Why Every Student Should Study Abroad?


Most students dream of jet-setting across the globe, honing language skills, or recreating themselves within a new environment and cultural boundaries. ISI Abroad pushes students to not only meet their personal and professional goals but to explore avenues of growth that they may not have previously considered.

Personal Growth

Study Abroad is one of the greatest opportunities for personal growth available to university students. Study after study returns showing how students who have spent time abroad become more independent, develop a stronger sense of self, and become more aware of how culture impacts an individual’s experience. While overseas, students find themselves stepping away from their usually hectic schedules (you know, working one or two jobs, holding an officership for a club, helping out family, or any other range of personal activities that take loads of time and energy). They develop a new rhythm while abroad that gives them more time for personal reflection that results in all sorts of revelations about their own identities and priorities (read about identity and study abroad).


Employability Skill Development

NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, identified eight competencies associated with career readiness (view). Of these skills, they report that students who study abroad tend to grow significantly in competencies such as global/cultural fluency and critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership.

One of ISI Abroad’s own professors from our Multicultural Psychology Program has also been researching how study abroad relates to employability. In summary, he has found that study abroad students consistently develop their cognitive skills while abroad, with ‘quick thinking’, ‘learning agility’, and ‘creative insight’ being those that develop the most after an international student experience concludes. His research also notes that ‘teamwork’, ‘customer focus’ and ‘diligence’ are key employability skills that develop both during and after spending time abroad.


Life-Long Friendships

The beauty of study abroad is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone and into a cohort that is seeking the same experience. As you establish roots in your new city, you find yourself surrounded by individuals from diverse backgrounds who hold similar fears, travel dreams, and experiential goals to your own. You’ll explore local nooks and crannies, navigate language differences, and get lost on weekend trips with new friends who will often become like family. Your shared experiences will be something you miss when you return home and those friends will be the ones who will fully understand what you learned and how you learned it. These people can easily become some of your best friends!