and there’s no one single path to take after finishing your undergrad studies. Some people may not be ready to study again so they may need a leap year, others need to start working. But sooner or later most people tend to go for a Master’s degree at a grad school. This is one very good way to advance both professionally and personally. And when you get to that point in your life – when you know you want to continue or resume your studies with a graduate degree – you will also start considering doing a Master’s abroad and becoming an international student.
Since this is a big decision, balancing the advantages is essential. This does mean going to a foreign country for a couple of years, after all. At first, it may seem that you have a hard puzzle to figure out. But as soon as you state the “pros ” of international study, the pieces will start coming together.
7 Benefits of Studying Abroad
In an increasingly globalized world, studying abroad is now more important than ever. If you’re considering studying abroad in graduate school, here are eight ways it can benefit your education and career.
1. Improve your language skills.
By studying abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your language skills. While studying a language in class is rewarding, applying it to the real world is an entirely different experience. You’ll likely learn the language faster because you’re practicing it regularly. You’ll also be able to pick up the conversational language you wouldn’t study in class, enabling you to speak like a local.
Developing your language skills can have a positive impact on your career, as well. Fluency in a second language is often helpful (if not required) when working at organizations with a multinational or global presence.
If you’re interested in breaking into the world of international business or global health, for instance, having strong foreign language skills and experience that demonstrates those skills can help your resumé stand out to employers.
2. Experience a different style of teaching.
Each country has its unique style of teaching. Studying abroad can help you expand your academic horizon and develop the capacity to adapt to various educational settings.
Adapting to different styles of teaching can also help you adjust to different management styles, making you more versatile in the workplace. Teaching styles you may encounter abroad include:
· Authority Style: A teacher-centered style where a professor is the authority figure and frequently gives long lectures or one-way presentations. There is a focus on set rules and expectations, and students typically take notes to retain information.
· Facilitator Style: Professors promote self-learning by emphasizing the teacher-student relationship. They help students develop critical thinking skills by teaching them how to ask questions and find solutions through exploration.
· Delegator Style: Professors assign lab activities and give students in-class projects to help them stay engaged. This is a guided learning style that places the teacher in an observer role while helping students remain active participants in their learning.
3. Impress employers.
Studying abroad can help launch your career and make you more competitive in the workforce. It allows you to show future and current employers that you have the open mind, resourcefulness, and drive needed to adapt to a different environment.
4. Enhance your network.
Studying abroad helps you build invaluable relationships with people from all over the world. You broaden your international connections while having the opportunity to meet people that could turn into life-long friends. Some connections can even lead to career opportunities, including internships, job offers, and business partners from both home and abroad.
The university where you study will often have a large community of students from local regions and abroad, allowing you to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. The wider your network, the greater the likelihood you’ll be connected to exciting career and social opportunities.
5. Learn about new cultures and perspectives.
Your experience with a different culture allows you to expand your worldview. By studying abroad, you’ll learn about new perspectives and develop cross-cultural awareness.
For example, you may work with people from other countries in your next job. By studying abroad, you’ll be more comfortable with people from different backgrounds, value their unique experiences, and establish a stronger relationship with them.
Oftentimes, our cultural background has a huge impact on how we react to different situations. Gaining a variety of perspectives can help you look at experiences in an entirely new way. By studying abroad, you’ll meet people with different upbringings, helping you widen your horizons and broaden your mind.
In addition, the best way to experience another culture is to immerse yourself in it, and the ideal way to do that is by living in another country.
6. Develop your confidence.
By immersing yourself in another culture, you develop valuable life skills needed for personal growth, including independence and adaptability. These skills can give you an added boost of confidence in your personal and professional life.
Studying abroad can be overwhelming, but the challenges you overcome can help you become a more mature person. You’ll find out that you can often thrive in new, unexpected circumstances, and you’ll boost your communication skills by speaking a new language—helping you further improve your self-confidence.
7. See the world.
Studying abroad allows you to see the world and travel to new places you would otherwise not have visited. During your time away from your studies, you can go sightseeing in your new city. You’ll also get to know your region more intimately than if you were just visiting for a shorter period.
When studying abroad, you can also visit neighboring regions and countries, as you’re not limited to one place. For example, if you’re studying in Milan, you can visit Florence or explore the Tuscan countryside by train. With international budget airlines and travel deals, exploring the world is becoming increasingly more affordable.
Your newfound connections can also show you areas that a tourist otherwise wouldn’t experience.
Choosing a Graduate Study Abroad Program
The advantages of studying abroad are tremendous at any stage in your education. But, for those students looking to study abroad at the graduate level, finding the right program to fit their needs can be challenging. It’s important to find a program that will help you meet your goals. If you are balancing work and school, for example, a short-term program may be a better fit for you than a one- or two-semester trip.
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