Measuring the Benefits of a Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is a growing phenomenon in higher education today. According to UNESCO, the number of students studying abroad is growing by about 12% every year. While students typically describe their experience of studying overseas as life-changing, such kind of academic attainments are also appreciated in diverse industries across the globe. So what is it really that makes studying abroad worthwhile?

  1. Better Cognition:

Students studying abroad have reported significantly greater knowledge than those studying in their home country on at least two of the five cognitive dimensions. The enhancements in knowledge holds true for all students irrespective of their gender and ethnicity.

  1. Strong Social Skills:

Students who study abroad are known to have sound social skills with ability to adjust and survive in any social setting or situation. As they visit a new country, study and interact with new peoples, they gain better understanding of not just other cultures but also their own.

  1. Better Retention:

Contrary to fears and apprehensions regarding a student’s ability to complete their degree by the designated time, large-scale studies have found that students who study abroad, especially the under-represented minority and weak or “at-risk” students, are more likely to complete their degrees or certificate programs than students who did not study abroad.

  1. Improved Learning of Foreign Language:

Statistical analysis reveals that participation in a study abroad program has a significant impact on self-efficacy perceptions in all Foreign Language sub-skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This gives study abroad students an edge over other students who tend to be woefully under-prepared when it comes to interacting effectively with colleagues and competitors from around the world.

  1. Increased Employability and Career Skills:

Students who have studied abroad are better able to work with people from other countries, with better understanding of complex global issues. Having experienced alien cultural settings, they are more tolerant and thus, more fluent and articulate in their interactions with international clients. In fact, multiple surveys have shown that the skills acquired on studying abroad are the same skills that employers value. Employers nowadays appreciate the importance of cross-cultural understanding in today’s increasingly global economic environment.

  1. Broadened Perspectives:

Students studying abroad get a unique opportunity to broaden their perspectives by experiencing new ways of learning and teaching. While it can be daunting at first, it also opens the mind to new perspectives, thereby gaining a global mind-set. This helps in making informed opinions, better judgements and sharper analysis to steer the future. IILM Delhi offers one of the top MBA programs in India with a truly global outlook.

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  1. Opportunity for Self-development:

There’s probably no better opportunity for self-development than when one chooses to study abroad. Undertaking a course of study in completely new environs, in the midst of new culture and people and being all by yourself is the ultimate test of self-reliance. It also opens the doorway to relentless exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture. At the end of this, the student becomes smarter, independent and self-reliant with a much better understanding of their self and their identity.

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