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Why Everyone Should Study Abroad Before Graduation

College is the best time to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad allows students to broaden their horizons, gives them a chance to live in a completely different culture than their own, and so much more. More and more students are realizing the benefits of studying abroad. In fact, the Institute of International Education stated that reports have shown that 270,604 students studied abroad during the academic year 2009-2010; this was an increase of 4% from the previous year.

Photo by: Olivia Guinaugh

Studying abroad can significantly increase job opportunities.

Reagan Payne, an employee of University of Missouri’s study abroad office, emphasizes the importance of this reason, “The international and cross-cultural skills you can develop overseas will expand your employment opportunities and consequently, your income.” Reagan then supported her statement by providing an important fact that all young adults entering the business world should know, “Only 133 or the 500 largest corporations are in the United States.” Having international experience on your resume is also incredibly beneficial to the American corporations due to the fact that they are beginning to have a more and more culturally diverse business climate. Reagan also mentioned that having connections with a company outside your own country really makes you stand out to multinational companies.

Study abroad programs provide a much easier way to explore a new country.

Study abroad programs provide almost everything for its students so that their experience can be as hassle-free as possible. Reagan says, “Study abroad programs are not only just a more organized way to explore a new country than doing it by yourself, but it’s a lot safer.” Study abroad programs have a lot of responsibility on making sure their students are as safe as possible. Having people with you who know how to stay safe in different countries is definitely a smart way to keep yourself away from danger.

Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to gain relationships with people all around the world.

Students can develop relationships with people from the country they’re studying abroad in and also with people from other parts of the world who are also studying abroad there. Reagan highlights this idea, “Having these kind of relationships with people from all around the world is one of the best ways to truly understand another culture first-hand.” Gaining relationships with people around the world can also be beneficial due to the fact that they could become future connections that can possibly help you in finding a future career.

Studying abroad provides the opportunity to travel to so many different kinds of places.

Weekends and academic breaks are excellent times for students to explore other places that are even outside the country that they’re studying in. Since students are usually in a completely different continent than the one their home country is in, they are a lot closer to other surrounding countries that may be new for them. Klaudia Smykowska, a junior at Loyola University Chicago who studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain, says, “There is too much beauty in the world to stay in only one place.”

Studying abroad can be the best way to learn a new language.

According to Reagan, “Research has shown that in order to be truly fluent in a language is to be immersed in it.” In other words, learning a language in a classroom doesn’t come close in comparison to learning a language in the country it’s mainly spoken in. Reagan also explained that knowing more than one language is highly attractive to employers and can make your resume stand out a lot more than it would without it. She emphasized this idea by mentioning that, “Globalization is occurring in businesses all around the world, which makes the skill of knowing different languages highly needed.”

Where would your ideal place to study abroad be?

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.