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7 Reasons to Study Abroad (that your fam will like!)
Going home over break? Strike up a conversation with your family about why studying abroad is a good idea.
1) Studying abroad will look good on your resume.
According to the UMD Career & Internship Services office, a few top skills and qualities employers seek include:
- The ability for individuals to make decisions and solve problems
- Communicate with people inside and outside an organization
- Plan, organize and prioritize
- Independently obtain and process information
While abroad you'll encounter experiences where you will gain and use these skills on a regular basis. Employers will see that you're self-motivated, independent, willing to step outside of your comfort zone, and are open to trying out new ideas and ways of doing things. Additionally, after being abroad, you'll have experience interacting with people from different cultures. Who wouldn't want someone like that working for them?
2) You'll gain important life skills.
Living and studying in another country will help you become more open-minded and confident as you challenge yourself to try new things. You'll learn to navigate a new environment and culture which will help you become more self-reliant. Many study abroad students become more flexible, adaptable, independent, culturally adept, and more globally engaged. All of these skills are important in your future and in a world that's becoming more global.
3) It can be affordable.
Do your homework. While costs vary, there are many programs that are similar to what you pay to attend UMD. The 2017-18 estimated cost of attendance at UMD for a semester is ~ $12,270 (including tuition, books, room, and board, etc). Some of our programs are very similar in cost (e.g. the estimated cost for our least expensive program is $12,450, including airfare!). Some cost more. Just like in the U.S., program costs depend on the university, the location, and the cost of living. UMD awards over $80,000 in study abroad scholarships annually, and our website lists other scholarship opportunities worth checking into. Additionally, financial aid can count towards study abroad. Invest in yourself! Many of the skills that you gain and the experiences you will have are invaluable.
4) You can graduate on time.
With proper planning, you can find classes that will count towards your major to help you stay on track to graduate on time. Before you leave, you'll work with your academic department to plan coursework abroad that'll transfer back to UMD. Many students who study abroad for a semester or a year graduate on time...some have even studied abroad more than once!
5) Your health and safety are of the utmost importance.
We want you to have a healthy and safe experience abroad. All student international travel and education abroad is governed by the University policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety. The policy requirements include sound health, safety, and security measures that minimize risks to the traveler and institution and incorporate the best practices and regulations. Highlights of the policy include:
- Mandatory Insurance
- Mandatory Orientation
- Additional Optional Student Orientations
- Travel Review: Travel Warning Countries
- Prohibition of Students Driving Motorized Vehicles Abroad
- 24-7 contact protocol and emergency plan
- Student health disclosure process
- Reporting of student incidents
6) It's easy to keep in touch...
These days, it's incredibly easy to stay connected with friends and family using applications like Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, and others. Teach your parents how to use them so they can keep up with your adventures! Starting a blog is another nice way to capture your experience-not only for them but a keepsake for you upon return. Once you know the ropes...maybe, just maybe, you can convince your family to come visit you! You'll be their personal tour guide and show them everything you've come to know and love.
7) This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
While there are many opportunities to travel abroad, college is an ideal time. You likely don't have a career, mortgage, or larger responsibilities holding you back. When else can you embark on an opportunity to really immerse yourself in another culture for a few months or even a year? This is your chance to really experience another part of the globe while having it count towards your degree. And last, but not least, you'll make lifetime friends from countries all over the world.
Stop by our office to learn more (138 Kplz) and be sure to check out our website d.umn.edu/studyabroad along with your parents for more details. We also offer Study Abroad 101 (a great intro session to studying abroad) every Tuesday or Wednesday at noon, or Drop-in Advising offered Monday-Friday from 10 AM-11 AM.
We look forward to helping you plan your experience abroad!
-UMD Study Abroad