10 Benefits to Studying Abroad
Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!
1. See the World
The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.
In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.
Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.
You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.
3. Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.
4. Hone Your Language Skills
Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.
In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience
5. Career Opportunities
When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.
Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.
6. Find New Interests
If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.
You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.
7. Make Lifelong Friends
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.
After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.
8. Personal Development
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.
A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.
9. Graduate School Admissions
Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.
Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.
10. Life Experience
Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.
Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.
Study Abroad Guide
How to write an application essay for US universities: As the admission cycle in the US closes in, students across the globe eying a prestigious seat at one its top universities also start zealously putting final touches to their application package, especially application essays. What makes applying to an American university so unique, and no less challenging, is that candidates aren’t merely judged on how they have fared in a specific qualifying exam or for that matter what exams they have taken. And no, it is also no simple data crunching game, whereby a computer is fed some random numbers only to churn out names bereft of personality traits. Instead, universities in the US insist that students also furnish essays, which are used as devices to identify the person buried under those grades and figures. If your personality traits match with the goals and aspirations of a university, only then can you expect good news. This is what makes mastering how to write an application essay for US universities so critical.
This is not to say that your academic achievements mean anything less, but just that universities like Caltech, MIT and Harvard want some additional qualities in their students, which unfortunately can’t be measured just through SAT, GMAT or GRE scores.
Essays are inescapable, so why not learn how to write an application essay for US universities
At the outset, students planning to study in US need to do is align to the fact that application essays aren’t just any piece of information jotted down in the form of an essay, but they are expected to be coherent blocks of information that throw light on your personality and tell a memorable tale to draw the attention of admission counselors. To give you an example, you might score less than some X in IELTS or even in the overall academic score, but if through the essay you can elucidate how despite coming from a very backyard region, with none to mentor you, you have not only achieved great success, but your success spreads across fields like music, sports and culture, you still have a good chance. In fact, being a maverick can also pay off! After all, universities are always open to a contrast of ideas and opinions, and there are no better examples than universities in the USA, which believe that only through debate and discussions can we arrive at a higher truth. So, now that we have laid down the importance of applications essays, let us go through the process of writing one.
Thumb rules to follow when you write an application essay for US universities
Say goodbye to modesty, but in style: Remember the great Muhammad Ali, who went to town proclaiming that he is the greatest boxer on the planet! While some initially may have been offended by Ali’s brazen self-promotion, the gamble did pay off and today he is universally called the greatest. If you also don’t mind talking yourself up, application essays give you your best chance; the only criteria is your claims shouldn’t come across as phony and arrogant. So, pick up the pen and write an application essay for US universities garnishing, without of course overdoing the part, your conquests, be it in the field of music, dance, or a subject that is close to your heart. An effective trick is to make a claim and prop it up with vivid descriptions and facts.
Don’t make up stories: In a bid to appear unique and showcase your achievements outside of academics, don’t dream up some events that are nothing sort of flimsy. Even if you are eager to study in US, it is not morally justifiable to adopt such unfair means and begin your journey with a lie. Also, admission counselors are excellent gatekeepers and can catch a lie from a distance; so you may end up jeopardizing your genuine chances of studying in US trying to be extra smart.
Mind the word limit: Universities like Caltech require you to submit multiple essays of different word limits, typically one 500-word essay and two to three 200-word essays. To be on the safer side it is better not to overstretch the word limit, because as you can imagine admissions officers have to go through piles of such essays every day and unnecessarily verbose prose isn’t going to put a smile on their face, and could thus backfire! So, you have to learn to play with words, and cut down on fluff. Even in cases where no word-limit is given, the general consensus is anything beyond 700 words is too wordy and needs immediate curtailing.
Don’t go off on a tangent: When writing an application essay for US universities, stick to a single theme, especially, if the essay is short; if it is long you may afford two or max three themes. This will allow you to thread the prose in a coherent manner and you will not lose track of what you are saying; coherency will also make it easier for you to focus on your personality traits that you want to shine through. Otherwise, without a coherent theme you will end up writing jumbled details about yourself, that counselors would have a hard time deciphering.
One anecdote too many: While examples make a prose livelier, more believable and memorable, you must guard against cramming the essay with too many of these real-life anecdotes, because it will limit your ability to create impact with them. Also, while giving an anecdote, double-check whether it is helping build a compelling case for your selection in any way. If it doesn’t elevate your profile and doesn’t connect coherently with the bigger story you are telling, junk it and find a more convincing one.
Also, when writing an anecdote, be specific and include characters that might make the story believable and stick. Like instead of simply saying, I like to play football, better show your love for the sport: I used to walk up at 4 in the morning and train hours at a stretch in the gym with my best pal, Mickey! It will have more effect.
Be deft when using humor or creativity: While we all need comic relief every now and then, when you write an application essay for US universities, it is better not to include words with double meanings and borderline phrases. It is because people in the US, a very vast land with many different sub-sets of people, may not share the same sensibilities. So, your harmless humor may inflame the admissions counselor, which is not something you would want when applying to study in US. As for creativity, you do have a free hand but again make sure that the counselor doesn’t blow up every few minutes trying to keep up with a twisted story.
Write correct and polished language: Silly mistakes like spelling errors, incorrect punctuation can punch holes in your application essay. So, once you are done with writing an application essay for US universities, proofread the essay. Also check the flow of the essay; how does it sound, too formal or too casual. Are the words coming out naturally and in a conversational manner, which it is supposed to? Typically, essays don’t require you to be uptight and you can be really yourself, expressing all your positive shades; the fine line is in doing so, it mustn’t in any way appear that you are disrespecting the reader and challenging his judgment. Further, do a fact check. Ensure that all the places and names that you have included in the essay are foolproof; if you write an application essay for US universities that put facts incorrectly, it won’t take them long to find out.
Show eagerness to embrace diversity: Most of the top universities in the US are getting a cultural makeover, with multiculturalism being the dominant theme; consequently students who can effortlessly mingle and blur the cultural lines are in great demand. If you go to a Stanford or a Harvard, you will get dorms and community centers, where you will have to eat, pray and study with other students who may have very different cultural upbringing and religious views. So, when you write an application essay for US universities, highlight how you fit into this growing narrative.
Is the essay full of substance, or it is fat dripping all over? While without a fair bit of garnishing the essay would look dull, you must use it judiciously. This means facts should take center stage, and the creative part should be there only to amplify the point without distracting the reader. Again sometimes many extraneous sentences creep into the essay which add nothing but extra baggage; get rid of them and see if you can find anything meaningful in their place.
Prove you can be an asset to the university: Universities through essays screen guys who they believe will share their values and can contribute to their growth and help achieve their goals. So, it is important that you are familiar with these facets of the university before you write an application essay for US universities. For example, if you are applying to an MBA program at Harvard, learn about the teaching community at the university, the class profile and other tidbits that will allow you to put yourself in their shoes and grasp the reality and react to it, in an honest and logical manner.
Additionally, one quality admired in students is their ability to enhance the education experience of others around them. So, a point or two in your application essay for US universities detailing how you have encouraged your peers in your previous college to achieve higher goals could be a clincher!
Writing essays is like embarking on a journey of self-discovery!!
Going through our tips on how to write an application essay for US universities and putting them to practice will bring to the fore character traits you never thought existed inside you; qualities like sense of humor, humanity, resoluteness, quirkinessâ¦that you can harness for greater goals. Even in case of negative traits, you can also work on and rectify them!
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