Studying abroad is great for obvious reasons- one gets to travel the world, experience new cultures, and meet new people. Employers and graduate schools commend an applicant on study abroad experience. But why? Those who study abroad are faced with situations that one who stays home in the states may not have to deal with, thus making them a more diverse applicant. Here are three reasons why I’m adding study abroad to my resume.
1.) Studying abroad shows that you have the ability to communicate with and understand different cultures and customs.
While abroad, one notices little cultural differences from the United States quickly. For example, in Italy people have smaller personal space boundaries, have a different eating and drinking culture, and have a different concept of timeliness. Businesses close during the afternoon and credit/debit cards are not always accepted. You may not find your favorite snack from the U.S. at the grocery store. These few things are very different from American culture. It takes patience to adjust to different customs!
2.) Studying abroad shows that you are independent and comfortable enough with yourself to engage with a new country and meet new friends.
Leaving home for four months to study in a foreign country says something about an applicant right off of the bat. Not many people feel comfortable saying goodbye to the comforts of home and immersing themselves in a brand new place with new roommates and professors. Someone who is willing to be flexible and open to a new life in a new country is likely to acclimate well to a new job.
3.) Studying abroad shows that you have the ability to solve logistical problems.
Traveling can come with major logistical issues. Buying plane tickets (at a cheap price), figuring out where to stay, and planning what to do in a new country can be stressful- especially when you are trying to figure it out with a group of new friends. However, if planning goes well, new adventures and experiences are endless! Someone who can handle the stress of traveling and planning is likely to handle logistics of working with others well.
The world awaits…discover it.