Parent College Coach Tip #61: Encourage Study Abroad

study abroadStudying abroad has a tremendous number of benefits – both personal and academic. The exposure to a different way of life often serves as a catalyst for students to discover what they are passionate about. It can also immerse them in a foreign language, enhance their resumes, and prepare them to live in a world that is increasingly multicultural. Encourage study abroad.

Studying abroad is unlike anything else in providing students with a unique and unforgettable experience.

On a personal level, studying abroad is a great way for students to learn how to adjust to new environments, make new friends and experience a country’s culture firsthand.

If your child is interested in studying abroad, encourage them! As scary as it may be to send them off to another country, the benefits of living and studying in another country are well worth it.

Studying abroad can help your teen:

1. Get a Job

Students can add significant value to their resumes simply by studying abroad. In the competitive market of entry-level jobs, most resumes look more or less the same. The interest in multiculturalism that studying abroad suggests can make your teen’s resume stand out from the pack. It also shows your teen’s ability to adapt to a new environment and take on new and challenging situations – all green flags for potential employers.

2. Learn Another Language

Particularly for students who want to master another language, studying abroad is a great opportunity. Sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture is one thing, but being immersed in a culture that speaks that language is completely different. Having to learn how to read street signs, ask for certain products in supermarkets, and make small talk with new friends certainly ups the ante for language learning.

3. Meet New People

Studying abroad will undeniably expose your teen to many new people and help open his or her mind to the unfamiliar. Getting comfortable with meeting new people has both professional and personal benefits. It will not only come in handy when meeting new classmates and coworkers, but also help him or her to have a more inclusive and diverse group of friends.

4. Get Inspired

Many students go abroad having only a vague idea (or even no idea whatsoever!) of what career they would like to pursue. Studying abroad can change that. Students often are inspired by something they encounter abroad, like a community project building schools or a behind-the-scenes look at a theatre performance. Sometimes, they simply fall in love with the thrill of traveling. These inspirations can move your teen to pursue a specific career.

Whether your teen spends a semester living in an ancient European city, a year helping to build housing in Africa, or a summer sailing the world, studying abroad will expose him or her to a unique and previously unexplored world.

For more advice on studying abroad, read Questions to Ask About Study Abroad During Your Campus Visit and The Top 10 Questions to Ask About Study Abroad.

Check out our 5-Minute Guide to Study Abroad

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