Why Study Abroad?
Study abroad is a must if you are eager to personal comprehensive growth
Whole my youth years I lived in one city and never considered studying abroad. What for? It seemed to me so comfortable and convenient to stay at home, especially because Moscow offers quite competitive studying and working opportunities. However, I thought so just before the moment when I occasionally went for exchange studies abroad. This short experience stimulated my personal growth more than years of studying and working in a habitual environment, as well as affected my decision to go for my Master’s abroad.
For now, reconsidering my own experience, without any doubt I can say that studying in a foreign country is the best thing which can happen. Studying abroad is definitely a life-changing experience, and I want to share with you why I am firmly convinced of this.
It opens your mind
Although the world becomes global, cultural environment matters. When for years you live in one country, no matter how beautiful it is, you get used to thinking in a certain way. Stereotypes, traditions, cultural features are deeply internalized. You never question them – it seems to be so obvious! Unconsciously you may extrapolate them to the rest of the world.
However, when you come for studies in another country, you understand that not everything is so univocal. All you knew before that is just accustomed – but this isn’t the only right way of doing things. A simple example: in many cultures keeping the conversation alive all the time when you’re with people is polite, hush is confusing. And in Scandinavian countries, it’s more than okay to keep silent for a while even when you’re walking with friends, and no one feels awkward because of it.
When you meet people from other cultures, you reveal many features like this. Step by step, prejudice goes away and awareness of the diversity of the world comes. Studying abroad literally opens your mind and teaches you to admit a variety of possible scenarios. Think without biases!
Studying in a foreign language is more effective
This idea isn’t my own discovery. It was inspired by the words of my professor who’s originally from Finland and did his studies in Germany. But it’s definitely the truth! When you study in your own language, you can just briefly go through the material and grab the surface information just to answer. When it comes to mastering articles and textbooks in a foreign language, you should be really concentrated to catch the sense. As a result, knowledge goes deeper since you put much more effort to understand the subject. So studying abroad increases the quality of learning.
You make friends all over the world
Universities that offer international programs are like fire for months for students from all corners of the Earth. Asia, Europe, North, and South America – it’s so easy to meet people from any country. University culture creates an awesome context for meeting these people. Basically, everyone is open to communication! When spending time with them, you learn more about other countries and cultures, as well as discover your own one by comparison with them. Our features create fertile ground for dialogue.
Cultural features are our huge advantage! You can arrange evenings of traditional cuisines, endlessly discuss traditions, language differences, national arts or go to visit each other’s home towns (oh yes, a host in another country and a personal guide is a wonderful thing 🙂 ). And you never know, maybe your group mates for a course assignment will be your partners in crime and best friends for a whole life.
You develop your personal and social skills
When coming to a new country, there are many issues which you’ll face. In the beginning, you have no friends or a clear understanding of what’s going on around you. Even if you’re a terry introvert, you have to manage active communication to survive and adapt. These difficulties make you stronger because it’s an incredible experience of getting used to a new situation in a short term period and build relationships with people around.
It definitely helps you to improve communication and networking skills – because hey, you need to find a company to hang out with and meet local people who can give you essential tips on living in a new city at least. At first, it seems to be so creepy, but day by day social stuff becomes quite easy and comfortable. And it’s extremely useful for a future career because soft skills (like group work, communication and working in international teams) are a big competitive advantage in the labor market nowadays.
In addition, quite often studying abroad becomes the first experience of independent living away from the parental nest. Independent household management is also an urgent life skill that you have to master very quickly.
You master the language
Learning a foreign language, traveling and practicing it from time to time is definitely a great thing. But it’s incomparable with living and studying experience in a language environment for a long time. You have to communicate, study and work in a foreign language. When you do it quite continuously, the difference between native and foreign language becomes less and less notable for your thinking.
Exploring new culture and country from the inside
Living within the culture of a new country for sure gives you a more full understanding of the culture and people than any travel guide and even local people themselves! From inside you learn a lot, for example from everyday routine – it can be very surprising for you even if natives don’t consider it as special things at all. Scandinavians have lunch very early, around 11-12am, Spanish university restaurants serve wine for lunch, Finns have saunas in every building (very often in private apartments too) and drink milk with basically everything… Everyone can find something special and surprising in a foreign culture. You just need to be in and keep your eyes open. Returning to the opening of the mind, it is an incomparable experience. It learns to admit the diversity of the world and as a result to think out of the box.
How has studying abroad changed my life? I improved my language skills and don’t feel afraid to express myself anymore. Finally, bad English is the most widespread language in the world, and the most important point is that people can understand each other, even if mistakes happen. I met a lot of great people who have the same spirit and became a great source of inspiration for me. I learned many interesting minor and major things about other countries that broaden the mindset. Finally, now I am sure that everything is within my reach, because I was able, in essence, to start life from scratch in a new country and environment for me.
And now I’m sure that if anyone has an opportunity to study abroad, he/she must take it. Because it’s the most amazing thing and definitely a life-changing experience. I wouldn’t advise you to hesitate if you have the intention to study abroad. Be sure, it’s worth it. If you’re firm in your intention, we’re waiting for you at aplic.io, where you can individually decide where and what you will study.