Deciding where to study is always going to be a complex and difficult decision. With the whole world to choose from, how can you possibly narrow it down?
No matter where you choose, studying abroad should challenge you, morph you into a global citizen and gift you with a wider understanding of the world outside your hometown.
And studying on another continent is a sure-fire way to do just that!
It may seem pretty daunting to pack up all your worldly belongings into a way-too-small suitcase and jump on a long-haul flight to somewhere you may never have ventured to before…and that’s because it is.
But, while it might be scary at first, you’re bound to reap the rewards later on. Here are five reasons why you should consider leaving the continent you live on for your studies…
1. You’ll gain a unique global perspective
Moving to a neighbouring country can be a life-altering experience.
But, will it be as challenging as moving halfway across the globe? Unlikely.
If you really want to get out of your comfort zone, set yourself apart from your peers, and understand how the world works then just crossing the border is unlikely to feel as drastic a change as moving to unchartered waters across the world.
A new continent brings with it new adventures, a new lifestyle and a new perspective you can take with you into the global workforce.
Moving so far away from home rewards students with an understanding of the world it’s impossible to glean from the classroom alone.
2. You will meet people from all over the world
What better way to make global connections, lifelong friends from different backgrounds and market yourself in the international workplace than to study on a new continent?
You’ll be able to mingle with people who have a totally different perspective on life; people who challenge you, who make you think, who show you what life is like outside of your bubble.
If you’re lucky, you might make friends with locals who can show you around or take you home to their families so you can experience the wonders of everyday life in your host country.
I'm so glad i made such international friends at uni. SOME SERIOUS TRIPS AROUND THE WORLD TO COME
— princess pablo (@hailmolly) December 10, 2013
And come graduation, those connections will come in handy. No matter what you think the future could hold, having friends all around the world is likely to bring numerous benefits.
3. You’ll learn things you never would close to home
All those people you meet? You’re going to learn a thing or two about them, their cultures and how they see the world. Along with learning about people and their culture, you will also learn about the food, transport and general way of life.
The world is so diverse and moving to a new continent shows you this variation in all its technicolour beauty.
You will eat new foods, try new things and learn lessons you might never have learned without pushing yourself to live in this new part of the world.
You’re also bound to learn a thing or two in class, giving you the edge over your peers back home who did not benefit from a global education.
4. You will gain new-found independence
Nothing says independence like packing up your life and moving it thousands of miles away by yourself.
It’s bound to be lonely at times – you’re miles away from your support network of family and friends, after all – but it will teach you how to care for yourself.
Your friends and family are still going to be there for you and you’re bound to meet some new mates, but you will definitely spend some time tending to yourself as well.
You’ll be in charge of feeding yourself, keeping your finances in check, organising your schedule and coping with life when things go wrong.
You will return home (if you don’t decide to work in your host country or somewhere else after graduation) as a new and improved version of yourself. More independent, resilient and self-assured.
Of course, you may pick up these traits studying closer to home but with conflicting time zones, the inability to get home in a few short hours and a completely new way of life, you’re likely to pick them up faster and be even more well-equipped to deal with whatever life throws your way.
5. You’ll be able to explore a brand new part of the world
Last but certainly not least, you have the opportunity to explore a whole new part of the world you’re unlikely to have had the opportunity to see before.
There are things you’ve hardly even been able to dream of out there off the continent you call home, and there’s no better way to explore a place and all its wonders than to live within it.
— Beth Deuermeyer (@Aggie_Beth06) June 21, 2018
You can read all the books, look at all the photographs, even travel there but nothing in the world quite matches the experience of actually living there.
So get out there in the world! Pack your case and get ready to become a global, educated citizen of the world.