Study Abroad: My 10 reasons why to study in a foreign country

In 2012, I undertook my first abroad relocation as part of my studies to London, England. There’s no doubt that this was one of the best decisions, I’ve ever made. By leaving Denmark and adapting to the English culture, I learned so much more than I thought possible – both academically and personally. At the same time, I got to follow my childhood dream as an aspiring traveler to travel and acquire insight into and understanding for foreign cultures. Considering this adventure, I can’t find reasons not to leave comfort zones and take a leap of faith. As a result, I wanted to discuss this on my blog. As such, I present you with ten reasons why to study in a foreign country in the following paragraphs.

1) You have the possibility to study courses not available at your home university
You can choose any university in whatever country you find interesting that offers courses you would like to take. Maybe there are courses better suited for you and your future abroad?

2) You have the opportunity to practice your language skills
If you move to a foreign country in which its population speaks a foreign language, it’s the best way to learn the language in question with all its foreign ways. However, even if you move to a country where its population speaks your native tongue, you still have the opportunity to bound with other exchange students and learn or develop your language skills. It’s a win/win, really.

3) You’ll acquire insight into a foreign culture
Living in a foreign culture, you will automatically acquire insight into and understanding for its social norms and ways of living – its culture. You’ll learn about the culture’s history and gradually develop an understanding for its culture and social norms.

4) You learn how to cope in a foreign culture
All cultures have their social norms that dictates how to think and behave. This might be challenging at first, however, it’ll make you aware of cultural differences and teach you foreign ways of doing things that might suit you better than what you’re used to.

5) You learn that it’s all about perspective
As a result of living in a foreign culture, you’ll also come to learn and understand that it’s all about perspective. You might think and behave as you do in your culture, however, people from foreign cultures are not brought up with the same cultural, social norms. As such, you’ll develop an understanding for cultural perspectives that tells you there’s not always a right or wrong – there are, however, different ways of thinking and behaving as well as ways of reaching the same goal.

6) You have the possibility to travel
When settling in a foreign country for a period of time, not only do you acquire understanding for its history and culture, you also have the possibility to travel around the country and get to know other amazing cities, towns and villages in the country.

7) You’ll meet new friends from all over the world
You’re most likely not the only one on an adventure, there are many just like you on campus and in town. Therefore, there are many potential friends to gain from all over the world. These friendships may or may not last a lifetime, however, one thing is certain: You’ll have the possibility to visit them in their home country and explore their cultures as well. And having friends in foreign countries is not too bad – although you will miss them.

8) You become less dependent and more independent
Being on your own, away from familiar surroundings, friends and family, you are forced to cope on your own. It can be quite a challenge, however, when you learn how to overcome certain obstacles, you’ll feel like you can handle anything. As a result, you find yourself able to handle situations you never thought you could – and you’ll be less dependent on others and more independent as a result.

9) You grow up
Quite simply, you grow up as a result of facing your new reality – your new life.

10) You’ll make your CV stand out after university
Let’s face it: We increasingly live in an international and intercultural world in which businesses cooperate across countries. The fact that you’ll have approximately six months of abroad experience will make you stand out when it’s time to apply for a job after university!

See…! There are so many good things to gain from studying abroad. What are you waiting for? …Maybe you’ve already studied abroad? So you may agree with my ten reasons why to go abroad for studies? Maybe you have other good reasons to do it? Please, feel free to share.

xo P!

Study abroad

One Thing Traveling Has Taught Me: Be open-minded

There are so many reasons for my passion for traveling, the most important being the possibility to gain perspective – perspective on behaviour and ways of living. It’s rather fascinating when you let yourself adapt to a foreign culture and choose to be open-minded in the process, I think. Open-mindedness is the key! Without open-mindedness, no meaningful perspective…

Open-minded

Growing up in one culture, you’re taught how to behave in that culture, which can make it difficult to cope in foreign cultures and behave according to their cultural norms – let alone adapt to their foreign behaviour and ways of living. What’s normal in your culture may very well not be the norm in another culture. However, if traveling has taught me anything it is that you come a long way by being open-minded and willing to make yourself vulnerable in foreign situations – situations where you might feel uncomfortable. Because, by letting go of control and leaving yourself vulnerable, you allow yourself to experience new and foreign behaviour and ways of living while strengthening yourself. Ultimately, by not pre-judging foreign cultural norms, you allow yourself to dig into a sea of possibilities to improve your own life and ways of living. It’s a gift, really. As a result, you don’t only acquire insight into a foreign culture, however, also into your own culture. You gain perspective! With this perspective, you’re able to pick and choose ways of living that make you happy and live the way you wish to live – not bound by one culture’s social norms.

xo P!

 

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