Why Study Abroad? Benefits Abound!
The benefits of studying abroad are numerous. If you have ever spoken to someone who has studied abroad, they have probably told you what a life-changing experience it was. Study abroad can be a rewarding and insightful experience, but why should you consider it? And can you really study abroad through a two-year institution/community college?
Yes, you can! And the better question is, why not?
Research shows that community college study who engage in study abroad programming had increased success and engagement compared to their peers who did not, and those same students had "improved outcomes due to engagement-enhancing components such as shared common experiences, nurturing behavior from faculty, and increased student interaction in collaborative activities” (Raby, Rhodes, & Biscarra, 2014, p. 181). So, why should you consider study abroad?
Source: Raby, R. L., Rhodes, G. M., & Biscarra, A. (2014). Community college study abroad: Implications for student success. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(2-3), 174-183.
Earn Credit Towards Your ECC Degree or Certificate
Most ECC study abroad programs are designed to allow you to earn credits in your program of study or work toward a transfer degree while experiencing life abroad in a foreign culture and a different system of education. The classes you take on an ECC study abroad program will appear on your ECC transcript, and in qualifying programs, eligible students can use financial aid towards the cost of study abroad. While you study abroad, you remain an ECC student and are eligible for student support services, enrollment privileges such as early registration, and access to wellness services.
Enhance Your Global Understanding
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), globalization is changing the how the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for globally-aware graduates. Study abroad is one of the best ways students can acquire skills and open up personal and professional opportunities. The Institute of International Education notes that the top 10 reasons to study abroad are:
- Learn about yourself and become more aware.
- Boost your self-confidence and independence.
- Learn another language.
- Learn about your own country.
- Expand your worldview.
- Strengthen adaptability, communications, and team-building skills.
- Enhance your career opportunities.
- Experience another culture firsthand and enhance your cross-cultural competency.
- Make new friends from around the world.
Gain Valuable Knowledge and Skills
- Knowledge - living and studying in another culture teaches valuable lessons about the world and its people.
- World view - gain a new perspective on your own life as you better understand individuals and communities in other parts of the world.
- Independence - learn about adjusting to new study and living environments and how to adapt to a new culture.
- Career enhancement - today’s workplace demands global knowledge and perspective, and employers want to see international interest and motivation on your resume.
- Window of opportunity - cultural immersion is rare and harder to come by the longer you wait.