Saturday, April 4, 2009

5 Reasons to Consider Studying Abroad

Following is the 5th guest post by Holly McCarthy here at IHEC Blog. In her post, Holly briefly highlights five reasons for students to consider studying abroad. Holly’s thoughts are especially helpful to the students who frequent IHEC Blog. Holly’s post follows:

5 Reasons to Consider Studying Abroad

Getting a college education is one of the best things that young people can do for themselves when it comes to opening doors for future success. One particularly excellent way to receive a college education is by studying abroad. Whether a student decides to spend a semester abroad or the entire college career overseas, there are many benefits to studying outside of the US. A few of these reasons are explored in greater detail below.

Travel Opportunities

For many students, the ability to travel while learning at the same time is a quite attractive when considering study abroad programs. Travel is inherent to the study abroad experience and living in another country provides additional opportunities to explore the country and surrounding areas. Often, programs include tours to enrich the educational experience.

Language Acquisition

Students who study in a foreign country that speaks a language other than their native tongue are able to layer another benefit on their study abroad experience. Although many classes taught in universities overseas are conducted in English, living in another country requires that students learn how to communicate effectively with the people around them. Knowing another language can be quite beneficial and can open opportunities for students down the road.

Cultural Literacy

One of the best ways to learn about another culture is to immerse yourself within that culture. Students who study abroad may choose a particular location because of the knowledge that they may gain about the culture of the country where they will be living. Learning about and living within the context of another culture can expand awareness and change paradigms based on exposure to only one culture.

Time is of the Essence

Many schools overseas have condensed programs that are designed to deliver maximum information in a minimal amount of time. This may be attractive to students in the US to be able to condense larger amounts of coursework and credits without spending years doing so. Of course, it is always wise to check the accreditation of the institution that you would like to attend in order to make sure that your degree will be recognized once you have completed the program’s requirements.

Affordable Alternative

Contrary to popular opinion, studying abroad isn’t going to necessarily cost you an arm and a leg. Several countries in Europe offer free education to their own citizens and charge a nominal fee to international students. Residency requirements for many overseas schools are far less strenuous than those of universities in the US. Additionally, some American schools have campuses abroad and many universities accept US Federal Student Aid as well. Do your homework and see if studying abroad is something you might like to try.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes about the
best universities. She welcomes your feedback at: HollyMcCarthy12 at

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