It goes without saying that a person’s earliest experiences of travel abroad can be some of the most exciting times of their life. That’s just as true of spending some time studying abroad. For many people, this experience is left until later in life, around university or even later. However, there are plenty of opportunities for students to put in some time abroad while still in their teenage years. There’s no shortage of amazing benefits to the experience, especially in terms of how it prepares you for your college years. If you’re considering heading abroad for part of your high school studies, here are just a few of the amazing benefits you can expect to experience.
Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
The most obvious way you can benefit is by simply expanding your horizons and gaining some experience of going it alone. For many people, these are things that aren’t experienced until they leave for college in late teenage years. Some people don’t even experience it until after college, and choose to remain living at home until they complete their studies. But by getting an experience abroad at an earlier stage in your life, you can get a headstart on the character building and extra confidence that comes with moving out of your comfort zone. It’s not always plain sailing, and many challenges lie in wait for people moving abroad for the first time. But ultimately, the benefits and character you can stand to gain from persevering more than outweigh the temporary difficulties you face.
Learn to Make New Friends
Some of the biggest benefits of moving abroad lie in building up a new social circle. For many people, this is the biggest challenge of moving. A lot of people have built up close ties, and have a group of friends and family that they can’t imagine living without. However, one of the major joys of living and studying abroad lies in making new friends and meeting new people. You can generally rely on people being kind, and open to making new friends, especially with someone who is new to their country and culture. As you start putting together a new social circle, you’ll see your friendships expand exponentially. It’s not always easy making those first few friendships, but once you have, you’ll see things improve quickly. Making friends and socialising with new people is a key skill in life, and by spending some time studying abroad, you’ll be able to get a headstart on your contemporaries and start college with some essential people skills.
Develop Your Independence and Self Confidence
A major aspect of living abroad is the independence you need to develop, and the ability to deal with obstacles on your own. While you can expect a large amount of support from your school, and from those around you, ultimately you will get a taste of what it feels like to be on your own. While this entails a large amount of challenges, you’re bound to surprise yourself by rising to them and overcoming difficulties. Living abroad has a huge number of different challenges, including getting to grips with a new language and learning how to navigate a new culture. You may not know it now, but once you’ve experienced living abroad, the experience can become addictive. And the earlier you do it, the easier you will find it in later life.
If you’re considering spending some time studying abroad before college, there are no end of reasons why you should commit and make it a reality. Any challenges you encounter there are guaranteed to put you in good stead for later life. By the time you get to college, you’ll be a step ahead of everyone else when it comes to living independently, and building the crucial social circles you need for a happy life.
|Nika Goddard is a Psychologist, freelance writer, traveler, and a creative person. She is a lover of world cultures, languages, food, wild spaces and urban places by nature. She is also the editor of this website. Find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.|