What Studying Abroad Actually Means

By IE University Modified on December 13, 2018

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” -- Saint Augustin

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By Carla Costa.

Carla is pursuing a Dual Degree in Business Administration and Law at IE University’s Madrid campus.

The most challenging question students face as they consider university is where to study. What is the next stop on their journey forward? When deciding what their future will look like, students have many choices. Studying abroad can offer a multitude of opportunity and unforgettable learning experiences.

Let’s start by providing a broad definition of what studying abroad actually is. Studying abroad means completing an educational program, in this case, a university degree, outside of one’s home country. Sometimes, studying abroad is thought of as a long vacation or simply an adventure abroad. But the incredible learning experiences and knowledge (not to mention degrees ) students walk away with can’t be acquired on a simple trip to a foreign country. For example, studying in a foreign language or simply living in a country where a foreign language is spoken may seem like an obstacle at first. But knowing another language helps students stand out in the professional world.

Students will also learn about themselves and get out of their comfort zone. Being exposed to new situations and challenges helps to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Although it can be a challenge at first, students become more independent as time goes by, finding solutions to the challenges they encounter on their own. But study abroad students are never alone. As a foreign student, it is easy to meet new people and make friends. Students will meet people from diverse countries and backgrounds on campus, making it easy to make lifelong international friends. Studying abroad overturns stereotypes and exposes students to new ways of thinking as well as new ideas.

Study abroad students learn to understand cultural differences and to gain a global mind-set that enriches their academic and professional careers.