10 reasons why you should study abroad!

Universities love to promote exchange programs as they improve their prestige, opportunities and global acknowledgement. But why exactly are study abroad schemes so appealing to students?


7/6/20234 min read

In an increasingly globalised world, academic institutions are keen to encourage their students to pursue further education in foreign countries and participate in exchange programs. Most universities, especially higher ranking ones, offer the option for students to spend up to a whole academic year away from their home university. Such programs are sometimes optional, sometimes compulsory, depending on the academic program and type of degree. Colleges tend to establish such programs to enhance the prestige, opportunities and global recognition of their alumni. But why exactly do study abroad schemes appeal to students? And why would students want to spend time away from a university they already invested so much effort to get into? Here are 10 reasons why exchange programs are so popular.

1. Immersing into a different culture

It’s no secret that there is no better way to understand a different culture than to live among locals. Exchange programs provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture, language, and way of life. By living and studying in a foreign country, students can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of a range of perspectives, customs, and traditions.

2. Improving your academic potential

There are cases where students are interested in specific courses or modules that are not provided at their home university or they want to look at their chosen course from a different perspective. Through exchange programs students can access unique courses, specialized facilities, and expert faculty that may only be available at partner institutions. This exposure to different teaching methods and academic environments can enhance their educational experience, and provide them with a deeper understanding of the divergences and similarities between teaching methods across the globe.

3. Stepping out of your comfort zone

Although for international students the whole experience of studying abroad can be a little out of their comfort zone, this is an opportunity rather than a drawback. Students that venture abroad improve their ability to navigate different environments and adapt to new communities. Living on your own is also a huge booster of personal growth, as you learn to stand on your own two feet. The experience of studying abroad programs is often viewed as a life-changing experience by students.

4. Developing a global professional network

Exchange programs are often viewed as a perfect opportunity to establish long-lasting international friendships, laying the groundwork for a broad global network. Being in an unfamiliar environment accelerates the formation of new bonds and interactions with fellow students from diverse backgrounds, cultures and countries. Such intercultural connections can be valuable for future collaborations and career opportunities, and enhance intercultural understanding.

5. Learning more languages

Living and studying in a foreign country offers an immersive language learning experience like no other. Students are able to significantly improve their language skills through real-life interactions with native speakers. Moreover, studying in a different language can strengthen your knowledge of technical and specialist vocabulary, an area that most language courses don't cover. Given that the job market today is highly globalised, language proficiency adds to your CV and dramatically boosts career prospects. This is particularly true for the highest paying jobs and most competitive industries.

6. Enhancing your job prospects

Continuing the employability and future job benefits, study abroad schemes are often study abroad programs are often cited as opportunities to increase one's chances of securing a better job post-graduation. Employers tend to value the skills and experiences gained through studying abroad, such as adaptability, cultural sensitivity, global awareness, and independence. Therefore, students who have participated in exchange programs or studied abroad are highly sought after in the professional sphere.

7. Giving yourself an international perspective

Living and studying abroad broadens students’ horizons and encourages a global mindset. It is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of global issues and different perspectives, and enhances your ability to communicate with people from other cultures. In turn, this cultivates tolerance, empathy, and open-mindedness, enabling students to become valuable contributors to our interconnected world.

8. Understanding yourself better

Moving from your native cultural setting to a new one offers you the opportunity opportunity to closely examine your beliefs, values, and assumptions. You become more aware of your unique identity and how it shapes your perspective when you spend long periods of time away from home. This reflective process nurtures personal growth and self-awareness, playing a key role in the transition from youth to adulthood.

9. Saving money

In some programs, an exchange semester is mandatory, but in programs where it's optional, the cost for an academic year is often reduced. Additionally, exchange semesters may allow you to pay fees at your home institution while attending a more expensive university during the exchange, without incurring extra costs. When it comes to studying your whole degree abroad, enrolling in a program in the UK might be significantly more affordable than studying in Japan or the US. Moreover, numerous scholarships, funding opportunities, and grants, specifically designed for study abroad programs, are available to enhance the program’s financial accessibility for a broader range of students.

10. Creating memories that last a lifetime

There’s no doubt that living and studying in a different country is a unique and transformative experience that creates lasting memories. Your moments of exploration, engagement with a different culture and personal growth become cherished memories that students carry with them throughout their lives. From making new friends to experiencing unusual traditions, to overcoming challenges and celebrating achievements, the expeiences witnessed during an exchange program often become the most impactful points in life of a student.