1. Improve your resume. According a survey by Penn State researchers, potential employers look favorably on study abroad experience when hiring recent grads. The survey took data from 352 employers with ties to four different universities, finding that employers consider study abroad college experience among the top three most valuable college experiences.
2. If not now, when? Once you graduate, chances are slim you’ll have another opportunity to spend a long period of time abroad. As a career, spouse, kids and other obligations get in the picture, you’re unlikely to have the flexibility to embark on a major overseas adventure. Do it now, while you’re relatively mobile and not tied down. And with financial aid and scholarships, study abroad is affordable, too. Why wait?
3. Stay competitive in a globalized society. A 2005 report by the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Asia Society finds that U.S. students risk falling behind their international peers because the skills needed to compete in an increasingly global marketplace are not yet part of standard college educations. To stay competitive, the report advises American college students to make extra efforts to bridge gaps in global knowledge, foreign language and global perspectives – all skills obtained in a foreign language study abroad program.
4. Learn a language. No matter how hard you study French in college, nothing can take the place of taking French courses in France when it comes to learning conversational cues, increasing vocabulary, improving your accent and more. The same is true for any foreign language: study abroad brings your skills to a higher level.
5. Gain cultural awareness. Study abroad not only introduces you to new customs and traditions, but it also makes you more aware of your own cultural background. When you experience cultural immersion, you’ll appreciate the nuances of your own culture, and also be more comfortable with diversity.
6. Build lifelong friendships. Whether you bond with a Spanish host family, travel the German countryside with your fellow American students or spend time volunteering with native Costa Ricans, you’ll build friendships that stand the test of time when you study abroad, giving you connections to people all over the world.
7. Earn college credit without being on campus. The ability to stay on track with your degree is one reason why study abroad is great for college students. At CEA, our study abroad academic focus even allows you to take courses in a variety of disciplines. We’ve worked with more than 1,000 universities throughout North America, and we’ll help you facilitate course approval and credit transfer. Many CEA students even fulfill major requirements while abroad.
8. Become a more well-rounded person. Sure, studying abroad is about attending classes and learning a new culture, but it’s also about personal growth. You’ll gain independence and self-confidence, learn to tackle challenging and stressful situations and become comfortable in myriad social settings. If navigating the bustling streets of Rome alone seems daunting now, just wait – after a study abroad trip, you’ll be prepared for that and so much more.
9. Take it home with you. Your international experience doesn’t end when you come home. Whether it’s an authentic Chinese dim sum recipe or a perfect rendition of a Czech folk song, you can share your international flair with friends and family once you return.
10. Have fun. Perhaps the biggest of all the study abroad benefits, having fun is a major part of all of CEA’s programs. Spend time traveling, hit the beach or find your city’s hottest clubs – all in the company of great friends and hosts. In fact, you’ll learn as much out on the town as you do in the classroom on your CEA study abroad.
Get started with CEA today to find even more study abroad benefits. From foreign language study abroad to study abroad in English, there are endless reasons why study abroad with CEA is the way to go.
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