There comes a time in your university career where some of you will be making the decision to up and leave the UK for a whole year and take up the opportunity to study abroad. Making the decision to do a year abroad is not an easy one, with lots of things to consider from finances to whether you think you can manage a year away from your friends and family. So if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of this big move away, here is a list of some of the benefits of studying abroad. Below, you can find 10 reasons to give you that motivation to jump into it, try something new and improve your life skills and knowledge whilst you’re out there. This decision could be the one to really change you, not only at professional level but also on a personal level.

  1. Master a foreign language

Practice! The most obvious reason to study abroad is if you’re a foreign languages student. This is the best way to progress. Not only will it help you improve the language you study but it will also allow you to gain a cultural understanding of the country. Being in a foreign country will force you to communicate with other people in a foreign language. You’ll develop a high level of understanding and language skills very quickly.

group studying

2) Become independent

Yes! You go abroad and it feels like a holiday, but you have to survive! Leaving home to go to university is probably the biggest jump into independence so far. But leaving everything familiar to go and live alone for a whole year abroad is an even bigger push into independence. You’ll learn lots of new things from managing your budget on a foreign currency, trying new food, cooking on your own and getting around using a foreign transport system. You’ll develop new skills, a new way of living and inevitably become a better, more matured and independent version of yourself

women looking at a view

3)      Discover new cultures

You can find heaps of information about a new country through travel blogs, vlogs and magazines, but it’s not the same as actually living there and exploring yourself! You can build your own memories, round your opinions and be on your own boss on your travels. It’s an opportunity to get to know the lifestyle and cultures of different people in a new country. 

4) Develop your network

Living abroad provides lots of opportunities to meet a variety of different people- both socially and professionally. You’ll have a new group of friends that includes other foreign students or interns, this will enable you to make friends from all over the world! This also gives you a reason to go on lots more holidays to visit the new friends you make! Studying abroad also allows you to widen your professional network, meeting academics and other career professionals at your study abroad university.

picnic in the park

5)      Improve your CV

Deciding to take an internship or year abroad can work incredibly well in your favour when it comes to your future career prospects. Adding a placement or year abroad to your CV will give you that added edge against other graduates when it comes to applying for jobs. It’s extra appealing to an employer if that can see you’ve had experience communicating in a second language as well as if you’re able to adapt to the complex situations that come with it

6)      Get out your comfort zone

Challenge yourself! It’s not easy to leave your country, your current lifestyle, your friends and family but going abroad does allow for you to grow as an individual when you’re faced with challenges or achievements.

7) Opportunity to travel

The opportunity to travel and see the world is not always easy once you’ve settled into a job and are developing your career. The demands and commitments of a young professional can hinder any plans you had to travel after you finish education. So the best time to go is when you’re young, wild and (relatively) free! So take the opportunity to go whilst you’re still at university. Studying abroad provides a base for you to travel and take trips to neighbouring cities and countries!

road trip

8)      Be more confident

Yes, you can! Step by step, going abroad will show you that you’re able to achieve more than you think. It’s the better way to face a lot of different situations you might be more shy about now, and then in the future be more confident to manage them.

9) Open your mind

The people you’ll meet abroad will teach you different ways of living and it’s the opportunity to learn from them. Maybe you’ll even adopt certain habits when you’ll go back to your home.

meditating by a lake

10)   Make choices for your career

Whether you decide to study or take an internship abroad, both of which will undoubtedly help you to make a decision or at least to become aware of what you like (and above all what you DON’T like). You will learn lots of new things and as cliché as it sounds- it may help you discover yourself and figure out what exactly it is you want to do after you finish your studies!

Now, find the strength to jump ahead and go out of your comfort zone. Your only risk is to learn, to develop and discover more countries, cultures and people in the world. Be confident and take this opportunity!

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