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Boost your life: 9 big benefits of study abroad

Discover 9 important ways studying abroad will mean you’re able to cruise through your comfort zone to boost your career, communication, and confidence.

By Adam Salzman | 22nd April, 2024

College is a blast, but what if you could take your learning to a whole new level? Studying abroad, even for a few weeks, can be a transformative adventure that boosts you in at least eight significant ways.  

Imagine yourself immersed in a new culture, gaining global skills, and building lifelong friendships – all while propelling your academic and professional goals forward.  

This guide explores the many benefits of studying abroad. Keep reading to discover how this incredible opportunity can supercharge your life.

See also: Everything You Wanted to Know About Study Abroad (But Were Too Afraid to Ask).

#1 Boost your cultural awareness

Imagine ditching textbooks for real-life experience. Living in another country throws you headfirst into a new culture. You'll experience customs, traditions, and ways of life different from your own. 

By becoming friends with locals, trying new foods, and navigating new situations, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the world and how people from all walks of life live and think. This isn't just about memorizing facts – it's about opening your mind and becoming culturally aware.

Think of it like this. Cultural awareness is like a secret language for succeeding in today's global world. It helps you connect with people from different backgrounds, work effectively in teams, and even land your dream job. 

Employers love to see international experience because it shows you're adaptable, open-minded, and a quick learner – all thanks to your cultural awareness muscles that you built when you studied abroad. 

So, ditch the norm, including tourists traps, and deep dive into a new culture. It's a life-changing adventure that will benefit you for years to come.

#2 Boost your academic experience

No textbooks? No problem! You're exploring ancient ruins in Italy or mastering a new language in Costa Rica instead. Studying abroad offers a powerful way to boost your academic experience, especially as an American student.

First, you'll gain a fresh perspective on your field. By attending classes overseas, you'll be exposed to different teaching styles and viewpoints from international professors. This can spark new ideas and challenge your assumptions, leading to a deeper understanding of your chosen subject.

Plus, many programs let you take unique courses that might not be available at your university, giving you a chance to specialize (or explore a new area of interest!).

Think beyond the classroom too. Study abroad programs often include field trips and excursions that bring your learning to life. For example, meeting marine life in the Caribbean or handling historical documents in London — these experiences solidify your knowledge in a way lectures simply can't.

So, if you're looking to take your academics to the next level and truly understand your field, consider packing your bags and hitting the books abroad!

#3 Boost your career

Launching your career after college? Studying abroad can be a major advantage.

Here's how:

Global skills for a globalized world: The world is more connected than ever, and employers are looking for candidates who can thrive in an international environment. Studying abroad gives you a firsthand chance to develop crucial cross-cultural skills.

You'll learn to adapt to new situations, communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds, and gain a broader perspective – all qualities that will impress potential employers.

Boost your resume: Imagine standing out from a pile of resumes with "Studied abroad in Costa Rica" plastered across yours. It shows initiative, independence, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone.

Plus, if you choose a program related to your field of study, you'll gain specialized knowledge and potentially even foreign language fluency, making you a much more attractive candidate.

Network like a pro: Studying abroad isn't just about textbooks. You'll be living and interacting with people from all over the world. This is a golden opportunity to build a network of international contacts – professors, classmates, and maybe even future colleagues.

These connections can be invaluable down the line, opening doors to internships, jobs, or even business partnerships abroad.

#4 Boost your horizon

Travel on local time: Unlike a whirlwind vacation, studying abroad allows you to enter into your new culture at your own pace. You'll have weekends and breaks to explore hidden gems, experience local festivals, and navigate cities like a local.

Imagine trying street food in Thailand you wouldn't find on a tourist itinerary, or catching a local band in a cozy Parisian cafe – experiences that go way beyond the typical tourist path.

Built-in travel buddies: Forget the hassle of solo travel or planning everything yourself. Study abroad programs often organize weekend trips and excursions, giving you a chance to explore nearby regions or even neighboring countries with your classmates.

Plus, you'll have a ready-made group of friends to share these adventures with, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Unlock new perspectives: Travel broadens the mind, and studying abroad takes it a step further. By living and learning in a new environment, you'll gain a deeper understanding of different cultures, customs, and ways of life.

This can spark new interests, challenge your assumptions, and leave you with a more open-minded and well-rounded worldview – a valuable asset no matter where your travels (or career) take you after graduation.

