Studying abroad is not just about attaining a degree that helps you find a good job. It enhances the quality of your education and provides you with life-changing experiences. Living in a new place far away from home and growing amid diverse cultures shapes you better as a person. It is not only about the degree that you are targeting, but making most of your studies while you are abroad.
It’s not a case of studying for two to four years and coming back as the same person you were before. Studying abroad will bring about a sea of change in you as a person – and only for the better.
Are you curious to know how studying abroad can change your life? Let us look at eight ways in which this will happen, and what study abroad does to you as a person:
1. Makes you independent
When you study abroad, you are likely to face a whole lot of challenges that you have never faced before. You are now in a completely alien environment. The people, culture, and way of life are totally different from what you have been used to throughout your life. You will have to arrange your meals, manage your room or apartment, socialize, and stabilize your career – all at the same time. Adjusting in this scenario will make you a lot more independent than you previously were.
Then there are the unforeseen challenges- medical emergencies, running out of funds, unpleasant encounters and experiences, and more. Such experiences will train you for your lifetime, and for the better. Wherever you go after this, and whatever situation you face in the life ahead of you – you will always know that there is a way out.
2. Makes you confident
Are you the same student who prefers the backseat rather than the first few rows in the classroom? Are you the one who hates making presentations? Do you think of yourself as an introvert? Don’t have enough friends or social life? Shy of debates? Then study abroad is the perfect catalyst you need to get your life on track.
Studying from universities outside your country is a very different experience. The culture would be very open and interactive. The student-teacher ratio would also be lower. Such a culture would encourage participation and interaction not only with the teachers, but with other classmates as well. Not only that, but you will also interact with other people in your university, residential area as well as people from the industry.
Your classroom would have multiple international students, which means multiple students besides you who are taking the confidence leap. The added confidence of each student would create a ripple effect, as you are bound to feed off the positive energy of the people around you.
3. Increases Thinking Skills in You
Living with and around your parents helps you deal with all sorts of issues. Whether it is a problem related to your studies or to your personal life, you always have your parents to fall back to. More often than not, they look at you and recognize what problems you are facing and would offer you instant solutions to almost all your problems.
Studying abroad, there will be many situations when you would have to take critical decisions. Yes, you can still get in touch with your parents through the phone or the internet. But what if they are not available at that certain time of the day when you have to make the decision?
During the course of your study abroad, you will also develop an independent thinking pattern. This pattern would certainly be influenced by your teachers, classmates, and other people you meet in this journey. But as you grow independent, you will develop thinking of your own. This would increase your problem-solving skills, and help you think in a far more liberated and far less conservative manner.
4. Increases the passion for learning
There is a chance that after all these years, you still might not be enjoying your studies. You might be the one who finds reading textbooks boring, and the thought of an exam approaching overwhelms you. Studying abroad is much more than just that.
Most study abroad programs are designed to inculcate a habit of exploring your subject. Most courses are research-oriented, so your studies would not be limited only to your books. Besides your books, notes and your college laboratories, you would travel outside your campus a lot.
For example, as a student of arts or architecture, you would visit historical monuments, museums, natural sightseeings, places of excavation and lots more. This would lead to an increase in your passion for learning and exploring a lot more.
5. Teaches you to respect diversity
When you study abroad, you are bound to come across people from diverse backgrounds. This would include students from the host country as well as international students from countries other than your own. Studying abroad is a great way to experience cultural diversity at one place, without having to travel the entire world one by one.
You would learn a lot about people’s native cultures, languages, way of living, food, festivals, beliefs, experiences and general nature. All this would provide you with a perspective you were never aware of. This would help you understand why people are different from each other, and why people behave in a certain way.
This experience would also make you a lot more tolerant towards others. You will respect diversity, and try to find friends even outside your own community. This would lead to your real growth.
6. Changes your worldview
When we are kids, all we care about is our toys. As we grow older, we realize the importance of other people and things around us – our family, our friends, our home, our vehicles and other assets; and our career.
But studying abroad would help you think in a far broader fashion and will give you many reasons justifying your choice. You would be able to look beyond yourself and develop compassion towards others. You would now think of humanity as a whole and the world as one planet which includes a huge variety of other species as well.
You will stop discriminating between people on the basis of caste, creed, gender, nationality, economic status and other aspects. You will stop fighting on futile things and develop an all encompassing approach.
7. Makes you aware about global current events
If you are someone who always skipped reading the newspaper and news channels while surfing your television, wait till you study abroad. Studying abroad and meeting people from different nationalities would help you get a first person’s information about the local happenings.
Things like politics, environment, climate change, foreign trade and international relations – which previously bored you – would now interest you a lot more. You will know exactly who is governing a particular country, what are the pros and cons of such governance, how economies are dealing with different situations and how these learnings can be used to make better decisions.
This would also develop your curiosity to know more, even after you’ve finished being around these people. This knowledge would help you even when you are working, as you would know how businesses are functioning around the world, and what makes them efficient or inefficient.
8. You realize how small the world is
Sitting in the comfort of your home and watching an American documentary is totally different from visiting that place personally. Once you do that, you will realize how different things are in person. Things that were mysteries to you before, are now reality. People you thought were unfriendly because of geographical distance might turn out to be your best friends.
Also, there are a few resources online from which you can know about the future prospects of your study abroad. One such free tool is GyanDhan Estimate Future Earnings Tool. With this tool, you can compare the estimated earnings and savings you will have by studying in a specific country.
While studying in an abroad university, you will realize how similar people actually are and how simple and genuine their desires are. The world is indeed a big encyclopedia of knowledge. But as you explore and keep finding out, you will come to know how connected we are!