What are the Benefits of Studying Abroad?
Studying abroad in another country (either for a semester or an entire year) can be expensive and disruptive (as you have to adapt to temporarily living and studying in another country).
Because of all of this hassle, people often wonder what the benefits of studying abroad are, and whether there are any benefits at all.
When talking about benefits of studying abroad, you’ll often hear people say things like “It’ll make you more confident and independent”. People involved with study abroad programs have always believed this, but there has never been any hard empirical evidence of the exact long-term benefits – until now.
The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) surveyed people who took part in their study abroad programs from 1950 to 1999. The aim of the study was to find out the long-term benefits of study abroad (if any).
The creators of the study wanted to find out whether studying abroad could positively impact a person’s personal, academic and professional life, and how studying abroad impacts a person’s career decisions, confidence and view of the world.
Over 3,400 students supplied data for the survey, and the data was all pooled together (regardless of where, when or for how long a student studied abroad).
The results are conclusive, and show that “studying abroad is usually a defining moment in a young person’s life and continues to impact the participant’s life for years after the experience”.
Here are the results of the survey. Note that the percentages on this table indicate the number of people that agreed with the statement. For example, a 96% of the total people taking the survey agreed that studying abroad ‘increased their self-confidence’.
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