J. R. R. Tolkien famously said, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Better yet, those wanderers aren't lost at all; they're actually gaining experiences and learning new things. For university students who study abroad, this is especially true.
If you want to travel and learn about new cultures while still pursuing your studies, taking a full degree program - including masters in law, business and other specialty degrees from a university abroad, or even just spending a semester or two overseas is a great option. Even more importantly, you'll gain valuable experience that will greatly enhance your life as you move into adulthood. Here are six great reasons to combine your love of travel with your love of education.
1. Amps up your resume
Post-secondary education is a step on the road toward your career, so building your resume is important. If you get your degree through an international university, you'll definitely stand out from other employment candidates. Why? Because in addition to academic intelligence, you'll have the soft skills that come with spending time abroad, like intercultural communications and the ability to consider different perspectives.
2. Broadens your network
Getting your degree internationally introduces you to new friends, mentors and colleagues who live all over the world. These are the people who will help you in your future career, whether you return to your home country or continue living overseas. Even if you return home, you'll likely have made lifelong connections so you can keep in touch with those people and maybe even meet up next time you’re travelling (aka a free couch to crash on!).
3. Helps you grow as a person
You'll get to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn in an education system that's different from the one you grew up in and see a new way of life. No matter what degree you're getting—bachelors, masters or doctorate—those experiences will shape you as a person by challenging you in ways you’ve never been challenged in before.
4. Encourages you to discover your passion(s)
Having the opportunity for new experiences gives you the chance to discover unique passions that you might not find while studying at home. Whether you discover a love for languages, food, travel or volunteering, those passions might help you find your career path or set you out on new personal activities and interests. Snorkeling off the coast of Australia? Exploring the temples of Angkor Wat? Who knows what adventure awaits you!
5. Teaches you new skills
Ever heard of transversal or transferable skills? Those are the skills that are believed to be important to career success and can be applied to a wide range of tasks and occupations. An Erasmus study found that 92% of employers look for transveral skills. Seeing that a vast majority of international students felt their transversal skills improved while studying overseas, it’s definitely something to consider.
6. Allows you to explore
Ever wanted to study Arabic in an Arabic-speaking country? What about studying politics in a country that has recently experienced a political transformation? Or studying international diplomacy from the perspective of a foreign country? Getting your degree overseas provides all these options and many more. The areas of study and programs available are endless—you're sure to find a program and learning environment that grabs your interest.
If these reasons to study abroad have you wondering whether heading overseas might be for you, check out the Study and Go Abroad Fair, an international university and student travel expo. Attend seminars and meet with representatives from international universities in Victoria on Tuesday, February 23 at the Victoria Conference Centre or in Vancouver on Thursday, February 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. What are you waiting for? Make the first step towards your next exciting adventure and pre-register for free.
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