For some people, going out of their comfort zone is easy, so the idea of studying abroad is a no brainer. But, for most of us, it requires a lot of thought and research and introspection. Here’s a list of the things we think you should contemplate, and ultimately embrace, about why you should study abroad for a semester.
We know that study abroad semesters are life changing. They give students the opportunity to change their world view and explore their many talents. Studies have shown that these programs also pay forward in the ways that are measurable, such as higher graduation rates and better jobs, but also the immeasurable feel good indices of more satisfying careers and interpersonal relationships.
Study Abroad To Help Make the World a Better Place
Change your worldview - Study abroad helps you go from being ethnocentric to global centric. Our world has gotten much smaller due to the internet, social media platforms, and Free Trade deals - all of which led to the globalization of most industries. It’s not enough anymore to wear that outfit that was made in Bangladesh, dry off with towels made of cotton sourced from Egypt, or snack on terrific fruit from Peru or Israel. Study abroad lets you see - in person - all of these countries and helps you understand, first hand, how we are all interconnected.
Interconnected - What you wear on your body and put in your mouth is produced by another human being. Who is that person - how do they live, where do they live, what are their concerns and wishes? Study abroad opens your eyes and your heart to new people, new cultures, and new experiences that will help you understand the world, and yourself, better. You can change the world, one interaction at a time, by seeing how others live and showing them how open you are to their life experience. You create a shared experience that will last a lifetime.
Supercharge your Academic Profile
Laser focus on your degree - Study abroad offers a plethora of programs to advance your major. Besides the obvious majors you might pursue abroad, such as language arts and international relations, you can also find programs in every field of science, technology, agriculture, archaeology, accounting and communications. There are a lot of resources you can use to look for programs, including GoAbroad.com, which allows you to search either by the country you’d like to explore, or the degree you need credits in to graduate.
Expand your Horizons - Inherent in choosing to go abroad is the desire to see and explore new places. The same can be said for your major. Exploring a new place helps open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. Even though your brain tells you that a degree in computer science may be a ticket to a good paying job, your heart might be saying that your passing interest in fine arts or culinary art/science might be worth pursuing. While you’re away from campus for a semester, and perhaps the judgement of friends and family, you are free to explore the avocation of your dreams, which may ultimately become your passion.
Travel the World
When else in your life will you be able to travel to almost any destination for the price of a semester’s tuition? There are so many places where you can explore new tastes, cultures, ideologies, languages, ecosystems - choose one and find the country where you fulfill your desires. Once you’re there, and the travel bug is ignited, you can explore more places at much more reasonable rates and travel times. Travel stretches your imagination but also increases your self confidence in handling new situations and management skills to handle all the details for your itinerary - all skills that look great on a resume.
Nail That Job
Listing a study abroad program on your resume is a game changer. Immediately it sets you apart from your peers. It marks you as different (in a good way!). You’re someone who already demonstrates the hallmark qualities employers are looking for in a new hire - risk taker, willing to take on challenges; open to new ideas and trying new experiences; able to follow through. You can parlay your study abroad experience into countless personal characteristics and growth experiences that will impress any interviewer. In fact, a survey by the Institute for the International Education of Students revealed how impactful study abroad is for a young person, not only in helping them complete their degrees and graduate, but also decades later as their careers advanced and changed.
Networking - when you study abroad, you are globally expanding your network of friends, contacts, and resources. In today’s expanding and overlapping economies, you will be ahead of the game. And, if you choose to learn a new language while immersed in a different country, you will be even more valuable in the workplace. Each interaction has the potential to exponentially increase your opportunities. This is a great resource to the career benefits of studying abroad.
When you choose to study abroad, you stretch your emotional, mental, and academic muscles. You are giving yourself the opportunity to learn so much more about yourself. The introspection that comes with embarking on a new adventure by yourself, helps you mature in ways that staying in “the familiar” can’t. Your ability to reason, to think outside the box, to develop social skills, in addition to developing self discipline and interpersonal skills, will not only make you a more successful adult, but also a more caring and giving person.
Study Abroad in Israel
If you're looking for an insane semester of good fun, great food, and fantastic experiences, consider studying abroad in Israel. You'll get to explore the land of Israel and interact with locals as if you live here. A quick flight gets you to almost any city in Europe or the UAE for a weekend, while never having that pressure to "hop on a train to France". This gives you the space to actually get to know the country, learn the language, and make amazing connections.
Thrive Study Abroad supports students who choose to spend a semester at Hebrew University of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv University. Thrive gives you weekly programming, trips around the country and behind-the-scenes opportunity to meet with the rising stars of the Israeli political, military and start-up scenes. You'll have plenty of free time, but more importantly, you'll walk away from the semester with meaning, knowledge, and experiences that will transform your life forever. Learn more today!