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5 Career Benefits of Studying Abroad

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Kimberly Manning

Students choose to take a semester overseas for a myriad of reasons, and among those is the career benefits of studying abroad. Study abroad programs provide unmatched and unfiltered experiences that are irreplaceable on a personal and professional level. Not only does studying abroad benefit one’s own life, but it develops a deeper understanding of unique cultures, languages, perspectives, and ways of life. 

Spanish Lessons in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Administrator

Career Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad benefits a student’s career path by opening up doors they may have never known existed. Students are able to learn about themselves and grow within their interests and skillsets, as well as take on brand new experiences. It can be a scary and challenging time in a student’s life, but it’s also exciting! 

Having a Multicultural Understanding

During study abroad, students are introduced to religious and spiritual traditions in a new setting. Where There Be Dragons considers local beliefs and spirituality as an important component of the immersive experience. Whether at their local homestay or while visiting monuments, students are encouraged to have an open mind, compassion, and empathy. This opens up the possibility for students to navigate their own personal belief systems from a new perspective.

Similarly, students are encouraged to travel as the locals do and live with no impact on the community. Each student is paired with a local family to gain an intimate insight into the culture. We believe this offers a unique opportunity to engage and learn. Multicultural experiences give students a competitive advantage in the workforce because it broadens understanding and perspective. 

Laughing in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Administrator

Gaining a Global Perspective

Studying abroad gives students a global perspective on social, environmental, cultural, and political issues. Being a global citizen provides a wider vantage point to understanding issues that impact the planet. Those who believe in the power of being a global citizen are often more engaged in their local community, have an open mind, are empathetic, and enjoy ongoing education. In the workplace, a global perspective can translate to offering insight and being open to new ideas and solutions. 

Learning a Foreign Language 

There are few other skills that can empower individuals as global citizens than knowing how to communicate in another language. Language skills also serve as a great addition to any resume. Students who have experience learning and speaking in another language are able to understand cultural context in more depth as well. This can be especially helpful when working in an international office or company. 

Presenting in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Instructor

Developing Personal Independence

When you travel abroad as a student, it might be your first time leaving home without your parents or family. It forces an individual to be able to handle situations without their traditional support system. For some, this can be very challenging at first, especially if they come from a home setting where they have constant support. However, it can be incredibly beneficial for people who want to learn how to think critically and have impactful interactions. This can translate to an increased ability to deal with stress and conflict.

Discovering Global Justice Concerns

Students gain an understanding of what environmental and social variables contribute to daily quality of life while traveling to international destinations. It also offers a perspective of privilege and the meaning of intersectionality when it comes to environmental and social justice issues. Students communicate with local activists and artists and have critical conversations about equity. Understanding environmental and social justice from a global perspective opens up the opportunity for a career path in a similar line of work.

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