Why Study Abroad?
Studying abroad is an immensely valuable experience. How valuable you may ask? Here are a few reasons!
- Get a competitive edge in applying to graduate school
- Form a broader and more sophisticated view of the world
- Increase your self-awareness, confidence, adaptability, and independence
- Gain a better understanding of cultural values and personal biases
- Improve your intercultural communication and language skills
- Start long-lasting friendships forged through shared experiences
- Have the adventure of a lifetime in an amazing destination
Studying abroad is an amazing personal experience that can also help you with your career path.
Studying abroad will give you a stronger resume, and improved job and internship prospects. You will gain hands-on field experience and broaden your professional network.
The financial cost of studying abroad can be overwhelming, but is well worth the investment. The infographic on the left outlines the many returns on investment that students gain from studying abroad, and how it affects their career paths. The infographic on the right will help you market your study abroad experience to potential employers.
MYTHS OF STUDY ABROAD
#1: Studying abroad is too expensive
Reality: Kent State University offers more than 200 study abroad programs that range in costs. Some programs are very comparable to studying at Kent.
Some programs are more expensive and some are less. There are a variety of ways to pay for studying abroad, including scholarships, financial aid, and loans. By planning ahead, you can speak to your family about your financial restrictions, as well as save for your time abroad. If budgeting is a concern, the cost of a program can be factored into choosing the right program for you.
#2: Financial aid doesn't transfer to study abroad.
Reality: Universities and colleges are required by federal law to continue to disburse funds to eligible students participating in approved programs. As in all regulations, there are some areas left open to interpretation, but the basic idea is that you should be able to use your federal aid.
#3: It is necessary to speak a second language to study abroad.
Reality: While some programs do have a language requirement, many programs are taught exclusively in English.
ALL courses at Kent State University’s Florence program are taught in English except for Italian language courses.
#4: It is not possible to complete major requirements while abroad.
Reality: Many students are able to earn credit toward their major while studying abroad. Regulations vary by major, college, and curriculum. Some Kent State University departments are stricter in their specific requirements but other departments offer some flexibility with their course work. With a large variety of programs, there may be one or several programs that provide courses that fulfill requirements in a specific major or curriculum.
#5: Studying abroad will delay graduation.
Reality: Many students study abroad and graduate in four years. Students earn credit toward graduation requirements for most courses taken abroad. By frequently consulting and meeting with academic advisors, students can even study abroad for an entire academic year without affecting their graduation date. In fact, some students study abroad two or three times and still graduate on time.
#6: Studying abroad doesn’t help your career.
Reality: Employers look to hire well-rounded employees who are able to demonstrate the ability to adapt well to new situations and thrive in multi-cultural environments.
Businesses are increasingly growing into international companies and utilizing skills gained from a study abroad experience gives potential employees an edge that others lack.
Testimonials from Students
"What’s it like to finally feel like you’re truly in step with the world around you? I thought I could answer these questions for you three months ago but I’m now realizing I couldn’t. I have spent three months in Dresden, Germany and my entire life has been changed. I have become a more passionate students, a stronger person, and I have figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life. The brochures you look at for study abroad tell you it’s a life changing experience but no one really takes it to heart. When they tell you it will change your life you don’t understand how drastic of a change they mean. Studying abroad forces you to know yourself, put more effort into learning, and really look at your own culture compared to others."
"It can be completely nerve wracking and exhausting trying to navigate through a new area and not knowing what to expect, but in that came the greatest adventures of finding hidden gems of an area. Being thrown out of my normal area into a new one gave me the opportunity to understand no matter where we come from working together gets us where we need to go. You learn more by doing and exploring than you ever will sitting behind a computer reading from a textbook."
"The Poland Spring Break Program is unlike any other study abroad program at Kent State and if it were up to me, I think that it should be a requirement for every student to attend. Studying abroad is always presented as a life changing experience, and while I certainly think this to be true, Poland was so much more than that. It taught me to find empathy in a world that tends to lack it, to actively remember the horrors of the past that so many would rather forget, and it taught me that in those moments when your feet hang heavy with the weight of grief and hopelessness it is important to carry that feeling with you as a reminder to seek out hope and then use it to help create a kinder world.”