There are more students electing to study abroad now than there has ever been in the history of higher education. Students are going into college with the idea already planted in their head and many even choose their universities based on the school’s selection of study abroad opportunities. Why? The reasons boil down to the study abroad experience. Studying abroad provides a perspective that cannot be comprehended by those who simply remain in their own cities. Here are some of the tremendous pulls for students to consider studying abroad that explains the recent rise in this practice.
Let’s face it – the world is now a very global place. The advent of technology has made the entire planet a smaller neighborhood and this means that interactions between nations and cultures are much more commonplace. This means that in order to stand a better chance of succeeding in this new world a certain degree of cultural sensitivity must be developed. If this is so, what better way to accomplish this than to live in another country and experience life from another perspective? The global world also means that those who live and work in another country and study there are also bolstering their resume with experience that employers will find very attractive.
Learning another language is a tough but worthy investment of time. Language has been one of the hottest new additions that students are now adding to their skillset to make themselves more appealing to employers. While you can certainly learn the basics of any language from a university setting, nothing is quite comparable to the total immersion into a new language that one will get by living amongst the local people who speak another tongue. Many study abroad programs also have a system of host families where the student lives with locals who will help the transition and aid in the student’s mastery of a second (or possibly third) language.
Since the economy is so globalized, many are considering studying abroad to test the waters for countries they may be interested in living in. Since many multinational companies and government agencies, as well as NGOs and Non-Profit organizations operate on multiple continents, it makes sense that students are taking the option of living abroad very seriously. Domestic job markets have not been very rewarding to students who are finding a hard time getting entry-level jobs. Opportunities for students in countries abroad are more abundant as they are more appealing to employers in those countries. Also, the option of teaching English to locals has been a great way of making solid income for students who are not sure how to get a foot in the door in whatever industries they have chosen to pursue their potential career in.
These are all reasons that students are finding the urge to study abroad. Australian short courses, for example, can be a life changing experience and anecdotal accounts of individual students are often very convincing for underclassmen that are still on the fence. The trend of study abroad will probably continue to rise as students find that their study abroad experiences end up shaping who they are as a person. They certainly seem to be the highlight of most students’ educational experience.