It’s no news that some students, if not most, feel unprepared for the ‘real’ world. Even by the time they reach their graduating year. For reals.
Aren’t four years (or so) of college supposed to do that? You finish the program, shake hands in exchange for a diploma, and off you go to the job of your dreams. Apparently, more and more surveys share student sentiments saying otherwise.
Earning a degree in the 21st century is no longer a safety net for a successful life. Real world preparation is. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until after graduation to be immersed in the ‘real’ world. One of the ways you can do that is by studying abroad—even if it’s just for a year! (Not to mention, it’s more fun that way than life hitting you straight outta school. Right?)
If you need a lil’ more convincing, here are three ways how studying far from home gives you a crash course on ‘Real World 101’:
1. When it breaks the norms you’re used to…
Studying abroad gives you a free pass on being the new kid on the block. Again. This means wandering around a new school campus (read: LOST), learning a new set of class policies, and confusing yourself most of the time because your ‘normal’ way of doing things isn’t the norm anymore.
While these instances can be really challenging, it forces you to adapt and learn which are both important life skills to have in the real world. Great! It also trains you to think outside the box. Suddenly, you have classmates and professors who don’t even know your name. Who are you going to ask for help when you need help in a subject? There’s also a different teaching style from your school back home. How are you going to pick up the pace? And the list goes on.
Studying abroad equips you to be more flexible to changes so you can keep up in a fast-paced world—ready to take on any opportunity coming your way. How’s that for real world preparation?
“I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a different academic system. I know that I feel more prepared for my final year at Kent, thanks for the experiences I’ve had. Going abroad helped me to see and understand another way of studying film while experiencing the excitement of being in a new place.”– Juliana Heras-Reyes on her year studying abroad in Montreal, Canada
2. When it gives you the confidence to talk to anyone, anytime…
It’s a given. Studying abroad will give you lots of opportunities to meet new people and make new friends—if you’re lucky, even find lifelong friends! However, what underscores these newfound connections is the ability to connect and engage people from completely different backgrounds. Culture is only as strong as its people, and studying abroad puts you right in the front row to learn about it.
You get to immerse in other people’s culture through spending time with them, not just searching what’s written about them. The more you interact with them, the more you understand them. And the more you understand them, the more adept you become in dealing with different types of people. And without you realizing it, you’ve already gained the confidence in building relationships with people.
When you enter the ‘real’ world, people skills are crucial. Whether that be working with your colleagues on day-to-day tasks or speaking with top management bosses in a meeting. Someday you’re going to look back on your experience studying abroad and thank yourself for a head start. (Good job, you!)
“The year abroad is a highly rewarding experience that every student should try. I have become more culturally aware, and the experience I have gained will look amazing on my CV and be beneficial for my future career.”– Kristina Juodisiute on her year studying abroad in Bologna, Italy
3. When it sets you up for success in the job market…
Let’s be honest. The job market is a tough world to be in. (Yup, even with a diploma at hand.) That’s where your studying abroad saves the day. It doesn’t only give you a fun experience to look back on, but also a competitive advantage once you start applying for your dream job.
By ‘competitive advantage’ we mean the skills you’ll learn throughout your stint overseas. From understanding different cultures, developing language skills to budgeting your allowance far from home. It all counts! After all, it’s not every day companies get an application from someone who is brave enough to pack his bag and set out on a learning adventure.
PS. Did you know that students who study abroad are 10% more likely to get hired six months after graduation than those who didn’t study abroad? #facts
“As the world is becoming increasingly globalised, I felt that it would be beneficial to come to Hong Kong as it is such a global hub, with a good mix of East and West.”– April- Louise Pennant on her year studying abroad in Hong Kong, China
Studying abroad may seem scary. But there’s no denying how it can open up a world full of opportunities for the brave ones who take the path. These three reasons are just a glimpse of what lies ahead. The question is, are you brave enough to take the first step?
There is no better time to prepare yourself for the real world than now. Take the first step! Check out study abroad opportunities from schools like the University of Kent. For more tips and advice when you study abroad, read more articles like this on our blog at Edukasyon.ph!