There is no doubt that study abroad is a valuable tool that will help you along with your future endeavors. Not to mention, there are so many opportunities that often come along for study abroad students. Here are three of my favorites to consider:
1. Two Semesters Away is Better Than One
One of the opportunities that you may find yourself taking advantage of is the chance to study abroad more than once. For me, this opportunity presented itself when I was finishing my first internship in London.
AIFS reached out to find current students on a fall program who had an interest in receiving a discount to study abroad in a different location during the Spring.
I was fortunate to have the support of my university and family and took advantage of the opportunity by signing up to study in Florence, Italy. It was the perfect add-on that I needed but wasn’t expecting. And of course, my story carried on when I returned to London for grad school.
My hope for you is that your semester away propels you forward to a positive place that gives you a better chance at reaching new heights and getting to where you need to be.
2. Competitive Edge for Your Career
I can tell you first-hand, graduate schools and future employers adore people who have studied abroad.
For starters, it shows them that you have put in the effort to seek out something that’s outside of the regular scope of life. Secondly, it makes for a wonderful resource for situational stories. I’ve crafted most of my interview technique by pulling from stories that I had during my study abroad life.
Last, but not least, the entirety of your study abroad experience will help you build and maintain a network of people who might be able to help you in the future.
From semester-away teachers and lecturers to your roommates, these are people who might be able to vouch for you, your character, and even serve as references or a source of recommendation one day, so be sure to keep in touch.
3. Becoming a Study Abroad Ambassador
You do not know it yet, but you’re preparing to become a Study Abroad Ambassador. For me, as you can see, I managed to turn it into a career, but trust me when I first returned and was just blogging for free, I was already a super ambassador within my circle of friends and neighbors for study abroad.
Traveling to Italy and want to know more? Ask Kimber. Have a College freshman cousin interested in studying in Ireland? Ask Kimber. Need to understand how conversion rates work? Ask Kimber.
I took it as an honor and it showed me that not only did people trust my judgment, but admired my first-hand experience.
This will happen to you too. Once folks know you’ve studied abroad, they’ll view you as a valid authority of any and everything from your host country. Take this benefit and run with it – show them what you know and what you’ve got!
Are you excited about the future opportunities study abroad will bring to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time,
Known as The Study Abroad Specialist, Kimber Grayson is a serial-study abroader turned International Education coach and expert. Since 2014, she has helped 100+ students navigate their semester away journey from the coastal areas of Spain to China and every place in between. In 2018, she launched The LiveStudyLearn™ Abroad Association, a one-of-a-kind online membership platform for study abroad students worldwide.
She holds two Master's degrees from two well-respected London-based universities and has experience working in the US, UK & and Italy.
In her spare time (what's that again?), she enjoys leisure travel city breaks, any snow-based activity, skeet shooting, and attempting to learn new languages.