If given the chance, would you study abroad? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Thousands of college students flock to other countries every year to soak up the culture and earn their degrees. But even with all of the enthusiasm and even financial backing to go, many more forgo the opportunity. But why? Whether it’s a fear of being far from home or not knowing the language, you shouldn’t let that hold you back. If you’re still undecided if you should study abroad, here’s a few reasons why you should go for it.
Learn New Languages
As children, learning a new language comes almost naturally. However, as we get older, it’s not always as easy, especially when you’re still living daily life speaking in your native language. Studying abroad immerses you in a different culture and language. Even routine tasks like going to the grocery store gives you an opportunity to learn.
If you’re still living at home, going abroad helps you build independence. That’s not to say living at home doesn’t allow you to grow and be autonomous. But when you study abroad, you learn how to manage all the things you might not have even thought of.
For instance, you’ll need to budget your monthly income to cover all of your expenses, including your student loans. And if you’re determined to go abroad but short of funds, you need to look for ways to save.
Refinancing your student loans with a private lender is a great place to start. In most cases, it lowers your monthly payment and offers better repayment terms as well. It also frees up money, so you have more to work with each month.
Appreciate New Cultures
Visiting a foreign country on vacation isn’t the same as living there like a local. Studying abroad lets you experience life like a local. Typically, you live in areas that aren’t considered touristy; sometimes with a host family.
Expand Your Network
From friends to potential work connections, going abroad expands your network. This is a lesser-known way to make the most of studying abroad but it is just as important.
You have the opportunity to forge new friendships and also open the door to remaining in the country and working after graduation.
In fact, even if you’re only in a language school, a lot of countries let you convert your study visa to a work permit. If you’re in a degree program, it’s not uncommon for international organizations to scout at universities for candidates.
Choosing a Program
With so many possibilities, deciding where to go can be challenging. If you’re torn between several countries, make a list of the pros and cons of each. Be sure to include the cost of living, the cost of school and any specific visa requirements.
If you choose a language school, it’s important to know how to register for a permit of stay, in addition to showing enough money to fund the length of your stay. If you’re attending a degree program, the same holds true, but you may be able to use student loans to cover some of the costs.
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