The Benefits of a Year Abroad
Studying abroad, for any period of time, is a highly rewarding experience. Students returning from a study abroad programme frequently describe their experience as ‘life-changing’. Studying abroad can have a profound effect on how you view the world and your place within it. It takes you out of your comfort zone and continuously challenges you. As an individual, you will develop independence and self-reliance. Indeed, the experiences and skills you develop abroad will help you mature both personally and academically, and will improve your career prospects. A semester is not enough
However, independent research reveals that the longer students study abroad the greater the academic, career, cultural and personal benefits. According to Lance Kenney, Director of International Programs at Villanova University, “I can’t emphasize enough the benefits of studying overseas for a year versus a semester. I have seen this longer duration lead to greater levels of independence, confidence and maturity on the part of students.“ This is a view fully endorsed by Ethan Merritt, Senior Study Abroad Advisor at American University, “The full year experience in our view gives students a much more immersive experience and allows for more development (academically and personally) than just a semester. Besides the fact that a semester just goes so fast! We often tell students that in going abroad for a semester, just when they are starting to really feel comfortable with things, the semester is ending and they have to leave.”
Enhance your personal development
Students who study abroad for a year frequently refer to the levels of personal growth they experience. “A great experience! It represents an enrichment on every level,” said Arnaud Alves de Souza (HEC Lausanne) when asked how the General Course programme at LSE had benefited him. This view is reinforced by the vast majority of student surveyed by the Institute for the International Education of...
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