There are many factors to consider when choosing a college. However, one important thing you should consider is whether you want to study in the US or study abroad in another country. Studying abroad can be a very rich and rewarding experience. Below are just some of the reasons why you may want to choose an international school for your college education.
1. It Can Help You Learn a New Language
If one of your passions is speaking a second language such as Spanish, French, German or Japanese, there really is nothing like the firsthand experience of putting what you have learned to work in the cultures those languages originated in. Being immersed in the language will give you a far better understanding of it than you would receive anywhere else. Having the ability to speak that language everyday with others that use it as their first language will increase your proficiency in that language several times over.
2. It Allows You to Travel
European vacations are known for being extremely expensive for Americans. However, if you are already attending a school in Europe, you will have the ability to use your weekends and vacation time to explore European countries and tourist destinations you have probably only dreamed of visiting before. Instead of having to travel by plane, in most cases, you will only have to take a short train ride to reach where you want to go.
3. It Can Increase Your Value in the Workforce
One very good reason to study abroad is the fact that doing so can increase the value of your degree to most employers. Studying abroad lets employers know that you have a wealth of experience that others who have only studied in the US do not have. This is especially the case if you choose to work for a company that has international operations. You could be chosen to act as a go between that communicates with or visits the divisions in other countries. You are also likely to be paid a higher salary.
4. It Can Strengthen You as a Person
Living on your own in another country will force you to be far more independent than you have ever been before. You will have to take your own initiatives and navigate through a foreign culture. This can help build strong character. It can make you into a better leader and give you the ability to work well with others with backgrounds different than your own. This is great experience to have in the workforce and life in general.
5. You Get to Meet New People
Visiting an international school will give you the chance to meet many people you would never have met otherwise. Some of these individuals may end up being valued lifelong friends. Others may be mentors to help steer your education and career goals in the right direction. Others may become part of your personal network that you can collaborate with later on in business propositions. The possibilities are endless.
6. It’s a Once in a Life Time Opportunity
The opportunity to actually live in a different country and experience another culture for longer than a short vacation might be something you only get to experience once. Chances are you will probably go back to living in the US after college ends. This kind of rich experience is simply something that not everyone will be able to have.
Overall, there are many positive aspects to choosing to pursue your degree in an international school in another part of the globe. It can enhance your learning experience, your character and your resume.
Jessie Teh writes on topics of education, particularly on K-12 and private learning institutions. She contributes her insights to Prince of Wales International School, a leading international school in Malaysia.