Students who study abroad discover that stepping outside of their own cultures to live and study in a foreign country influences their career and educational choices, increases self confidence, enhances intercultural understanding and engagement, and facilitates life long friendships.
You may be asking yourself, why should I choose to study abroad? Students who study abroad discover that stepping outside of their own cultures to live and study in a foreign country influences their career and educational choices, increases self confidence, enhances intercultural understanding and engagement, and facilitates life long friendships.
Ignite Your Education
After studying abroad, most students never view their education in the same way again. Studying abroad often leads to new academic interests, an even stronger dedication to new academic interests, and a reinforced commitment to foreign language study. It can also be a key stepping stone and give you a competitive edge when applying to graduate school.
Launch Your Career
Listing a study abroad experience on your resume can enhance your chances for job success. More and more employers are seeking out candidates who are interculturally aware, knowledgeable of global affairs, and can work effectively in an increasingly interdependent global workplace. Your experiences abroad can influence the career path you choose and can lead to international job opportunities. Many study abroad programs allow you to participate in an internship while abroad. Not only are internships an ideal way to experience local culture in the workplace and improve foreign language skills, but they provide unique experiences that can strengthen your resume, make you more marketable in the eyes of employers in the U.S. and abroad. Internships can also provide valuable networking contacts for your future career.
Become a Global Citizen
Students who have studied abroad often cite their personal growth as one of the most important and life changing outcomes of their experience abroad. An increased global awareness and the ability to think and live as a global citizen are just some of the personal gains such an experience offers. The opportunity to better understand your own cultural values and beliefs in a new context is truly invaluable.
Change Your Life
Talk to any study abroad alumni and they’ll tell you how much their study abroad experience has had a positive impact on their lives. Not only do they gain hard skills such as learning a language or improving interactions with diverse people and cultures; but they also gain soft skills such as improved cross-cultural communication and an increased awareness of global issues. Learn more about the academic, personal and professional benefits to study abroad.
Who goes abroad? Who is Study Abroad for?
The latest Open Doors Report found that over 300,000 U.S. students studied abroad during the 2014-15 academic year. As impressive as this figure might sound, it makes up less than 2% of currently enrolled undergraduates!
Of the 2% of Americans studying abroad, 73% were Caucasian. That means that the other 27% of students were African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Native American and Multiracial combined.
At Diversity Abroad, we want to see that figure increase. We want to see more students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives pursuing global opportunities. So no matter how you identify, or what barriers you might consider will limit the possibility of going abroad, know that you can make it happen!
Why is this Important?
America is so much more diverse than the world gets to see based on the types of students studying abroad around the world. By going abroad, you get to show the world that Americans reflect a diversity of ethnic identities and cultures, religions, sexualities, career interests, and more.
Our identities are intersectional. And no matter how you identify, know that study abroad is for YOU. You may identify in any number of ways, including:
- Sexual Identity
- Gender Identity
- Class or Financial Status
- Academic Major/Area of Interest
- Campus Involvement/Leadership
- Disability (physical, mental, learning or other)
Hear from Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador, Austin Ogletree of North Carolina A&T University about what he gained from his experience abroad: