For decades, students have been attending school in far-away countries with the assistance of study abroad programs through both their universities and third-party organizations. These are often seen as fun, exciting ways to continue the pursuit of higher education while making memories that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
However, there is much more to international study programs than just a bit of fun (though that is certainly a benefit). The importance of global education is often overlooked by those who have never participated in such a program before. These types of educational opportunities have the power to impact a students’ development both on a professional and social-emotional level.
Studying abroad is more than just a fun opportunity that’s available to students. It’s a chance to build workplace skills outside of a normal classroom environment. According to employers and alumni alike, global education has a huge number of benefits for a variety of careers because the entire experience challenges students to think on their toes and utilize skills that had perhaps remained unexplored. Some of the helpful professional skills built throughout a global travel experience might include:
- The development of a broader world view that promotes diverse thinking
- Better communication across languages and cultures
- Building important international connections
- More thorough project management
These skills tend to be non-specific in nature, which means they can be used in nearly any career setting. Whether it’s a management position, editing or even marketing, a better understanding of the global market goes a long way in the workplace.
Learning in a new environment is more than just going to a new school for a few days. It’s an experience with an entirely different education system, and offers students the opportunity to obtain a different view of their subject as it’s seen in other countries. In this way, global education allows students of every discipline to gain a deeper, better-rounded understanding of their subject, which will help them when selecting a career path in that specified field.
Cultural sensitivity is also a value that’s becoming widely praised and expected in modern society, especially within businesses that work internationally and that hire a diverse group of employees. What better way to learn a bit of this skill than by experiencing other cultures and learning to put one’s self in someone else’s shoes? Meeting with other cultures and experiencing them to the fullest makes students more aware of these differences and promotes a healthy awareness of their own actions in regards to others’ values in the workplace.
Not everything about global education revolves around work and future career choices, of course. Even during short study programs, students will be faced with hands-on learning experiences and challenges they must think their way through, or rely on others to help them out when this isn’t possible. This leads to a great deal of personal growth and the development of some personal skills that will benefit each participant in a huge number of different ways moving forward.
First, students will learn the valuable skill of self-reliance. Students who head off on their own will need to learn to navigate new places, which involves taking the initiative to ask for directions, communicating effectively with others who may not share the same language, and much more. This teaches students to rely on their own skills to solve problems and as a result, instills them with confidence.
A hearty dose of self-awareness is another benefit that can be found through a study abroad experience. As participants encounter cultural differences and ideologies that differ from their own, it promotes a healthy questioning of their standing beliefs. It also helps them to be more aware of cultural differences moving forward, allowing them to more easily create and maintain bonds with others who may be from a background entirely different than their own.
A Chance to Travel
Many people who choose to study abroad do so for the skills and personal growth the experience will offer. However, others see this as an opportunity to explore the world in a way that would otherwise be unavailable. Traveling the world is crucial for young adults, and offers a wide range of benefits even outside of the professional and personal development categories. A short stay in another country will:
- Allow students to make new friends
- Promote the learning of a foreign language through immersion
- Introduce them to vibrant new cultures
- Build life-long memories and (potentially) a love of travel
International Business Seminars understands the importance of global education. This company has been providing students with short-term study abroad opportunities for decades that immerse students into the business, cultural, social, and political environments of each country visited.