YOUR Guide to: make the most out of your study abroad experience by travelling, learning, and living
As we are rounding out the end of the Fall 2018 semester, it is a good idea to reflect on how far we’ve come up to this point. Many of you will be finishing up your term studying or interning abroad in the UK or Ireland. I, too, am rounding out a year interning abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland as the UCEAP Edinburgh Study Centre Programme Intern. There are countless benefits to living, studying, or working in another country. Understanding and being able to utilise these benefits is essential in many aspects of your life, including within one’s education, career, and personal life. The following are a list of benefits from living, studying, and working abroad that I have collected over the years:
1. International Perspective:
- Living, interning, and studying abroad all allow for new and diverse cultural experiences. Immersing yourself in studies or life abroad expands your cultural awareness and perspective, which is an advantageous attribute in an individual’s personal life, as well as their educational and career path. Living abroad, especially in countries like the UK or Ireland that are so close to so many other countries in the world, allows students to leave their home to go out and experience the world.
- Undoubtedly, an expanded international perspective is beneficial for one’s own personal development as it leads to cultural awareness and understanding of other peoples, but it also is advantageous in a future career. Learning what to take away from new cultural experiences to develop new and creative ways to apply these perspectives in a future job is a sought-after skill from employers.
2. Personal Development:
- Just as living abroad involves expanding your international perspective, it also can result in substantial personal growth. Being able to live in a different place of the world and experience new cultures truly allows a person to step outside of themselves and see the world as a greater, cohesive place. This can provide an individual a new perspective not only of the world, but of themselves. Students living abroad may develop new interests, profoundly cultivate their personality, sense of self, personal acceptance, independence, ETC.!!
- Interning or studying abroad can lead an individual to really get to know themselves through the lens of another, diverse culture.
3. Lifelong International Friends and Connections:
- Of course, studying abroad with UCEAP means meeting students from the UCs across California, and it also means meeting and making lifelong friends from your host country and from around the world. This means lots of visits back to your home away from home post-study abroad, aka your host city, as well as countries all over the world you may have never even dreamed of visiting!
- Studying and interning abroad also allows for the opportunity to develop educational and professional connections, which can be essential in the graduate application process, as well as within your future career.
4. Graduate School Applications:
- Similarly, not only do international connections benefit a post-study abroad student, but an expanded educational and international perspective are advantageous attributes of a graduate school applicant. Applying what you learned at an international university to your graduate studies will allow you to bring in essential and diverse knowledge to your studies, a skill graduate universities deem very favourable.
5. Career Development:
- Studying/interning or working abroad enhances a CV (click here to read more about how to apply study abroad to your international resume) for all the previously listed reasons and more. Experiencing and living in a different culture can increase crucial professional skills, such as communication, independence, proactivity, initiative, as well as learning how to develop and adapt to different working styles.
Please use this guide to ensure you are able to integrate the greatly advantageous skills and attributes study/interning abroad cultivates in students – good luck and have fun!