Why Should Your Child Go Abroad?

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Whether your student studies chemistry or art, is a high school, community college or university student, a study abroad or international exchange program will benefit them. Study abroad will allow them to take classes in foreign countries. There are many benefits to study abroad. Returning students report the following benefit from their time abroad:

  • Self-confidence
  • Intellectual maturity
  • Appreciation for their own culture
  • Desire to pursue new and challenging educational experiences

Your child will gain skills they can’t get at their home campus. Some of the additional benefits to study abroad are that your child will:

  • Improve his/her ability to communicate across cultural lines
  • Increase /her their ability to speak a foreign language
  • Gain an increased sense of independence and responsibility
  • Distinguish themselves from others when pursing higher education or career opportunities
  • Be exposed him/her to new perspectives and ideas about the world
  • Discover new cultures while earning college credit toward their degree

Like most parents, you probably have some reservations about sending your child away. The benefits from study abroad will help them mature personally and academically. Your child will return more responsible, independent and better-equipped to face the challenges of school and work.


Study Abroad Academic Benefits

When your student studies abroad, they will learn many new things that they wouldn’t otherwise experience at their home school or in their communities. When your student is abroad they will learn both inside and outside the classroom. Study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a new culture, foreign language, increase self-confidence and ultimately prepare your student to be more academically competitive. No matter where your child goes abroad, their experience will translate into tangible academic benefits. For example, your student will have the chance to:

  • Use a foreign language on a daily basis with native speakers.
  • Learn from different teaching styles.
  • Explore new subjects that are not offered at their school.
  • Practice cross-cultural communication.
  • Study world events from various perspectives

Regardless of where your child is in their education, study abroad will prepare them for the next academic level. Are you a high school parent? Many college admission officers recognize study abroad and global exchanges as invaluable experiences. A study abroad experience will help your student’s college application stand out among their peers. If your child is an undergraduate student a international study experience will challenge them in incomparable ways that will help them to perform better in the classroom when they return. A study abroad experience is also valuable your child is planning to go to graduate school. Their experience abroad will show graduate school admission officers that your student has the initiative and eagerness to challenge themselves academically and personally.

Many students earn academic credit for the classes they take abroad. Make sure your child has consulted a counselor, academic advisor, or study abroad advisor before they leave to ensure any credits earned overseas will transfer


Study Abroad Career Benefits

The skills your student gains from study abroad will help prepare them for their future career. They will gain a variety of skills that can be applied to diverse career fields. By going abroad, your child will:

  • Learn from students from different cultural, ethnic, and national backgrounds
  • Communicate effectively across cultures
  • Experience new ideas and philosophies
  • Master a foreign language
  • Adapt to new environments
  • Look at projects and situations from different perspectives
  • Understand diverse cultures
  • Gain self-confidence

The job market for graduating students is extremely competitive. Students must be prepared to compete not only nationally but internationally as well. Students outside of the United States begin learning English along with their native tongues almost as soon as they are born. They are also being trained in similar subjects as your child. Understanding that these students will be significant competition for your child, a study abroad can provide your child with the necessary tools to even the playing field. A study abroad experience on your child’s resume will help distinguish them from their peers.


Internships Abroad

International internships are another way your child can go overseas and prepare for a career. By interning abroad, your child will benefit from:

  • Invaluable international professional experience
  • The opportunity to learn from, and network with, professionals from across the world
  • Awareness of diverse business practices and customs
  • Experience in working with foreign or multinational companies
  • Exposure to the global issues facing your industry

Many study abroad programs offer your students internship opportunities while in country. Make sure your student inquires about internship opportunities while they’re abroad.


Study Abroad Personal Benefits

Many students who have studied abroad say that it was an amazing experience that changed their life; a study abroad experience may have the same affect on your student. Study abroad allows your child to learn and grow in many ways. By studying overseas, your child will:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Increased maturity, both personally and intellectually
  • Better understand their personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Desire to learn more about their own culture
  • Learn to creatively solve problems

Studying abroad is a challenge for your child. Why?

  • Your student will be removed from their comfort zone and placed in a foreign environment
  • Your student will be exposed to new social and academic customs
  • Your student might not speak the language
  • Your student will have to make new friends

There are ups and downs to study abroad. Learning from the challenges study abroad presents will give your student greater self-awareness and help with their personal growth. Your child will return home with a new sense of independence and more confidence. They will be better equipped to face many of the challenges they will encounter at school and in their careers.

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