Date of Publication: 27 November 2018
Ever thought about what it’s like to be a student in a foreign country? Well, with today’s hyper-connected and globalised world, it’s never been easier to embark on a study abroad program and experience life as a student abroad.
Over the years, studying abroad has become an increasingly popular choice for students all over the world, with around 1.3 million students currently undertaking study abroad programs in one of the EU states. Over the past five years, study abroad statistics demonstrate how the UK itself has become the leading destination, having welcomed just under 200,000 students from the US alone – with Italy and Spain ranking close in second and third place.
Study abroad programs come in many different forms, including everything from short summer school experiences to full-time study abroad university programs which can take years to complete.
Why Should I Study Abroad?
If you are entering the workplace or university in the coming years, one of the most important ways to prepare yourself is through international exposure. Studying overseas has many incredible benefits, both for your personal and professional life.
There are many long-term benefits of studying abroad which are supported by various studies, such as an increased likelihood of finding employment within a year of graduation; higher starting salaries; and entering into top choice graduate programmes. But there are also several other long-term benefits of study abroad programs.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most obvious reasons why you should consider studying abroad this summer.
1. Build New Interests
An unexpected benefit of spending a summer abroad is that it will foster new interests. Have you ever played a game of cricket, or rugby? Have you taken part in debates in the style of the Oxford Union? What about punting down the River Cherwell, or the River Cam?
All of these activities could become your new favourite interest or hobby as a result from joining a study abroad uk program. In your free time, you will get to experience activities which are unique to the environment where you are studying but are hugely popular among local students and young people.
When you return home to your friends and family, you could find yourself equipped with a new toolkit of ways to unwind and relax during your free time.
2. Live Independently
Embarking on a study abroad program can be a hugely daunting experience, particularly if this is your first time staying away from home for a period of time or being in another country to your family. However, once you settle into the excitement of student life and immerse yourself in a busy timetable of studying and extracurricular activities, you’ll soon begin to settle and feel confident in your new home.
Over time, and as a result of studying abroad and living in university housing, you will gain more confidence in your ability to live independently and embrace student culture. During a summer course, you are responsible for a number of things, including arriving to class on time, completing your homework, and preparing for class. Adopting traits like these are valuable for all students and will provide you with an arsenal of sought-after skills which are needed for further education and the workplace.
In addition to these independent living necessities, you’ll learn skills out of your comfort zone. Living in England, you’ll navigate exchange rates, learn your way around your city of choice, and, for non-English speakers, dive into a new language. Expanding beyond your comfort zone will expose you to new cultures beyond your own.
3. Gain an International Perspective
When you study abroad, it’s unlikely you’ll be the only international student on your course. In fact, on our summer courses, we pride ourselves on our international community, with students having joined us from 112 different countries in previous years.
We foster international conversations on our courses, so you can gain as much exposure about the world as possible. From classroom discussions to formal graduation dinners with your course mates, you’ll be encouraged to get involved and learn more about everyone’s experiences, views, and interests.
As a result of spending a period of time with students from different backgrounds, you’ll gain an international perspective on so many different things. From gaining insight into how your favourite subject is taught and observed in different cultures, to the types of extracurricular activities and hobbies your new classmates enjoy doing in their spare time.
4. Build Your Confidence
Embarking on a study abroad program can really shape you for your future as you navigate through further education and the workplace, especially as it’s a great opportunity to put you out of your comfort zone and build your confidence.
Between navigating a map of your new city, learning the value of the currency in your hand and making friends from around the world, you’re bound to feel your confidence increase. And that’s before you think about all the confidence you’ve gained from travelling abroad on your own and living independently in a new country.
When you do take these skills back to your home country, you’ll feel more confident in your daily activities and decision-making. Moving into the future and when you do enter the world of work, you’ll have a much sought after skill and perform better for it.
5. Gain Cultural Insight
One of the biggest advantages of taking the opportunity to embark on a study abroad program in a country you have never before visited is the chance to become immersed in a totally new and enriching environment. You will see and do things you would never have expected, and meet people you may never have met if you didn’t travel.
For example, while living abroad, you’ll be able to taste the local cuisine, explore the best sites and immerse yourself in the music, television, and other aspects of popular culture that make your study abroad location so exciting.
