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Why Study Abroad is Good for You? 17 Solid Benefits to Study Abroad

Wondering why study abroad is important?

That every other person is talking about the benefits of studying abroad.

And if It's kinda hard to really decide whether or not should you study abroad. Then you'll love this infographic.

It enlists the key advantages of study abroad that'll show you why studying abroad is good for you. or NOT.

why study abroad infographic version 2

Here’s the further catch from the infographic about the reasons to study abroad:

17. Master Your Brain for Personal Development

Study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to test your nerves and to discover who you are.

You can't develop your abilities unless you know them.

Shortly, one of the ultimate reasons to study abroad is your inner discovery.

Dr. Julia Zimmermann found out that international mobility is a prevalent life event. Says:

Dr. Julia Zimmermann Author of Personality development of sojourners

Those who spent some time abroad profit in their personality development, for instance in terms of growing openness and emotional stability. Their development regarding these characteristics clearly differed from the control group even when initial personality differences were taken into account.

—Dr. Julia Zimmermann


In their research, Dr. Julia and Prof. Dr. Franz J. Neyer revealed that those who studied abroad showed more Agreeableness.

Agreeableness: Sojourners Personality Development

They examined that the other personality traits of Sojourners i.e. Openness, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness were also with the increasing slopes.


But a decline in the Neuroticism as compared to the Control Students.

16. Self-reliance and Independence are the by-product Benefits of Studying Abroad

It's wonderful to be independent and self-reliant.

Isn't it?

Well, another bold benefit of studying abroad is that it makes you self-reliant. And independent, of course.

RAND Corporation found that ‘Self-Reliance & Dependability’ is more important for a future leadership than ‘General Educational Breadth’.

Comparison chart why self-reliance and dependability is more importan in students than general education

And for this, they put forward Study Abroad (Internationalization) as their chief recommendation for building future leaders.

In another study conducted by LSE, students when asked, about 59% choose because they wanted to become more independent.

A study conducted to ask students their major reasons to study abroad

But how study abroad can help in gaining Self-Reliance and Dependability?

Ralph Waldo Emerson says:

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Portrait

Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron strings.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me Explain.

You’ll experience and learn these two words on your light moments in abroad.

Though you’d be having all the support there …

..your institute, advisors, and counselors will be there to help you 24/7.

But how would you manage to get through the instants when you would be feeling sad, frustrated, and alone?

What would reduce the distances between you and your loved ones?

Who would be there to put you in comfort?

Essentially, only YOU.

15. Double Your Confidence and Self-Awareness

In a British Council’s study, 37% of the respondents who were interested, stated that they’re seeking study abroad to build their confidence.

That's crazy, right?

According to another study, 93% of the students that have studied abroad say that their sense of confidence has increased.

Self-confidence chart of the students who studied abroad

..and that, their ability to deal with the challenging situations have multiplied.

In a nutshell,

self-awareness and self-confidence increases a couple of times in sojourners.

They’ve found to be more adaptive in resolving a difficult and unusual situation …

..than those who haven’t studied abroad in their lifetime.

And lucky for us,

Various researches prove that the students who have studied a semester or a year abroad are more confident in certain things. i.e. speaking, getting social, knowing them, etc.

Isn't it a big reason why do you want to study abroad?

14. Studying Abroad Makes You Happier

No kidding!

Wanna be more happy? Go study at least a semester or a year abroad.

Wait, what? Why study abroad?

Because studying abroad improves your life through the power of gratitude.

And this is probably the most valuable life skill students can have during their stay abroad.

I'll explain further in the coming fast-reading lines.

But first off,

Gratitude is basically, directly, linked with the usual mood and the level of satisfaction in life.

And studies now prove this connection.

Studying abroad helps improve the gratitude that uplifts the happiness

IMAGE: Whattherapy.com

A Gallup survey suggests, about 90% young people (teenagers and adults) in the U.S. stated that gratitude made them happy.

U.S. Teen Expressing their level of Gratitude

Appreciating and differentiating the smaller things in life is not just important but extremely important.

