A university education does not come cheap. But if you want your child to have access to better employment opportunities, you may just have to grin and bear the costs. Or do you? One option that you may avoided considering because you have always expected it to be a pricier option is sending your child on a study abroad program. Although study abroad programs can come with a larger price tag, they are not one stop shops. Academic credit is not the only thing your student will gain from studying abroad. Therefore, the positive impact of international education in the long run will far outweigh its impact on your wallet.
Consider the following insights and perspectives before discouraging your child from exploring the idea of study abroad:
Studying abroad will do wonders for their resumés.
With more and more companies going global, marketing their products and services online, or setting up offices in other countries across the world, employers are more likely to hire a candidate with international experience. International experience will illustrate their unique ability to adapt to new environments, maintain cultural sensitivity, and deal with challenging circumstances.
Studying abroad will improve their language skills.
Nothing boosts a student's confidence while studying abroad the way mastering the local language can. One of the greatest obstacles to making the most out of a study abroad experience is the inability to communicate with the local people in their native tongue. With this obstacle in front of them and locals all around them, your children will have even more motivation to expand their language skills, and they will be forced to just go for it on a daily basis.
Studying abroad will give them a greater appreciation for their own culture and way of life.
As we grow up, we end up taking a lot of things for granted, including the culture that has nurtured us through the years, the luxuries we have been given, and the people who have helped us become who we are today. By immersing themselves in a culture that is different from our own and being thrown into a completely unfamiliar place, study abroad students will find themselves appreciating the life they have back a home more and more (this is especially true for students who decide to study abroad in developing countries).
Studying abroad will provide an unparalleled experience.
Armchair traveling does not get you far, and pales in comparison to actually experiencing a country's culture, eating the food, speaking the language, and meeting local people on a day-to-day basis for consecutive weeks, months, or full semesters (and years!). The oft-mentioned phrase "experience is the best teacher" may be cliché, but it certainly holds true for study abroad programs.
There are still a lot of experiences and lessons out there that can’t quite be quantified, explained in a book, or taught in a classroom.
Sending your child on a study abroad program will definitely provide an extraordinary experience that would in no way be possible to the same degree at home, and when they return you will notice this experience has a major impact on his or her life..
Studying abroad will lead to more opportunities.
Aside from opportunities once they are back at home and finish their degree program, like increased chance of employment, windows will also open for your children while they are still studying abroad. Allow them to spread their wings by visiting other destinations, taking up an internship in tandem with their study abroad program, and try new things during their time abroad. Letting them study abroad and make their own decisions will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility over their trip and make them return a more independent young adult (we know this can be hard to accept though!).
Studying abroad will change your child’s life, and yours!
Now is the time to introduce your child to the idea of study abroad and share with them all the valuable resources you can to ensure they choose the right program for them and that they make the most of their time abroad. The idea of study abroad could turn into a life of possibilities for your child, and you could be the one to initiate the life changing moment!