Many people say that you will learn so much about your own culture through the eyes of somebody else’s, and studying abroad definitely gives you the opportunity to to do so. You can learn a lot about yourself and your home country by immersing yourself in something totally novel and unique, expanding your world-view.
6. Learn More about Globalisation
As businesses move increasingly digital, we’re seeing an increase in global digital flows as well – that is, the ability to connect businesses across the world more seamlessly and meaningfully. In a recent study, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), digital flows of information have been shown as being increasingly international. In fact, according to the study, the amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005.
Globalisation has become increasingly digitised. With over 45 million people now using the internet daily in the UK alone, people are becoming increasingly hyper-connected and communicative all over the world.
Studying abroad this summer will provide you with greater understanding of how to work in an increasingly global workplace and how to adapt to this ever-changing work environment. You’ll meet and build a network of international peers, many of whom will stay in your life and influence you for years to come. They’ll open your mind as to how globalisation has affected their countries, giving you greater advantage when it comes to starting out in an international workplace.
7. Create an International Network
For students aged 16-24, building an international network is a critical skill and one of the top reasons to study abroad. Networking is a vital part of a student’s growth, from the moment you begin further education and through to your retirement.
It’s all about forming trust and sharing knowledge, contacts and advice between one another which can help you to make advances in your education and throughout your career.
If you haven’t yet started trying to build a network of professional connections, then one of our study abroad UK programs may be the perfect starting point! It’s a chance to meet other passionate students from around the globe and connect with tutors from some of the top UK universities. Upon completion of your course, your tutors will also write you a letter of recommendation to demonstrate your growth over the duration of your course. Many students choose to use this letter towards college and university applications, showcasing how your network from a study abroad perspective can help you advance in your education.
As you move on to university and into the workforce, you will already be connected with peers from around the world who you can reach out to and collaborate ideas, share advice and much more.
8. Experience High-Quality Teaching from Expert tutors
One of the central reasons why so many students choose to study abroad is to access a quality educational experience which they may not have otherwise been able to experience. The UK in particular is recognised around the world as one of the top education providers, with over half a million students applying to study here each year.
During one of our summer courses in the UK, you’ll learn more about your favourite subject from top experts in the field. Many of our tutors have taught at the top UK universities. In fact, for those teaching on our 18-24 courses, 91% of our tutors have studied at either the University of Oxford or Cambridge.
On top of this, since we ensure our class sizes are kept small, tutors will give you individualised attention, so you’ll leave the course with more in-depth knowledge. It’s just one of the reasons why our award-winning summer school is so popular amongst students looking for the best that British education has to offer.
9. Stand Out to Universities and Employers
Traditionally, experience of living internationally tends to impress prospective university admissions advisers and employers, demonstrating your passion and determination for a great education. You’ll be showing your real zest for life, with a desire to try new things and explore new places, showcasing how adaptable you are as an individual.
As mentioned above, your time abroad will have helped you develop a whole host of desirable skills, including your confidence, the ability to experience things independently, and have a global perspective of the world around you.
If you can explore a new country at the same time as picking up skills to gain a place on your dream university course or graduate job, then that’s a pretty good reason to consider studying abroad this summer.
10. Lifelong Friends
The bonds that you form while living abroad are unbreakable. You will study and live with students from around the world, and the experience of living abroad will undoubtedly bind you.
Our smaller group sizes ensure that everyone in the class is heard and appreciated, and this means you’ll be able to form valuable connections with everyone who shares a passion for your subject – connections which can guide you through future educational and professional pursuits.
After your programme has finished, you will return to your home country with a group of close friends around the world. Social media will allow you to continue to keep in touch with one another, while our very own Bridgemark Alumni Network will ensure you and your friends can relive your memories together through graduation photos, group catch ups, and advice forums.
Interested in studying abroad this summer?
If you’re considering studying abroad this summer, then take a look at the summer courses we have available here in the UK. We have over 50 different programs available, with university-style subjects to suit everyone’s interests and needs.
Our summer schools are available in the top UK university cities, including Oxford, Cambridge and London. Courses run from two-weeks in length – the optimum time to experience life away from home and in a foreign country – but with the option to extend if you wish.
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to an admissions officer, then feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have. We’ll be happy to address any queries and provide you with further information.