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The bountiful benefits of studying overseas

From your language skills to your social ease and even language acquisition, there are bountiful benefits of studying overseas. Source: Unsplash

Last year, global banking giant HSBC launched a comprehensive, global report called, The Value of Education. The survey explored parental perceptions of international education, with NAFSA’s most recent analysis showing that international students spent US£36.9 billion on overseas study in 2016-17 – and that’s in the US alone.

Despite various pressures attached to international finance and fees, 42 percent of global parents surveyed claimed they would consider sending their child to a university overseas. Only 35 percent of parents surveyed in 2016 said the same thing.

Do our parents know something we don’t?

The brain-bolstering benefits of overseas study is something that’s long been touted. From raising your social skills to cultural immersion and even speeding up language acquisition – studying abroad is arguably the most valuable experience you can invest in. As if you needed any more to get you packed up on that plane for your global study adventure, here are just some of the most bountiful benefits of studying overseas…

Let’s not forget that it’s just plain fun! Source: takelessons.com

It gives you the chance to travel

While it’s important to work hard and do well, don’t forget that student life isn’t all about the books! Time out of lessons gives you the chance to explore a whole new slice of the world. From culture and heritage to lifestyle and cuisine – these diverse experiences allow for both personal and spiritual growth.

If that isn’t quite a big enough perk, it’s worth noting that 80 percent of employers will think you are better suited to a job if you are adaptable and worldly-wise.

“Thousands of young adults will be graduating this summer and thinking about their next steps in life – but with growing competition in the jobs market, candidates are finding it harder and harder to stand out,” Feargal Mooney, Chief Executive Officer at Hostelworld, told Business Insider.

“Travelling not only allows people the space and time to think about what they want to do with their lives and ignite their passions, but also provides you with invaluable skills including increased confidence that will help you stand out from the crowd.”

Speed up your foreign language acquisition

Language learning is good for your brain. Source: Giphy

Whether it heightens grades, improves memory or increases problem-solving capabilities, learning a new language will provide the ultimate boost for your brain.

While many universities offer courses taught in English, many also provide programmes that dip into their native tongue. These are generally offered on an extra-curricular basis, giving you the chance to gain new language fluency alongside your degree. On top of granting you an academic edge, this means you can get to know the locals, and immersion really is the best way to brush up your language skills.

It demonstrates adaptability

Landing in an unknown country will always seem daunting at first. There’s a lot to get to grips with, but rest assured that the team at your institution’s International Student Services will ensure a seamless transition. At first you might struggle with such a huge change, but soon you’ll adapt and develop an invaluable global perspective. This experience is something you will draw on throughout later life, instilling you with both the confidence and flexibility that future employers will love.

It serves as a networking platform

The age-old saying states that it’s not what you know, but who you know – and studying abroad is a valuable chance to nurture your connections. Taking on a part-time job or pursuing an internship placement is the perfect way to form authentic business relationships, and soon enough you’ll find you have contacts in every corner of the world! This is a perk that will benefit you for years and years to come.

“Studying abroad boosted my networking abilities and capacity, and it’s been nothing but rewarding,” international student Dee writes for CAPA. “The skills of social connection and relationship-building allows us to make sense of our experiences…it’s an advantage to rave about.”

Receive a world-class education for a much lower cost 

Though often described as the best in the world, international tuition in the US and UK comes at a hefty price. But there are a host of countries like Germany, Norway, France and Austria that will let you study abroad for free. Yep, you read that right – it really can cost nothing!

It teaches you to effectively manage your money

This is a skill that lasts a lifetime. You’ll want to make the most of social and leisure activities in your time spent overseas – but this can often be tricky on a lowly student budget.

Just note that having fun doesn’t have to break the bank, and there’s an entire community in the same penny-pinching boat as you. You’ll learn how to plan and budget for both living and travel expenses, groceries, learning materials and of course, social events; skills that remain in your arsenal throughout adult life.

Unrivalled career opportunities

While studying abroad, you’ll be introduced to a range of subjects and ideas you’ve never even heard of before. It’s a time that opens your eyes to different side of the world – including a wealth of graduate opportunities you could never have found back home. In fact, 34 percent of students claim that studying abroad helped them find a rewarding career, demonstrating a return on investment you’ll find hard to match!

Studying overseas could turn into working overseas. Source: Giphy

You’ll earn a higher salary

According to figures from the University of California Merced (UC Merced), study abroad students in the US earn starting salaries up to 25 percent higher than their domestic peers. This equates to around US$7,000 extra cash a year, or an additional $567,500 throughout your whole career.

Elevate your social skills

This giant leap outside your comfort zone is the first step to making friends. University clubs and organisations are a great chance to meet like-minded people just like you, allowing you to bond over talents, hobbies and traditions. These new cultures and situations mean you will grow into a bold, confident, globally-minded individual, helping you cruise through graduate life and your career with ease.

“Those students who are about to study abroad are – even before they leave – more open-minded, conscientious and extravert than their fellow students who stay at home,” said psychologist Dr. Julia Zimmermann, a researcher from Friedrich Schiller University at Jena, when analysing the positive side effects of studying overseas.

Let’s not forget – it’s just plain fun!

The greatest reward of studying abroad comes in the memories you take home. You’ve forged life-long friendships, earned a world-class degree and evolved into an employable global graduate.

Now take the stage, my friend. The world is truly yours!

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