Small joys of our life, tiny pleasurable things, little happiness around us, nature, the very natural things that heal our soul.

Usually all these vitals are ignored in our busy routine life. That results in becoming our inner being rigid silently.

Remember,

these smaller things are actually the BIG ones.

It is reported that the students who study abroad, needed more of this all the time.

As a matter of fact, they gradually learn this skill set.

And seamlessly, they practice squeezing those positive vibes from the unfamiliar surroundings.

Afterward, this practice becomes a habit. And they know how to stay happy for the rest of their life.

That's why study abroad is good for YOU.

I rest my case.

13. Why Study Overseas is a Secret of Continuous Self-Motivation?

Self-management and self-motivation are the most desirable skills as they create self-sufficient individuals.

And a benefit to studying abroad is that you'll be cashing this opportunity all the time during your stay overseas.

Here’s the simple explanation:

Brain and Motivation Research Institute have identified a close link between the student’s motivation, self-regulation, and achievements.

Students self-regulation & performance chart by bMRI

Another study published in American Educational Research Journal found that student’s self-regulated learning affected their academic achievements.

Self-regulated learning pie chart by the American educational research journal

The secret?

Since you have taken an important decision of your life to leave your home and study in a foreign country.

(Don't tell me you got up one fine morning and thought why not go to study abroad today instead of walk.)

So, it's a hard decision.

You must be having a set of goals and the expected challenges in your up front. This is what keeps your inside fire burning, keeps you motivated.

And when you are driven by your motivation, you automatically learn and do manage all your mess.

Focus only on your goals to produce positive results.

12. Knowing About Yourself and Your Abilities

It is said, you get to know about yourself and your abilities only if you are curious to know.

And this is why studying abroad is important.

Foreign stay is a special occasion, when you are tuned, to stay curious the more.

Discovering yourself more clearly, operating oneself.

..without any such influence and help of your family members or others, bound to aid you .. finding out your hidden talents and abilities.

No, don't you doubt it even for a moment.

Consider this scenario:

would you know about yourself or your abilities to survive, to react, etc, if...

a) waking up at your home.
b) waking up alone at a strange, wild island.

Oh! and have you heard people saying getting-out-of-your-comfort-zones?

Erasmus, the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance says,

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus Portrait

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.

—Desiderius Erasmus

11. Diversifying Your Views and Visions

UF study found that creative thinking is a function of study abroad. Those who studied abroad are more adept in making genuine ideas.

ATTA Test Scores table of study abroad students

Other beneficial outcomes like International Awareness and facilitation in complex cognitive processes were also examined in the research.

CCT Test Scores of students who study overseas

Professor David Therriault sums up his research findings:

Prof. Dr. David J. Therriault, School of Human Development, University of Florida

One implication of this finding is that experiences abroad facilitate students’ ability to think in more innovative ways.

—Prof. Dr. David J. Therriault

It is clear from the research that studying abroad certainly uplifts your thinking abilities.

Makes you more creative and helps in diversifying your views and visions.

Particularly, you become more clear about the things you are currently dealing with. (OR) ..and you have to deal with in your future.

You know, some of the really good reasons for studying abroad that you should really consider.

10. Breathing a Diverse Institutional Environment

There are a couple of ways how living through a different educational climate can help. Including the:

  • Escaping from Conventional Academic Routine
  • Experiencing Different Learning Styles
  • Valuing Your Degree, etc.

I’ll go through each of them in detail.

But first,

let me give you a quick recap.

It is true that the studying abroad was once considered merely an academic Luxury.

For years, it has been seen only with this eyes. And part of the only reason why people go to study abroad for.

Now, studies have proven the fact that it is one of an important component of effective education.

How? Stay tuned…

In a research, University of Georgia found that study abroad students have comparatively higher graduation rates than the Domestic Students.

Impact of study abroad on career domestic vs international students

In an experiment in 1978 psychologists discovered that:

College students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room.

Did you get it?

This is your chance to live through a different institutional environment ..other than the one you always had so far.

You yourself should decide how much this change you need.

