The following is a guest post by Anna Jones.
Broaden your horizons – and your mind
Further education isn’t just about lectures, seminars and books. An equally valuable part of your university experience is learning about culture, social integration and life itself.
Why you should consider studying overseas
The high price of tuition fees and the increasing cost of living in the UK has prompted many young people to look overseas for alternative options rather than studying at a university at home. With an increasingly complex global jobs market, graduates need to demonstrate other skills as well as a good degree. Studying overseas may equip young people with these additional assets. There are numerous universities across the world, including the RRIS-Israel study abroad programmes , ISP USA, CIEE Netherlands, and many more, where you can enjoy a totally novel life experience as well as completing your studies.
Explore the world through learning
When you read accounts of famous peoples’ college days, it’s usually not the subject matter of the lectures that’s recalled, it’s the friendships and the adventures that play the most important part of any narrative. If you choose to study abroad, you’ll be joining the 22,000 other students who are enjoying the experience of living and studying in a different country. The British Council suggests that personal development is as important as a professional qualification for future employers as well as your own aspirations.
Different cultural experiences will improve your mind
Whether you choose to study art history in Florence, or go to Israel to study psychology, you should discover as much about your chosen destination as possible. Some of the questions that you should be asking will concern language and accommodation costs as well as the curriculum. Do try to go on a language course as part of your preparations. You may think that if the course you chose is in English, you won’t have to bother, this is not the case, and you’ll be constantly frustrated at not being able to communicate fluently with others. A recent article in The Guardian, written by a blogger who had studied chemistry in Belgium, gives a useful account of the benefits of living and learning abroad. Cultural differences should always be embraced, suggests the blogger.
Experience a new country and discover the true meaning of education
It’s no use studying abroad if you miss out on the national culture and the fun. Culture can mean ancient cities, and archaeological sites, so even if you’re not keen on history, visit these places to try to understand the national passions of your fellow students. Alternatively, culture can mean films, bars and festivals, as well as conversation in the shops with some locals. You’ll want to enjoy your new experience, and that does include having fun.
Take the plunge – study abroad
In previous decades, and even centuries, overseas study was restricted to the wealthy. You’ll discover that contemporary degree courses vary greatly in cost, as do living expenses, but some will find their chosen course and the country much cheaper than the UK. The Independent has published some useful facts about universities all over the world. If you learn abroad you’ll not only improve your chances of getting a job, but you’ll also become a better-informed and insightful adult.