Study Abroad: What’s the Big Idea?

For the UAS Whalesong

The message is straight forward. Google Top 10 Reasons to Study Away and you’ll find that although each author’s words might be slightly different, the enthusiasm, encouragement and noted benefits to studying away are all similar. Studying away is one of the most rewarding experiences for a college student. And here are a handful of reasons why. 

• You will increase your knowledge of the world – This new experience to an unfamiliar state or country with different outlooks, traditions, customs, landscapes, transit systems, and recreation activities will expand your vision of the world as a bigger and more interesting place.

• You will enhance your education – Engaging in a different style of learning on a different campus offers a new appreciation of class size, teaching styles, and methods. It also allows for exploration of major topics or classes, and extends the collective diversity of friends, faculty, staff, and internships and research opportunities.

• You will discover new interests – You may think you have yourself figured out: This is what I like and this is what I don’t like, but saying yes and trying new things while studying away will surprise even the most enlightened student. Undiscovered talent and curiosity fosters new interests.

• You will increase your marketability – Employers view students who have studied away as more responsible, independent, and respectful of other points of view than students who have not. Students are also more likely to demonstrate on a resume and offer examples in an interview of intercommunication skills and knowledge obtained during their experience away, enhancing their sales pitch for that desired job!

• You will increase your value as an employee, benefiting you throughout your career – As successful diverse relationships become increasingly more important in the world, those with study away experience have increased self-awareness, personal skills, flexibility, and first-hand knowledge of political and cultural charms and issues. With this experience, study away returnees are considered better candidates for leadership positions, and tend to have more to offer to committee work, collaborative efforts, and partnerships.

• You will grow beyond your expectation – Studying away will test your ability to adapt and manage uncomfortable situations. Problem-solving will go beyond course work; it will extend into your life, and because of this you will be forever and profoundly changed by the experience.

Many often think, I will travel later in life, and they do… for two weeks or a month, but nothing compares to an extended period of time that goes beyond the vacation and includes an opportunity to study academically and grow personally as studying away.

As a participant of a study away program, you will walk away from your college experience with more worldly knowledge than your classmate who hasn’t. You will gain additional personal skills and credentials qualifying you for that dream job and boosting your employability beyond others in your same field. And family, friends, and you – yourself, will recognize the new inner strength and enhanced sense of self. Now that is a deal of a lifetime!

Exchange deadlines for next academic year are February 15- internationally, and February 20 for the national program. Study abroad option deadlines for summer and fall 2017 continue into March.

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