On the other hand, discovering multiple learning styles is just another awesome thought where study abroad helps.

Moreover,

you will discover the different educational styles and other positive perspectives that you need to adopt in your life.

9. Speaking Foreign Languages to Refine Your Conversational Skills

Language learning, you know, an awesome reason to study abroad.

Learning a foreign language as your second language is compulsory in most countries of Europe.

Map of Foreign Language Study Requirement in Europe

In those European countries,

all the students must have to start study their first foreign language in schools by the age of 6.

Foreign Language Speakers in Europe Vs United States

Pretty enough to assess the importance of learning a foreign language?

Now let me tell you that,

Study Abroad can simply be another way to start speaking your second language right away.

In a study, 65% of Study Abroad participants showed a huge improvement in their oral proficiency over the period of instructions.

Compared to the 43% of controls who studied the same language from their home campuses.

Language proficiency scores comparison in study abroad participants vs domestic students

By immersing into their culture you can learn your foreign language in an exact context they speak.

You can advance your language skills if you already speak one.

What about discovering and experimenting different but persuasive talking styles?

Some exotic accents, ..other interesting, classic or maybe country-specific brogues to inspire you and your world.

Above all,

the most effective way to learn a foreign language is to stay and speak with the native speakers.

And study abroad will be the right time when you’ll be surrounded with the local talkers all the time.

8. To Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset with a Worldwide Exposure

To understand what and how actually is it, just look at the Jack Welch Doctrine of FUTURE leaders.

Jack Welch's 1999 Speech About the benefits of studying abroad for future leadership

One out of other excellent advantages of studying abroad is that it will give you a worldwide exposure.

It’s something like your understanding, knowing and reacting to the world.

Still having doubts about its significance?

See what Rob Fryer, former Head of Student Recruitment, Deloitte, says:

Rob Fryer Director Of Student Life at University of Leicester

We’re operating in an increasingly global economy, where knowledge of different markets, cultures and languages is very important..

—Rob Fryer

7. Upgrading Your Listening Skills to Transform into Powerful Speaking

Studying abroad directly impacts to our listening and the comprehension skills in an absolute manner.

The reason is pretty obvious.

Paul T. Rankin’s study reveals, an averagely a person spends about 45% of his time in listening.

Average time spent communicating infographic

And while in abroad you can possibly imagine multiplying this figure to some extent more.

Don’t bother, It’s an open wisdom.

Suppose if the findings of this study are 100% accurate and you spend 45% of your time in listening.

What would be the percentage increase or decrease in a new place?

Clearly, you’d be listening and observing more.

And it’d be totally an unintended event. NO additional course of actions.

Another dimension is,

you will be facing miscellaneous speakers throughout your stay in abroad. It’ll add more value to your listening skills.

The University of Minnesota reports that 60% of the misunderstandings in the workplace cause due to the poor listening and 1% due to poor reading.

Workplace Listening Misunderstandings

This openly broadcast the importance of listening. And how or why study abroad is gonna influence it positively.

6. Study Abroad to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills and Social Intelligence

Studying abroad is the best way byproduct to imporve your interpersonal communication skills.

Making you a smarter person for interpersonal influence and persuasion are the amazing benefits of studying overseas.

How can you actually say this?

Well, just keep reading...

In a recent survey, LinkedIn analyzed the most in-demand soft skills.

Most In-Demand Soft Skills that Study Abroad Students Possess

While your time in abroad you’ll possess dozens of such highly sought-after soft skills that employers care.

Starting from Observance, Persistence, Decision Making, Problem Solving, International I.Q., Interpersonal Skills, Dealing with Ambiguities and many.

You can count on your fingers.

Some of them will add towards your personal development and others that employers value a lot.

Being engaged with the people from the different groups, ages, tastes, and ethnicity cause to increase the interpersonal skills of the students.

Which leads to a more successful career ahead. The Erasmus Impact Study too backs this idea.

Study abroad employability chart

Furthermore, it all happens unintentionally. So, it's just one of the other great advantages of education abroad.

