Notes to my younger self, Posts in English

10 Reasons why you should study abroad

I really enjoyed my time as an exchange student in Asia. I discovered a continent I have never been to before. Besides, I have learned a lot and gained meaningful insights from that experience. Here are 10 reasons why you should study abroad.

1. To discover the world on a budget

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Traveling is not always cheap especially if you want to go to the other side of the planet. The price of a flighing ticket and a visa can be rather dissuasive. When you study abroad and the country you go to has a hub, you have many opportunities to travel cheaper by train, plane even night buses because the distance is shorter. It will allow you to travel on a budget which is great when you only have pocket money or a scholarship. So, while you are there, do it as much as you can because it is not sure this opportunity will occur twice.

2. To grow and open up

It might be your first time leaving the house, the country or simply traveling that far for such a long time. You will grow so much and open up to people during that period. Indeed, adapting to a new country, understanding its customs and rules take empathy and humility. You will pay more attention to what’s great about your homeland and what could be improve. You will realize how lucky you are to be able to live in such an open world that enables frontiers to fade away and bring people together.

3. To meet new friends

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The friendships you are going to make while you are abroad are precious. You will meet people your age with different nationalities coming from all other the world. Besides, it could be an opportunity to visit them afterwards in their respective countries to nurture these new friendships. It is indeed amazing to meet people with the same interests than you that way. And this would have probably never had happened if you did not take that decision.

4. To get inspired

You will never know how different and exciting your life could be if you stay in your comfort zone. Traveling gets you inspired to change your habits and embrace new challenges. It is an eye opening experience to be immerse into a new environment. This would definitely help you put things into perspective.

5. To learn from others

You will learn a lot by mingling with others and their cultures. Not only on yourself but also on the world and how things operate generally. Be open and humble about the way people of this country live. One can be biased and have a high image of his own beliefs and country. I think it is crucial to be proud of where you come from. Nonetheless you should also be tolerant and accept that there is not necessarily a right way of doing or thinking.

6. To become more flexible and creative

You will definitely have to adapt to these new ways. The cultural chock can be more or less huge depending on where you are going. You will therefore learn to become more flexible when it comes to dealing with cultural differences regarding lifestyle, food or leisure. If you want to practice an activity that you liked in your homeland but does not exist where you are going, you might have to be creative to build a new habit or hobby that resembles what you were used to but also mix with the ways people spend their free time.

7. To discover another way of thinking and studying

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News ideas, new ways of thinking and studying will certainly have an impact on you once you go back home. I found that Asians don’t have the same relationship with teachers. There is a kind of distance and deep respect towards the lecturers. But still they have no problem raising their hands and asking questions. And the teachers are more than delighted to answer them. They really work hard because of the competition on the job market and value education a lot. I hence reconsidered my views on education and it just confirmed the fact that one should not take everything for granted.

8. To enrich your resume and education

This experience is also going to be an asset in your education and later on in your career, especially if you aim at working in an international and multicultural environment. Having already experienced such a thing, you will easily navigate and adapt into any context and be able to solve cultural misunderstanding for instance. You should really take the best of that time abroad and then come back to share your new knowledge with others.

9. To learn a new language

That is also something important. Assuming you are going in a country where people don’t speak your language, you will be able to learn a new one. This could be essential not only on your daily life there, to handle administrative tasks or groceries among other things, but also when you will come back home. Being bilingual is a decisive criterion in some organisations that are more and more opened on the world. With globalisation, you will never know where you will hand up living or whom you will have to work with. Therefore, speaking different languages will be of great use to seal some deals and create bonds with foreign colleagues.

10. To become more independent

Even if you are lacking self trust at the beginning, studying abroad allows you to build confidence. Besides, you will learn how to manage your money especially with the different currencies rate. You are probably for the first time living so far from your family that you will have to learn how to count on yourself and become independent. Indeed, paying your rent, daily expenses, leisures and travels might be something completely new to you. Don’t worry you will manage. And later on, you will have no regrets having chosen this unusual and life changing path.

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