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Benefits of Study Abroad

Photo credit: Ayleah Johnson '22 (Switzerland, SIT, fall 2021)


Why study abroad?

Research has shown that NOT studying abroad is the number 1 regret College graduates have. Make sure you don't graduate with that same regret! Studying abroad has many benefits - it often leads to personal growth, it expands your personal and professional network, you gain new perspectives on your academic field, you work on intercultural competence, there are often opportunities for global community based learning, and the list goes on!

What are the academic benefits of study abroad?

Studying abroad broadens your academic perspective. It allows you to view your field through another academic lens, and to expand your professional and personal network by learning from local experts, engaging with peers during field trips, lab work, and in the classroom. It also gives you the opportunity to learn a new language or fully immerse yourself in a second language, depending on the program you pick.

What are the personal benefits of study abroad?

A semester spent studying in a new academic and cultural context also provides for tremendous opportunities for personal growth. You may be cooking for yourself for the first time, organizing a trip for new friends, joining a local sports club, or uniting in prayer with others in a new place of worship. Study abroad alumni often comment on a newfound sense of independence and on the incredible feeling of knowing that they did something new, boosting their confidence. Students often develop important skills such as flexibility, open-mindedness, and a sense of comfort with ambiguity.

What are professional benefits of study abroad?

Studying abroad is a phenomenal resume builder. Only about 10% of college students study abroad (approximately 40% of Swat students study abroad), so your resume will almost certainly stand out if you can list an international experience. Even better, study abroad is a great conversation-starter. You may find that potential employers ask you about your abroad experience - why did you go, what did you learn - which can be a great help for a successful job interview. Employers look for employees who are self-starters, take initiative, are responsible and can work well with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. A study abroad experience is a great way to show employers that you have those skills they are looking for.