Hundreds of thousands of miles away from your home, family and friends, among new people, who don’t even understand your language.

And a thought that you are still at their mercy and compassion .. this will refine your co-operative aptitude.

These are some interesting ways study abroad will transform your life. Even, if you are not kind of a social person.

5. Brushing up Your Resume that Sells

Brushing up Your Career, Employability Skills, Personal Branding, and Business Ventures...

That are sort of academic reasons to study abroad.

You can say these are the areas where studying abroad creates a huge impact.

Why do I say?

You betcha, I’m not alone.

IES Abroad found that about 97% of the mobile students are more likely to get their first job within the 12 months of their graduation.

Compared to the 49% of non-mobile graduates in the same duration.

Mobile students vs domestic students early employment ratio bar-graph

The Higher Education International Unit of United Kingdom observed that the starting salary of mobile students is relatively high than non-mobiles.

Mobile students vs non-mobile students salary bar chart

In AIFS research, 70% students reported being satisfied with their jobs just because of study abroad.

In a study, about 78% students indicated that their first job was either a career related or a career.

College Grads Career chart showing study abroad students with high margins

Similarly, in a UNC study 59% employers said that study abroad would be valuable for individuals’ career with their organization.

Infographic showing why study abroad and career building are linked

Because achievements with the uniqueness is an important element that employers usually seek in the C.Vs.

Besides that, you’ll meet dozens of different types of people all the while your stay in abroad. New goals can be set out at this level.

Mostly business-wise but also some others. i.e. marital venture, etc.

According to an Erasmus study, a higher proportion of mobile students lives an international life as compared to the non-mobile students.

Mobile vs non-mobile students International life comparision chart

4. Building Solid Foundation of Cross-Cultural Competencies

Studying Abroad makes students acquire some of the most valued, marketable skills, like cross-cultural communication skills, etc.

Why so?

Because these skills are integral to the workplace near all employers.

Intercultural Skills seen in the students studying abroad

British Council found three major intercultural skill indicators and you know what? Top of the list is STUDY ABROAD.

Study abroad is the major intercultural skill indicator reported British Council

In another study by UMN, a clear difference has been viewed on the student’s level of involvement domestically VS internationally.

A research results showing the level of civic engagement local vs international students

The results are, however supporting the fact that studying abroad makes students more competent in intercultural perspectives.

For example, In your host country, you are having a deep eye on their customs…

.. traditions, rituals and most importantly, their general behaviors.

Thus, you’ll definitely be in a better position and with a huge comfort level to communicate with them after returning home.

Compared to the one sitting in front of the computer, in an attempt to approach and engage ..reading about client’s culture on Google.

Just one more good reason why choose to study abroad, you know.

3. Leveraging Links: Cultivating Your International Connections

It is among those benefits of study abroad that students and employers both weigh a lot.

In a study, 60.40% students indicated that Building Relationships & Joining Interest Sharing Groups are most important success factors near them.

Student's social and residential life success factors chart

Quite interesting, huh?

Investing time in social activities, introducing and knowing others is the beauty of social life. And is pre-wired in social animals (us).

The same study identified 21 prime satisfaction variables and found that social life & social activities have a strong impact on student’s motivational satisfaction level.

Students Motivational Satisfaction

Actually, this is not the whole of the story.

Employers also like this shit.

They like the one who has the ability to influence their customer base using social skills and connections.

Most in-demand soft skills that mobile students acquire

Far from home, family, friends, cousins, and loved ones, one will have lots of free time to cultivate new relationships across the globe.

You’ll be growing and strengthening your connections in your surroundings.

Later, after finishing your stay .. and coming back home, some of them would still be in your touch .. proving your strong contacts and would serve you for a long-long time.

2. Travel the World and Explore Other Cultures

You can't just deny this.

The one great ROI of studying abroad is to be able to travel the world and explore other cultures at a very young age.

Studying abroad is the perfect time to awaken your adventurous sense and explore the world.

It is not only a good way to spend your time purposefully over your study breaks but it’ll also contribute towards your better academic performance.

