Why Study Abroad?
Expand your academic opportunities
Study abroad offers an unparalleled opportunity to take classes in subject areas that you never could imagine at home. Interested in art history? Picture having a two-hour class session in the Sistine Chapel. Studying political science or international relations? SCU students have interned in British Parliament as part of their study abroad program and gotten first-hand experience in a political environment. Fascinated by marine biology? You could be visiting various coastal environments in order to sample animals and plants for lab analysis at local field stations in Denmark. Study abroad offers all of these academic opportunities and many more.
Enhance your future employability
Only a small percentage of undergraduates nationwide take advantage of studying abroad, so by choosing to take part in a summer, semester, or year-long program abroad, you set yourself apart from the rest of the college student population. Study abroad is a valuable commodity in today's global society. Potential employers will be impressed that you have a unique perspective on not only another society, but your own as well. Having had an overseas study experience shows that you're motivated, inquisitive, and willing to try new things - all very appealing qualities in an employee. People who study abroad tend to be willing to take risks, willing to put themselves in unusual situations, able to solve problems under unique circumstances, and able to overcome the fear of the unknown.
Take advantage of the timing
This is the absolute best time in your life to study abroad. You'll never get a better opportunity than right now. If you've ever thought about studying overseas, do it while you're in college. If you miss this window of opportunity, it's almost impossible to do later in life. Traveling overseas is just not the same.
Broaden your horizons and gain a new perspective
Life in the USA is pretty much the same day in, day out. Life overseas makes you see your everyday world in a whole new light. You don't even realize it, but our culture shapes the way we view the world and affects us every minute of the day. Differences in culture are more than just differences in language, food, clothing, and art. Cultural differences reflect deeply ingrained perceptions about the world and about one's way of life, and these perceptions are radically different from one culture to the next. Americans don't tend to venture outside the confines of their day-to-day lives. Students who study abroad return home with an broadened and more open perspective toward other cultures. You'll be more sensitive to what is happening in the news from places around the world. You'll be able to relate better to other students on campus who are from different countries.
Gain a better perspective about yourself
Find out who you really are. What are your limits? How do you overcome obstacles you've never before encountered? How far can you push yourself? How independent are you? These questions are hard to answer until you are removed from your usual surroundings. By leaving your "comfort zone" of life in the U.S., you'll get to know strengths you never before knew you had. After solving difficult problems on your own overseas, you'll find that almost nothing fazes you at home. Students who study abroad commonly report that their study abroad experience actually changed their life.
Learn things first-hand for yourself
It's one thing to read about the culture of another country, but another entirely to experience it yourself. Things you had previously only read about in a book or learned about in a classroom will become your own personal experiences.
Study abroad is not for everyone, but it is something that everyone should consider. Talk to your academic advisor or study abroad coordinator today, or visit the Office of International Programs. We are located in the Cesar Chavez Commons, which are the portable buildings past O'Connor Hall, near the Music & Dance Building. We hope to see you soon.
Adapted from the University System of Georgia's website.