The number of students opting to go abroad for higher studies is increasing exponentially every year. In 2000, the total number of Indian students overseas was just 66173. In 2016, that number increased to 3,01,406, i.e an average increase of 22% in a span of sixteen years. This percentage is expected to soar upwards in the coming years, with many new courses coming up and prominent universities like Harvard starting to accept GRE scores for their flagship offerings. But why is studying abroad such a popular choice? What are the Study Abroad benefits which are making students chose this option which is very challenging, both personally and financially?
In this article, we will talk about the top 8 study abroad benefits that you should know before planning for your higher studies. This will help you in having realistic expectations and also aid you in making an informed judgment.
Study Abroad Benefits- From a Professional Viewpoint
1. Broaden your career options
After completion of your course, you can pursue job opportunities both in the country of your study and your native country. This is one of the biggest ‘study abroad’ benefits. Some students decide to apply for work visas after their course completion and find jobs in the country of study. As you are already aware of the working culture of the place it gives you an edge in the applications. Besides, if you decide to come back to your own country, there’s a distinctive competitive advantage too. Recruiters and organizations look for people with a global outlook. The decision to study abroad portrays your willingness to step out of your comfort zone and do something new. You not only gained perspective on foreign issues but also got the opportunity to understand human relations on an international scale.
2. Build a network
One of the most rewarding ‘study abroad’ benefit is the chance to meet and develop relationships with students, teachers, and administrators from across the globe. The students build a global network of contacts in this process. This network should be maintained and cherished because not only might they lead to lifelong friendships, but they also have the potential to lead to international job opportunities. Also, the best international universities strive to add value to their offerings and understand the benefits of a responsive alumni network comprised of supportive, high-impact alumni in executive roles across the globe.
3. Choose from a wider pool of universities
If you are looking for a course of study that is slightly off the conventional route, studying abroad benefits are higher for you. You can choose from a global pool of universities famous for that course/ subject. You will not be limited by the options available in your country. Again, if you are looking for a slightly more flexible learning experience or a different mix of subjects than what is offered in your native country, the benefits of study abroad more
4. Learn new languages
You will get a chance to learn not only the official language of the place you are studying at, but also other native languages. This is a skill that most people consider for personal growth. However, the corporate world is rapidly changing. Employers look for candidates who are proficient in more than one language. It not only increases your employability but also give s you a chance to work in different locations.
Study Abroad Benefits- From a Personal Viewpoint
The personal and professional benefits of studying abroad are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the skills you gain from studying abroad aid you in both professional and personal growth. Here are some proven ‘study abroad benefits’ that you will not gain from any other experience.
1. Become self-reliant
One of the biggest, yet understated study abroad benefits. How many of us still get their daily meals cooked by some family members? How many of us do the groceries, laundry, pay bills, or clean the house? Welcome to staying alone abroad. You will become more responsible, more mindful, and aware now that you need to do all these chores by yourself. You’ll learn to take care of yourself and appreciate the efforts behind all these odd jobs that we take for granted.
2. See The World
This sounds cliche but is actually true. You will get a chance to experience new cultures, activities, and customs. You will visit museums, waterfalls, natural parks, and other prominent landmarks in your host nation. Besides, you will not be limited to learning and traveling only in the host nation. Intercountry travel is a very common phenomenon. For example, if you are studying in France, you can easily visit other parts of Europe like London, Rome, Barcelona, etc.
3. Find New Passion
The main reason to pursue a master’s degree is to learn more about the subject/ course that interested you in undergraduate. However, when you study the same course abroad, there are benefits that are not visible right away. You will find subjects that are exclusively offered in your host country. National literature, politics, languages, and history programs often vary greatly depending on geographic region. And you will not have any opportunity to learn about these, were it not for the host country.
4. Increase your self – confidence
Besides becoming self- reliant, you will gain a lot of confidence from this experience. For many students, it is the first time away from home. Many others are used to studying at hostels and residential schools, but all of it was within native country boundaries. You will realize that you alone have to handle all the troubles and mishaps. You will be afraid, definitely but also learn to conquer such fears.
And lastly, although bouts of homesickness may have you missing homecooked meals and company on holidays, your new international study location will give you much needed perspective on what you love about your roots in your home country.
So work hard on your GRE exam, and get in that dream college of yours! There’s a world of opportunities waiting for you to seize.
Also read: Study in USA