Why study abroad?
Study-abroad programs help you learn how people around the world live, process information, do business, shop, make decisions, and organize their work and their time. These programs will teach you the skills not only to survive, but also to thrive in the global economy. You will learn how to analyze and respond to global events and conditions.
When considering a study-abroad experience, think outside the box. Did you know that while Europe (with 63 percent) continues to be the most popular region for U.S. students studying abroad, many students are now exploring other parts of the world? The percentage of all study- abroad students going to Latin America has more than doubled since 1985 and increased more than 11 percent in the last year alone! Other regions that have seen an increase include Oceania (up 29 percent), Africa (up 14 percent), and Asia (up five percent).
Many countries that had hosted only a few American students just five years ago are seeing hundreds of students this year. New Zealand and South Africa each hosted over 1,000 American students last year. Other countries with large increases included Cuba (up 64 percent), Kenya (up 22 percent), Korea (18 percent), Thailand (up 24 percent), Hong Kong (up 37 percent), Morocco (up 86 percent), Peru (up 2 percent) and Vietnam (up 32 percent).
International experience and competency helps ensure that you have a true, comprehensive education. There is substantive research literature that demonstrates that some of the core values and skills of a solid education are enhanced by participation in study-abroad programs. These values and skills include:
- Critical thinking skills
- Ability to communicate in more than one language
- Ability to communicate across cultural and national boundaries
- Ability to make informed judgments on major personal and social issues based on the analysis of various perspectives
- Specialized training that you cannot get sitting in your dorm room
Study-abroad experiences promote personal growth, development, and maturity among participating students. When you study abroad, you also learn about yourself and understand your own culture from another country/culture’s point of view. This helps you objectively assess situations and learn how to find solutions available beyond your own borders.
You must also face the fact that if you do not study abroad, you are going to be at a disadvantage when you graduate. Nearly 100,000 Americans students study abroad each year. You are going to be competing against them for jobs. Make sure you have what it takes to get a great job for the coming millennium!