You’ve seen the fliers around campus, promising trips to exotic locations while earning course credit. Sound too good to be true? IT’S NOT.
You can find real, tangible, awesome study abroad opportunities for students at the University of Houston (and #UHBauer), and today, we’re bringing you 6 reasons to take the leap … because even though it might be challenging, this is an experience that will change your perspective, change your life and change you.
You’re already adulting like a pro, now that you’ve been in college without the support of your parents. But nothing will teach you how to fend for yourself quite like living abroad. You’ll have to survive in an unfamiliar environment and learn to think on your feet, ultimately preparing you for a life of independence after college.
Explore a New Culture.
As a student in one of the most diverse research universities in the United States, chances are you’ve already been exposed to more cultures than the average college student. But nothing teaches you about a new culture like being part of it for a few weeks or months. You’ll learn how the locals really live and experience a place beyond the traditional tourist traps.
Have Epic Study Breaks.
These days, your study ambiance might consist of Netflix in the background or a drink at your favorite coffee shop around the city. When you study abroad, your view changes more than a little bit — free time between classes can be spent exploring a completely new environment by visiting museums, exploring nearby markets or meeting locals, experiences that are sure to reenergize you before you head back to the work grind.
Improve Your Soft Skills.
In addition to the knowledge you’ll gain during your studies, studying abroad will also teach you skills beyond the classroom. Get ready to test your adaptability — a skill that will come into play whenever you enter a new work environment — and interacting with people from a different culture will help develop your communication skills.
Learn a New Language.
One of the most effective ways to pick up on a new language is by immersion. While you might not spend enough time in a foreign country during your trip to become fluent, chances are you’ll come back understanding a lot more of the native tongue than you did before you left. Being bilingual is seen as a major asset to employers, which means you’ll have one more skill to add to your tool belt.
Now is the Best Time.
It might seem like it’s a good idea to put off traveling until you have your dream job and income, but the truth is that by then you’ll also have a lot more responsibilities. Traveling during your college years is actually more feasible because you have less obligations and commitments. Plus, studying abroad is a great way to combine school with traveling, and you’ll probably end up spending less money than if you arranged a trip on your own.
By Priscilla Aceves