It's coming to that time of year when many students are jetting off to exciting work placements in exotic faraway lands (or at least other parts of Europe), others are beginning to plan a full year abroad, whilst some have been left behind, still wondering if it's something they're able to do - well, it is! Don't miss out on what could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Here are 5 reasons to study abroad:
1. See The World
Do you want the world to be your oyster or continue to drudge around a dreary university library? There is a huge market for students who want to work or study abroad. With programmes such as Camp America, BUNAC, British Council, Comenius and Gap 360, there are work placements available on all the major continents and not only for those who have studied languages. If you wish to study, then it's just a case of finding out who your university has links with.
2. Earn Money
Although the pay will not be amazing for many of these schemes, free food and accommodation are often provided for summer placements, allowing you to, at the least, break even. With funding such as Erasmus grants for European work or study, there is a lot of support available to help you find your feet. Furthermore, if you choose to go to a less economically developed country you can win on the exchange rate alone. The bottom line is: In the end, it pays for itself!
3. Become More Independent
Leaving your friends, family and/or significant other behind can be worry for many people who choose to pursue a placement abroad and whilst it certainly can be a struggle in the first couple of months, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as you realise that you are fully capable of looking after yourself and that you don't need somebody there to hold your hand. Plus, there will always be services such as Facebook and Skype to keep you updated on life back home.
4. Experience Another Culture
As soon as you make friends - which you will - you'll be surprised at how eager people can be to invite you into their culture. Whether your destination is renowned for crazy parties or diverse traditions that you can't fully wrap your head around, it will be an unforgettable experience and may even change your outlook on life. As a language student, it is essential to immerse yourself in the culture rooted within the words that you are speaking.
5. Enhance Your Employability
It's a no-brainer, really. When you're sat face-to-face with a potential employer, would you rather be sat recounting another year spent behind a desk churning out essays, or be bouncing around, bright-eyed, gushing about all the skills you've recently learned? Even the most basic work/study placements will allow you to build your general confidence. It takes real courage to leave your comfort zone, go out there and prove yourself in a foreign environment!
Popular study/work destinations include: The USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Switzerland, Spain, France and Germany. What are you waiting for?
Thinking about travelling in the EU? Getting a Blue Card is a great way for non-EU citizens to experience life and work in over 20 EU countries - http://www.eu-bluecard.com/