In a study, 43,000 U.S students when interviewed, nearly 68% of them said that traveling has changed their life forever.

And about 76% responded that it improved their in-class experience.

Research results of Traveling Impacts in Students

In essence, you could have a life-or-death experience of seeing the world while enjoying the other benefits to studying abroad.

But how do you do this? Let’s dive into the details.

Traveling and knowing a culture is not knowing about their famous singers, foods, monuments or leaders only.

It also involves experiencing the crest and trough of their day-to-day life. Which can only be achieved if you stay long with them.

For example,

instead of living in the hostels, you can prefer to stay with your host family. You can mingle with them in their everyday activities.

By becoming the part of their family, you can also take part in their customs & traditions to have a closer look.

That’s why study abroad is more significant: in understanding and knowing another culture.

So, Explore! Explore and Explore!

Have you got a time during your study breaks? Go get a backpack and set yourself out to explore the notable hamlets of your hosting country.

OR .. any other attractive places of the neighboring country of your host institution.

1. Make Lifelong Memories: Some Perks of Studying Abroad

Ah! memories.

Because life's short. Yes, but also because...

University of Birmingham reports, 99% study abroad returnees say that it was the best time of their life.

Study Abroad Returnees share their study abroad experience

This would be the finest answer after all If you ask why is studying abroad beneficial?

In fact, this is also a most creative way of having fun in a foreign country.

So, while putting your time and efforts in earning a degree abroad...

..one can also have lots of fun outside the classroom.

As an example,

You can serve your taste buds with foreign food so generously that they should thank you.

Study abroad is a good way to study and wander the compelling streets of a foreign country…

..eating delicious comestibles, absorbing some precious exotic nutrients, etc.

Making your stay a wow thing about your life.

Everyone who studies abroad regards his/her year or semester abroad an important life experience.

Professor Franz Neyer of Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena put this into the words:

Prof. Dr. Franz J. Neyer, Professor of Personality Psychology

To find one’s way in a foreign country is an important life experience.

—Prof. Dr. Franz J. Neyer

In addition, studying abroad is different from vacation. Just as Living Vs. Holidays.

Living as to stay becoming the part of it. Mapping almost every mappable corner of that place.

Digging deeper, meeting interesting people…

..playing playful music, spending adventurous hours. Eating, gathering and other exciting stuff by being them.

Holidays, however, are a completely different scenario. A neuroscientist Prof. David Eagleman proposes:

Neuroscientist David Eagleman

The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older, Further says—why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.

—Prof. David Eagleman

The Bottom Line

Is it worth to study abroad?

According to my understandings, all the available information, and studies, it's a BIG yes.

It is absolutely a beneficial investment.

What do you guys think about?

Should students study abroad or otherwise?

Do share with me in the comments if you have any fact and opinion about studying abroad.

Or why not just say Hi and tell me if you just want or don't want to study abroad in your life.

2 Comments

  1. Tom Millington

    March 19, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Great stats! I love it. But we need to keep perspective; not all American students who go abroad get the same experience. We international educators frequently use the term “global workforce” but it is so hard to define. I am resident director in Cuba and I have seen the good and bad in how students manage their study abroad experience.

    What do you think about the Otto Warmbier case? Will he be able to extract something positive from his experience in North Korea?

    • Shahzaad Kamboh

      March 21, 2016 at 1:32 am

      I’m glad you liked, Tom. Thank you!
      You’re right, not all. And it’s so hard to define Otto Warmbier’s case also. So let’s just talk in general.

      Exceptions exist everywhere. You know, what the worst of worst is? We die, on this planet, earth. we all die. And we, especially humans have been dying since ab initio. Some accidentally, others just die.. 60years, 90years maybe more.

      Point is, we give birth to our children to get die. Ain’t that? Sometimes children die in the parents’ life, in front of them. And sometimes, a couple of years/decades later. But yes they die.

      And guess what? We humans now all agree on one point that, the process should evolve and the system should go on. And after, all worst experiences and exceptions we all tend to move on. We should have to. We learn so many things from them, we do. And this is how our system works.

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