The Importance of Studying Abroad

Before beginning college I knew I wanted to study abroad.  The thought of living in a different country for 6-12 months seemed so exciting!

After arriving at Chico State, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the university has many great study abroad programs. Chico State study abroad sends more than 300 students to 30 different countries every year. My  dreams of studying abroad seemed as if they might actually come true.

When I was a freshman I attended the informational meetings about studying abroad. I didn’t need to be convinced that it would be the best time of my life, but I did walk away feeling even more determined to make it happen.

At the meetings, the study abroad coordinators showed pictures and told stories of student’s experiences abroad. The study abroad team stressed even more that those who study abroad are set apart from those who do not.

College students often hear that they should study abroad for “personal growth.”  Someone might say to them “it’ll help you come out of your shell” or “studying abroad will help you to become more independent.” While this is true, studying abroad helps in so many other ways!

Studying abroad does help with professional growth. It stands out on résumés! When an employer sees that someone has lived in a different country for a long period of time, there are many desirable qualities the employer might infer about the potential job candidate.

Study abroad students may gain leadership skills, cross cultural communication and an understanding of many different cultures. All of these qualities are important to obtain when entering the job market.

So, study abroad! Not only will you meet great people and have the time of your life, but you are also investing in your future!

Hey, if living on the beach can help you land a job; why not take advantage of it?!

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. July 2011

View of the beach from my apartment. Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. July 2011

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