Getting to study abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students that are studying at university. It’s something that you should take full advantage of if you have the chance to do so. However, there are many things to consider before you decide to take the plunge. Read on to find out the pros and cons of studying abroad!
- Learn a New Language
There is no better way to learn a language than by going to a country where the language is its mother tongue. Being able to speak a different language around the locals makes it so much easier to learn it. Local people will be able to help you pronounce words properly and just generally help you practice. It will also look great on your CV when presenting it to potential employers as these are the types of things that make you stand out from the crowd.
- Meet new People
Take studying abroad as an opportunity to form new friendships either with the other students that have travelled with you or the people native to the country. Having friends from other countries is an amazing thing; it means you get to learn about other cultures and backgrounds. Meeting new people means you will have more memories to look back at once you leave.
In between studying and any classes you may have, you will be able to go out and explore the country itself. You will be able to take trips to all those famous tourist destinations you have always wanted to see and experience more of the culture. Travelling around to different parts of the country will give you a good break from all the studying and help you make the most of the trip whilst you are there.
- Taking in the Culture
Learning about new cultures helps to enhance your knowledge and broadens your mind. Having more knowledge about the world around us never hurt anyone so it’s great to really immerse yourself into the culture before you go back to your own. Try some new food, take part in traditions and visit places you have never been to before.
- Long Distance
If you’re bit of a home bird that likes to stick with family and friends, then it might be a bit difficult for you to come to terms with how far away you will be from home. This goes hand in hand with the fact that once you return home, any friends you made with local people will have to be long distance friendships. However, there is always Skype, FaceTime or other apps that you can use so you can stay in contact with any family and long-distance friends you have whilst you’re not there.
Depending on the country you go to and how expensive it is there, you could be looking at having to spend a lot of money. Flights, accommodation, tuition and living expenses all add up; especially if the country itself is dear as well. Not to mention that you will have to take spending money with you as well if you want to go on day trips or eat out.
It can be a very lonely experience if you don’t manage to settle in well and make friends or meet new people. Some people may be more introverted than others and that could make it harder when trying to introduce themselves to others. It’s important to socialise, put yourself out there and connect with others.
- Culture Shock
Not every country is the same and it is easier to see that when you go for a couple of months to study instead of a couple of weeks on holiday. It can be very overwhelming trying to speak to people that don’t understand you, trying strange food and figuring your way around everywhere so it can come as quite a shock to the system.