What are the benefits of studying abroad

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Study abroad or just a semester abroad?

Especially in courses with an international focus, it is common to study abroad for a longer period and take your final academic examination there. But not all students can or want to spend several years abroad. Either there is not enough time or studying abroad does not fit into your future life plans. A semester abroad is ideal for these students. As part of the “Open Semester” or “Study Abroad”, the students gain valuable experience despite the relatively short stay and benefit from other advantages. The application process for a semester abroad, for example, is much less complicated than for a complete study abroad. Many universities offer special programs for the semester stay, which can also be supported by scholarships. The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) or the Auslands-Bafög support students abroad financially if they meet the necessary selection criteria.

What are the advantages of studying abroad?

Be it with regard to professional and academic perspectives or personal development, a stay abroad offers numerous advantages for students. Gathering international experience, immersing yourself in a different culture and improving your foreign language skills at the same time - cultural exchange is one of the main reasons for a stay abroad. A shorter vacation stay usually does not offer such authentic impressions. Foreign students get to know the country and its people not only in their free time, but also up close. The students leave their comfort zone and return home with a mature personality. To be on your own in a distant country is scary for every student at first. Most foreign universities have decades of experience with foreign students and, especially at the beginning, offer a wide range of leisure activities that make it easier for international students to settle in. And the students should take advantage of these opportunities, after all, the period of study offers the ideal time for a longer stay abroad. Once the degree is over, professional and private obligations also increase.

Acquisition of important soft skills and plus points for the résumé

Abroad, students not only acquire important soft skills, but also build on their previous experience. These key competencies are in great demand from potential employers. The focus here is primarily on intercultural competence, independent work, communication and critical skills, frustration tolerance and adaptability. In addition, with a stay abroad, the students have already proven that they can organize themselves. Studying abroad or a semester abroad can significantly improve students' job opportunities. Internationally oriented companies in particular place great value on international experience. Some employers even make the stay abroad a condition of employment. A study visit abroad is usually beneficial for your later career, and it is also easier to start your career. In addition, the salary of applicants with international experience is sometimes higher.

Are there any disadvantages?

Of course, the planning of the stay abroad, the costs and also the cultural differences come with a burden. In addition, there is a double burden of foreign language and studies that should not be underestimated. Other students complain about the difficulties in crediting the work done. At this point, international students should clarify in advance with the universities which achievements can be recognized and transferred without any problems. Not to be underestimated is the homesickness of some students. Despite the disadvantages, one or two semesters should be planned abroad. The experiences and impressions gained are a real enrichment that the students abroad will not forget their entire life. An internship abroad lasting several weeks is a good alternative to the semester abroad. If you want a longer stay in your favorite country, you can decide to study abroad.

Author: JenEyre for SCHULEN.DE