Top Benefits of Studying Abroad

Top Benefits of Studying Abroad

Study Abroad experiences

The world has a lot to offer, and one of the best ways to experience it is by traveling internationally. 

Many students are not aware of the benefits that studying abroad can bring to their academic and professional careers. Students who study abroad report many benefits including developing a better understanding of how business is conducted in different cultures, leadership skills, becoming more open-minded, and improving their problem-solving skills. 

At the College of Business, students can get the chance to explore the world while finishing their education thanks to the college’s highly-regarded and well-run study abroad program. Historically, one in four business students have an international experience and they boast about the benefits of studying abroad. 

Trips can range from just a week to semester-long engagements. Countries run the gamut too, with options on almost every continent. 

Here are a few of the reasons why we encourage students to study abroad. 

Challenge Yourself 

While spending a week in Costa Rica may seem like a dream, it comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges make studying abroad an incredibly rewarding experience. One of the greatest advantages for students interested in such programs is that it pushes them far beyond their comfort zones. Stepping into unfamiliar territory, adapting to a new language, and navigating a different educational system can be daunting at first. However, it is precisely this discomfort that fosters personal growth and resilience. By facing and overcoming these challenges, students develop a strong sense of adaptability, resourcefulness, and independence – qualities that are highly attractive to potential employers.  

“Things don’t always go as planned when traveling abroad,” said Elisabeth Soliz, director of the Office for Professional Distinction. “There is a lot of problem-solving that comes with it. It requires students to develop essential skills in stress management, adaptability, and risk-taking. These very skills are highly sought after by employers.” 

Experience a Different Culture

Studying abroad offers a multitude of life-altering benefits, and one of the most profound experiences is undoubtedly immersing oneself in a different culture. The allure of exploring unfamiliar customs, traditions, and perspectives can be truly transformative. By stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing a new way of life, you open the door to a wealth of personal growth and enlightenment. One of the key advantages of experiencing a different culture while studying abroad is the invaluable opportunity to broaden your horizons. You gain a deeper understanding of the world and its diverse inhabitants, fostering empathy and compassion.

Nick Bailey, associate professor of management, frequently leads short-term study abroad trips, including recent excursions to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. Students often tell him these opportunities give them experiences they’ll never forget. That alone can be worth the effort. 

“I really want them to have a unique experience that they’ll remember,” Bailey said. “It changes their perspective, seeing how other people live.” 

Boost Your Resume

Studying abroad elevates your resume by showcasing adaptability, cross-cultural communication, and interpersonal skills. Employers value individuals who thrive in diverse settings, demonstrating the ability to overcome challenges and work effectively in multicultural teams. It highlights independence, problem-solving abilities, and a willingness to embrace new experiences. Studying abroad reflects a global perspective, offering fresh insights to organizations. By demonstrating adaptability, cross-cultural competence, independence, and a hunger for challenges, studying abroad significantly boosts your resume, making you a standout candidate in today's competitive job market.

Expand Your Network

Studying abroad presents a golden opportunity to expand your network and forge meaningful connections with people from all walks of life. By immersing yourself in a new cultural setting, you naturally meet fellow students, local residents, and professionals, opening doors to diverse friendships and professional relationships. The shared experience of navigating a foreign environment creates unique bonds and lasting friendships. Moreover, studying abroad often involves engaging in social activities, clubs, and events, providing abundant opportunities to meet like-minded individuals. These connections can span continents and create a global network, fostering future collaborations, career prospects, and a broader understanding of the world. Studying abroad not only enriches your academic experience but also offers a social network that can last a lifetime.

David Hughes (Accounting and Finance, ’23) has seen that firsthand while studying abroad in Athens, Greece. He actually chose UNI Business because of its study abroad program. He said living in Greece has opened his eyes to another culture. He’s also made trips to Germany and other European countries, all while getting some general education courses done at the American University of Athens. 

“It’s just such a different environment,” Hughes said. “I came in not knowing a lick of Greek. So it’s a completely different set of challenges to try and communicate through hand signaling and other methods. It’s been great. I’ve also met so many new people living with students from across the United States.” 

Personal Growth

Studying abroad is widely regarded as a life changing experience. because it gives students an opportunity for personal growth. By choosing to study abroad, students open their life's possibilities towards uncharted territories laden with fresh opportunities for growth. When one immerses themselves into another culture entirely different from their own they learn to appreciate the variety that exists within humanity's experiences. 

This exposure could shake up previously held beliefs by providing alternate ways of living where one can expand their understanding of oneself resulting in improved self awareness.

Embrace the Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad offers a multitude of benefits that can shape both your academic and professional journey. It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, fostering adaptability and resilience. The ability to navigate unfamiliar territories and overcome obstacles becomes a valuable asset sought after by employers. Immersing yourself in a different culture opens the door to personal growth and enlightenment, broadening your horizons and cultivating empathy and compassion. Moreover, studying abroad enhances your resume by showcasing essential skills such as adaptability, cross-cultural competence, and problem-solving abilities, making you a standout candidate in the job market. Additionally, it provides a unique opportunity to expand your network and build lasting friendships with people from diverse backgrounds. Finally, studying abroad is a transformative experience that promotes personal growth and self-awareness, allowing you to appreciate the richness and diversity of human experiences. So take the leap, embrace the world, and let studying abroad shape your future in ways you never imagined.

What’s the Cost of Studying Abroad?

For students on the fence because of financial reasons, the College of Business offers two scholarships to help make this cost much more affordable. students can take trips for as much — or sometimes less than — the projected cost of a normal semester at UNI. The College of Business offers both the Fly Free Program, which covers up to $1200 towards the cost of airfare for short and long-term trips, as well as the Global Business Scholars Program, which provides a $2000 scholarship for semester-long programs. 

Soliz said this is one of the few programs of its kind in the country, and it gives students who may not normally have the opportunity to gain valuable experience. The college guarantees some level of financial support. 

While on trips, Soliz encourages them to make the most of it. 

“Get involved with student clubs, immerse yourself as much as you can in the culture,” she said. “Any type of program that they can do to get more integrated into the culture, they should take advantage of.” 

Students interested in study abroad programs can find more information here.