Considering going on a study-exchange or doing your whole study abroad? Do it! Studying abroad is for me by far the best decision I have ever made! Words cannot explain how much I would like to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to do a semester or a whole study abroad to absolutely go for it.
Yes, it might be a bit scary to go all by yourself, but you will be surprised how easily you will fit in and make friends from all over the world. A part from all the fun things (e.g. Erasmus parties, international friends, traveling, learning a new language + culture) that you will experience, studying abroad has a lot of personal and professional benefits and today CGD will give you 5 of them!
#1 – Experience personal growth
You will get a whole different view from your home-country by living in another country. You will develop a new understanding of your own heritage, culture and values and will be able to place them in a different perspective. A part from all that, you will also become more independent, self-confident and self-reliant as you have to learn how to adapt quickly in a new country, culture and find your way comfortably in a new city.
#2 – Valuable life skills
You are all by yourself and need to ‘survive’ in a country where you don’t know the culture, language and people. The ability to adapt, interact with the locals and other international students allows you to develop a greater respect for other cultures and countries. You experiences show your ability to blend in on a social, professional and academic level in a new country.
#3 – Career
Employers love the see international experience on resumes. You will stand out from the rest of the candidates because you have skills that can only be developed through international experiences (e.g. cross cultural communication, knowledge of international standards, cultures, laws). It also shows your adapting skills to international and environments, which means that you will be able to respond quickly to this industry.
#4 – Develop cross cultural leadership skills
A good leadership-style differs from country to country, so if you work in an international company with different cultures you will be able to adapt and know how to work with a intercultural team who is used to different styles of leadership.
#5 – Broaden your worldview
You will be in contact with a lot of different cultures, values and backgrounds, which will influence your own thoughts and values and broaden your worldview. This will result in the fact that it will be easier for you to have partnerships and work effectively in an international environment where global, multinational challenges need to be tackled.