If you’re mid-way through a degree and asking yourself if you should take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a semester, the answer should be, without a doubt, YESSSSS.
Sure, moving abroad can be scary, you will experience culture shock and you will miss your family and creature comforts, but what you will miss VS what you will gain is an outweighed list.
Let me jump straight into the reasons why you should study abroad.
Never say no to opportunities
If you are studying at University, you should be saying YES to every opportunity that presents itself. Not only this, but you should be actively seeking out and applying for opportunities, even ones you don’t think you will get.
For me, University was a hub of opportunities for personal and professional development, and I took full advantage of this. During my degree, I was awarded 3 scholarships, completed 3 internships, went for a semester abroad in Hawaii and was sponsored to attend the Aspiring Leaders Forum in Wellington New Zealand – all expenses paid.
How does that sound to you?
Study Abroad programs are an opportunity that you should be applying for and completing if you have the opportunity to.
Experience another country like your own
Living in another country is a completely different experience to travelling to another country.
When you live in another country you get to experience the way of life like a local. You make friends that become family and they show you the local spots that you wouldn’t see on a holiday.
A semester abroad is a great way to fully experience another country and assess it as an expat location.
Study abroad looks great on your resume
Employers love to see global experience, cultural awareness, resilience and adaptability, all skills that you develop on a semester abroad.
A Semester abroad shows employers that you aren’t afraid to take risks, challenge yourself and communicate with those outside your normal circle.
It also shows employers that you have taken advantage of your degree and opportunities within it. They love to see this because they assume you will be the same in work if a promotion or opportunity to travel or relocate arises.
You can access funding
Most Universities offer funding to students heading on an exchange program.
When I went on a semester abroad I received a $2500 scholarship from my University and an extra $6000 that I put on my HECS loan. For those who don’t know, HECS is the Australian University loan scheme that offers interest-free loans. Yes, I have to pay the $6000 back, but without interest. For me, the experience was worth the debt and I would do it again and again if I could go back.
Without a doubt, your University would offer funding and scholarships so look into this and take advantage. Like I said before, even if you don’t think you will get it, apply anyway, you never know.
You can go anywhere
Study abroad options are endless, you can literally go ANYWHERE.
It took me so long to decide on a destination to study abroad, but after much indecisiveness, I decided that I couldn’t go wrong with Hawaii.
4 months was spent studying (cough, cough), hiking, surfing and chasing waterfalls in Hawaii. What a tough Semester abroad.
One of the reasons I chose to study in the US was because it is so hard to get Visas to work in America so this was the perfect way to be able to stay in America for an extended period and assess it as an expat location (a failed assessment, sorry Americans).
Grades don’t transfer back
When you study abroad, your grades don’t get transferred back to your home University. I received either a pass or a fail from my courses in Hawaii, meaning my GPA stayed the same regardless of if I got 51/100 or 99/100. Being the high achiever that I am, I didn’t let this stop me from getting the best results possible, but for some, this can be very attractive.
Minimal study > Maximum Party > No Impact to University grades > Satisfied Parents.
Learn another language
Have you always dreamt of learning another language? The quickest way to do this is to immerse yourself into another culture and way of life.
If you studying a language, then this one is a no-brainer. You should consider 2 semesters abroad.
You will create memories to last a lifetime
You will never forget the memories you create on a study abroad program. You will make new best friends and share experiences that you would never have at home.
Break your routine and say YES to a semester abroad. Move out of your parents’ house, leave the retail job you have had since your 16, risk it all and make the move, dream big and be open to experiences. A semester abroad will change your life.
Don’t let a semester abroad be the only thing you say YES too. Say yes to everything. The more it scares you the better. Exciting and new experiences don’t happen in comfortable and familiar situations. You have to try new things to find new things, just like you have to change your diet and exercise routine to lose weight. Don’t be afraid of the change, say YES and embrace it.
I hope you’re leaving my site to submit your application to study abroad.