Six Reasons to Study Abroad
Studying abroad is much more than just an extended holiday. It is an academically rewarding and culturally enriching experience which challenges your existing knowledge by introducing you to new perspectives and ideas. And, if you think you’re not doing the ‘right’ subject to study abroad, then you’re probably wrong – a year abroad is an option for most courses now. Still not convinced? Here are five of the many reasons why you should consider studying abroad:
1. It’s not much more expensive than staying in the UK
It would be understandable to assume that studying abroad is very expensive. However, with UK universities now charging up to £9,250 per year for a degree, studying at home is no longer significantly cheaper than studying overseas. European countries, such as France and Germany, have much lower tuition fees and a similar cost of living to the UK. However, it is worth remembering that in most of Europe there are no student loans available to cover costs making the upfront cost much higher.
2. You’ll have a great chance to travel
Travelling is not alien to university students. Gap years and interrailling holidays are very popular amongst students. And, although studying abroad is not just an extended holiday, it is a great opportunity to travel. Also, the new friends you make at your host university will give you more people and places to visit in the future. However, remember that travelling can be expensive so perhaps look at getting a part time job before you go abroad so you can put aside some money.
3. You can learn new skills and subjects
A lot of study abroad programs do not count towards your final degree as they are more about the experience of living and learning in a foreign country. This means that students get much more freedom when it comes to module selection. So, if you’re a Chemistry student who wants a taste of Art History, or a Politics student desperate to learn about Psychology, studying abroad could give you that opportunity. Additionally, depending on where you choose to go, studying abroad could give you a great incentive to learn a new language.
4. Employers love it
Having a degree is not the golden ticket to your dream job that it used to be. More people now have degrees making the graduate jobs market more competitive. Therefore, it is important for graduates to stand out from the crowd, and studying abroad is one of the best ways to do this. According to Universities UK, students who go abroad are 9% more likely to gain a 2:1 or 1st and 24% less likely to be unemployed. There is good reason for this as studying abroad shows that you are willing to go out of your comfort zone, and that you can work in different environments alongside different types of people. It also gives you something different and interesting to talk about at interviews. Having a year abroad could give you the edge.
5. You’ll grow as a person
Leaving home to study in a new country is a big step for any young adult to take. It presents a whole host of challenges – culture shock, homesickness and language barriers to name but a few. But, you will overcome these obstacles, and in doing so will become a more confident and adaptable person. You will also gain a greater insight an appreciation of other cultures and values that you may otherwise not encounter.
Now that you've read our reasons to study abroad, have a look at our profiles of international universities.
6. You’ll be ahead of the curve
When it comes to studying overseas, the UK is really lagging behind other countries. Just 6.6% of students study, work or volunteer for two weeks or more as part of their degree. In comparison, 15% of students in the US, 19% of Australian students and 25% of German students have an international placement as part of their degree. Being a UK student with experience of studying abroad puts you in the minority, but that may change soon as Universities UK has launched their three-year campaign Go International: Stand Out with the aim of doubling the number of students to 13% by 2020. Over 50 universities have already signed up to the campaign, so in the next few years studying abroad should become more common.
Next page: Funding studying abroad