#5 Boost your confidence

Imagine yourself becoming more confident, independent, and adaptable – all while exploring a new part of the world. Studying abroad, even for a short time, can be a powerful journey of personal growth.

Here's how:

Independence boot camp: Let's face it, college is a stepping stone to adulthood, and studying abroad throws you right into the deep end (in a good way!). Navigating a new country on your own builds self-reliance.

You'll learn to budget your money, manage your time, and solve problems independently.

Order food in a language you're still learning, figure out public transportation on your own, or even open a bank account – these challenges will boost your confidence and make you feel like you can conquer anything.

Self-discovery on a global stage: Stepping outside your comfort zone in a new culture can be incredibly revealing. You'll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. By encountering different customs and perspectives, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your own values and beliefs.

This self-discovery can be life-changing, helping you develop a stronger sense of who you are and what matters most to you.

#6 Boost your language skills

Dreaming of mastering that foreign language you've always been interested in? Studying abroad, even for a short time, can supercharge your language learning and get you speaking like a local in no time.

Here's how:

Immersion makes perfect: Textbooks and classroom drills are great, but there's nothing quite like being surrounded by a language 24/7. Studying abroad throws you into the deep end of the language pool, forcing you to use your new skills in real-life situations. From ordering coffee to buying groceries, you'll be constantly practicing your conversation skills. Imagine the confidence boost of having a casual chat with a shopkeeper or bargaining at a local market – all in your target language!

Fast track to fluency: Forget about classroom formalities. Studying abroad exposes you to everyday language, slang, and different accents. You'll pick up natural speaking patterns and colloquialisms that textbooks simply can't teach.

Plus, with native speakers readily available to correct your mistakes and answer your questions, you'll learn faster and retain information more easily.

#7 Boost your social circle

Picture this — exploring vibrant cities, trying delicious new foods, and creating unforgettable memories — alongside a brand new group of friends from around the world.

Studying abroad can be an amazing way to expand your social circle and build lifelong friendships.

Here's how:

Instant community: When you study abroad, you're automatically surrounded by people in the same boat – students from different backgrounds all adjusting to a new environment.

This shared experience creates a strong sense of community, making it easy to strike up conversations and form fast friendships.

You'll have classmates to explore with, roommates to share adventures with, and a built-in support system to help you navigate the ups and downs of living overseas.

Friends across the globe: Unlike friendships back home, study abroad connections often blossom into lifelong bonds that transcend borders. You'll make friends from all corners of the world, giving you a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures firsthand.

Imagine having a friend who can show you the hidden gems of their hometown, or even hosting them for a visit after graduation — these international friendships can open doors to travel opportunities and broaden your worldview for years to come.


#8 Boost your communication skills

evel up your communication skills and become a master of getting your message across! Studying abroad can be a game-changer for how you communicate.

Here's how:

Mastering non-verbal cues: Go beyond words. Studying abroad immerses you in a new culture where non-verbal cues like gestures and facial expressions might hold different meanings. You'll become more adept at reading body language and adjusting your communication style to be understood across cultures.

Imagine becoming a pro at navigating conversations where English isn't the first language — a valuable skill in today's globalized world.

Active listening on steroids: When you're surrounded by a new language, you naturally become a more attentive listener. You'll learn to focus on the tone of voice, body language, and even context to grasp the full meaning of what someone is saying.

This enhanced listening skill will translate back to your everyday communication, making you a more patient and understanding listener in any situation.

#9 Boost your resilience

Ever feel like college life throws a lot your way? Studying abroad can be a powerful way to build resilience – that inner strength that helps you bounce back from challenges. 

Here's how:

Confidence through comfort zone crushes: Stepping outside your comfort zone is scary, but it's also where real growth happens. Studying abroad pushes you to confront new situations head-on, building your self-confidence and independence. 

Imagine the pride of successfully navigating a new city alone, striking up conversations with locals, or overcoming a language barrier — these experiences will empower you to face any future challenge with a can-do attitude.


Studying abroad isn't just about ticking a box on your travel wish list; it's an investment in yourself. By stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing a new culture, you'll return home with a broader perspective, a sharper skillset, and the confidence to tackle anything life throws your way.

So, pack your bags, open your mind, and get ready to embark on a journey that will transform you into a more globally-minded and successful individual.

What's next?

Take a look at our Study Abroad 101.

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