Why Every Student Should Study Abroad

This is a guest post by Launch Education. Unlike most tutoring companies, Launch Education understands that academic success involves a lot more than just knowing the material. Learn more by visiting their website

The time spent in formal education is designed to give us the knowledge to sustain a career and prepare us to be a contributing member of society. These facts are widely known, however, what is not revealed until one actually experiences the entire path, is that just as much learning takes place outside of the classroom as in it. The social interaction and milestones such as learning to drive or moving out of the house to go to college all shape us into full adults as much as the studying and essay writing. An extra dose of life experience is obtained by those who chose to study abroad. Those who have travelled during their schooling have been shown to gain positive influence on their career path, world view and self confidence from the experience.

Studying Abroad

Caption: Studying abroad is about more than what’s learned in a book

Many individuals who have studied abroad have said that it helped shape their career path either through confirming what they felt was their life’s passion or changing it completely. Often students who have moved on to higher levels of education say they were influenced to do so by their international adventure. Employers are beginning to increase the value of a study abroad semester for potential employees. In a world economy, showing that one can live internationally and independently and can manage situations with other cultures is an indispensible asset.

Those who pursue international education come away with a more sophisticated way of looking at the world. Immersing oneself in a foreign lifestyle leads to an increased tolerance and respect not only of the culture in which one travelled, but all cultures. If the language is unknown, both verbal and non-verbal communication skills will be fostered. In addition, if one submerses themselves in that foreign language, it will be learned, adding another soft skill to the resume.

International Classroom

Caption: Nicer than the typical classroom

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of studying abroad is found within oneself. Learning the ability to make a life for themselves, wherever they are is the primary lesson for international students. Almost always, those who study abroad leave with increased maturity and believe in their own abilities. They are also left with a new group of people from another part of the world with shared experiences that last a lifetime. The number of individuals who have kept in touch long after the semester or summer is over is astonishing, though not surprising when considered how these were the friends that were around when they changed their lives.

Though most individuals who study abroad do so in college, more and more high school students are branching out to other cultures. In the past, many teenagers put off their international adventures because it would interfere with college admissions. However, like employers, more and more colleges and universities are viewing studying abroad as a real benefit to potential incoming students. The main obstacle for those looking for a cultural experience is missed preparation for the standardized tests. Now, with companies like Launch Education, SAT and ACT prep can be completed at an accelerated pace, allowing students to pursue their academic goals at home and abroad.

Most of those who studied abroad always refer to the long term benefits of the experience. That it was so much more about only what was learned in the classroom. When one engrosses themselves into an unfamiliar culture, language and setting, lessons that can’t be found in a book emerge. Curiosity and imagination flourish and courage and self-confidence are forged. Those who take the leap expect some personal growth, but are often surprised by how much. This is why the most common quote about time spent studying abroad was that “it changed their life.”

Bobby Touran is the founder and CEO of ApplyKit. ApplyKit helps students manage their entire college application process and also provides key resources to help them excel every step of the way.