Already thinking about where to go on vacation next year? Love getting to know people from different cultures and are good at languages? Instead of waiting until after you graduate from college to travel abroad, why not do it now?
There will never be a better time to travel than when you don’t have a mortgage or a lot of other responsibilities. Here are seven reasons why you should really think about going abroad to study.
1. You should never pay for an Airbnb again in your entire life.
Do you like the idea of cheap travel and the comfort of knowing you can sleep for free in many places around the world? One of the best things about studying abroad, especially at an international university, is that you will make and keep so many friends from different cultures! There’s nothing like a good old friend to teach you about their culture and help you see things more clearly.
Studying abroad, or even just spending a semester with a partner university overseas, could help you build a second network of connections to fall back on. You could do this through events put on by the university’s careers team, the alumni network, professors, or classmates. You could join Meetup groups in your field of interest overseas to meet people in the field and talk to potential employers.
3. Surprise yourself.
Nothing beats a change of scenery to show you that you can still grow and try new things outside of your comfort zone (and food). Traveling has a way of making things that don’t seem possible seem like they are. You never know what you’ll find out about yourself when you learn to enjoy your own company. Maybe you’ll decide you want to work in politics or teach skydiving (especially overseas). Joining a student society could be a good way to find out more about what you’re interested in. For example, IE University has more than 30 student societies, which cover everything from aerial sports to film.
4. Go abroad to school and learn a different language.
Even though it gets harder to learn a new language after a certain age, being around people who speak it every day of the year certainly helps! If you try hard to learn the language and maybe take some more classes, you’ll be fluent in no time. In today’s competitive job market, graduates almost always need to know more than one language and have around 500 years of work experience. Some schools, like IE University, offer free classes in Spanish and English to help students get settled and add a foreign language to their resume.
5. Upgrade your CV.
In fact, a study done in 2006 found that students who took part in the Erasmus study abroad program tend to have better job prospects. This is partly because they are more mature and have learned important skills like “intercultural awareness, adaptability, flexibility, innovativeness, productivity, motivation, endurance, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work productively in a team.”
6. Teach yourself to be tough and creative.
When you live abroad, you will often have to solve problems on your own and maybe even get yourself out of sticky situations. You will definitely get locked out of your apartment, get lost, and have to use only your hands to explain something complicated to someone. Expect to learn more about street life than you ever thought possible.
7. Get more chances to find work.
Depending on your citizenship and visa requirements, studying abroad will give you access to a second job market and work opportunities in both your home country and your host country. It will also improve your chances of getting a job and show recruiters that you have relevant “graduate” skills like problem-solving, a global mindset, and a foreign language. Depending on which school you go to, there may be some chances for you to get known overseas. Entrepreneurial students at IE University have many chances to move their project ideas forward. For example, the IE Venture Lab helps students with business ideas move forward more quickly.
IE University lets you study abroad in Spain and other places.
With more than a hundred different countries represented on campus and connections to up to 95 universities in 30 countries, IE University is proud of its diverse classrooms. About 70% of its students are from outside the United States.
Whether you want to study in Spain or somewhere else, IE University has a lot of options for spending a semester abroad with a partner university. There are also a lot of support services on campus to help international students get settled.