Tom's Top 5
REASONS TO STUDY ABROAD!
Tom O’Brien studied abroad for 9 months in France
and shares his experiences and tips.
Tom says:''Spending time living and studying abroad will change your life forever. Here's 5 reasons why you need to hand that ‘study abroad’ application in ASAP and jump on a plane. You won’t regret it!''
1. See The World From A Different Perspective
Everyone has an opinion on just about everything. Thanks to social networks only showing us stories they think we’ll ‘like,’ means that these opinions can become our 'only' opinions, very quickly. Not good!
Living in someone else’s country and chatting to people about their life experiences, and their views about the world can help you see life from different perspectives. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you'll understand how they approach life, you'll gain a better understanding of people, cultures and forming relationships. Perfect for your social life and your career.
2. Learn A Different Language Fluently
When I left to spend 9 months in France, I thought I could speak French fairly well. How wrong I was.
On knocking on doors in my new hall of residence and speaking to French students (in what I thought was a perfect accent) I completely lost track of what they were saying and ended up just nodding and saying ‘oui’ or ‘bonjour’ at random points.
Nothing can prepare you for the speed at which locals speak. However, after a few weeks you’ll begin to pick up more and more. Eventually, you’ll gain some fluency in your chosen language. You just need to keep going through those difficult early conversations and speak to as many local people as possible. You’ll make friends for life in the process. The improvements you make will help your career prospects too.
Not able to speak another language, not even a little bit? Don't worry when you study abroad you can study your classes in English!! :-)
3. Get Your Dream Job
If you live abroad then you can work abroad too. While you’re overseas, why not look for an internship with a local company whose products you're passionate about. The experience could lead to you being offered a job you love after you graduate.
Knowing that you have a full-time job (that you care about) after finishing your studies relieves so much stress as you prepare for your final exams. Even if you don’t get work while you’re abroad, the language skills you’ll gain will make it easier to apply for international jobs once you get home. These opportunities are often highly competitive, highly lucrative, and will provide you with fantastic travel opportunities long after you graduate; so it's great to have that edge.
4. Become A More Resilient Person
We all know that going to Uni can be a learning curve - even in the UK! You'll live on your own (often for the first time), have to make friends with people you’ve never met before, you also need to attend all of your lectures, do the housework, keep up to date with your rent and manage a budget. Eeek!
BUT...doing this in a foreign country, particularly one where shops aren’t open 24/7, perhaps having to operate in a different language and navigate the University and city is a whole different challenge. At first, this will be a huge culture shock; you might even begin to ask yourself why you came and start looking up cheap flights home. At this point, it is crucial to keep going.
Time will allow you to build your resilience and resilience = power :) If you're tough enough to get through the first few weeks you'll find that almost everything after that will feel easier - that first big interview, new job, exams even....study abroad doesn't just make you interesting - it makes you strong!
Better still - it will allow you to live or work anywhere for the rest of your life.
5. Enjoy Once In A Lifetime Experiences
You might even visit someone’s house and try a authentic homemade dish, made in a special way native to that culture.
Alternatively, you might see stunning views, relax on magnificent beaches, visit hidden gems of museums, go to exclusive parties and experience an huge range of things that you'd never have access to if you hadn’t made friends with the locals. These fantastic experiences will give you memories you’ll treasure forever, not to mention more photos than you can shake a selfie stick at.
These are just a few of the benefits of studying abroad - but most importantly? ...the time you spend abroad will shape how you spend the rest of your life living and working for the better.
Tom says: ''Spending a year studying abroad was a transformational experience for me and can be just as significant for you too.''
Interested in Studying Abroad?
Book your FREE TICKETS for the International Education Week Shows this March in Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds! You can meet with top universities from across the world and find out everything you need to know to apply. You won't regret it.
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