Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad Post Pandemic
The Global pandemic has changed the way we think about the world. It's not just international students who have had to reconsider their values and reassess priorities. Nurses, carers, teachers, delivery drivers and supermarket workers are valued more than before- all vital societal contributors. How would we all have coped without them during the lockdown?
Scientists provide life-saving solutions and vaccines, which we might have taken for granted before the pandemic. Friends and loved ones, many of whom we were not allowed to see or hug for a long time, are, in so many ways, we now realise, the people who keep us all sane.
Another key function of society that we perhaps have taken for granted is education's vital role in our futures. How many schoolchildren resented classroom learning until they were for to study online? While you might have spent far too long alone in your bedroom over the last couple of years as successive waves of lockdown kept us away from regular activity- now is the time to catch up and plug that educational gap that might have resulted from the pandemic.
It’s been an exciting time to reflect on what is truly important. A time in which employers too will have reconsidered the kinds of skilled workforce they need for the future. Consequently, now is a good time to reassess our educational priorities.
Here at Chichester College Group, we believe that International students play a vital role in the health and development of our entire student body.
Young people travelling for education benefit not only them but all the 25,000 British students we educate annually here in the UK. Exposure to students from different countries, religions and cultures enriches us all.
Here are our top 5 reasons to consider studying abroad in 2022.
1. Build your resilience, make friends and learn independence
Studying abroad isn’t always easy. It comes with challenges, and in doing so, you will be developing your adaptability skills. You’ll learn that starting something new and travelling to a foreign land can be daunting. But overcoming those challenges will boost your confidence. It’s fun, too and as you adapt, your self-belief will increase, which must be good. You’ll make new friends that you would otherwise never have had the chance to meet, and you will see and do things that will broaden your horizons.
Many lifelong friendships are formed in the years immediately after school, and having the chance to live and study with students of a similar age from different parts of the world is a unique experience.
It’s empowering to step outside of your comfort zone and achieve things that might seem scary. Achieving this will pay dividends for the rest of your life.
2. Learn About Different Cultures
Becoming immersed in a different culture is a wonderfully enriching experience. Understanding people that have grown up in different lands will enhance your skills of tolerance and empathy. Skills will come in handy for the rest of your life.
Employers are increasingly looking for employees who can demonstrate the ability to adapt and change with the times. What better proof than to say that you spent a year abroad studying (an action which demonstrates that you are both adventurous and adaptable)?
Besides, you will get to eat new food, try new experiences and learn about your own culture through the eyes of others- a valuable insight for anyone.
3. Broaden your Life Options
It is well-known that the quality of one’s education sets one up for life. That’s a fact that all parents are acutely aware of, and becoming an international student provides increased opportunity for those able to take advantage of it.
Just imagine that you are a boss looking to hire a new member of staff…there are two applicants with the same qualification except that one has studied abroad and the other has never left their hometown. Which one would you hire?
The UK has one of the highest-regarded education systems in the world, and while you might not be sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, spending time abroad will help you better understand yourself. It will help shape your thoughts and enable you to make important life decisions based on the valuable life experiences gained from experience.
4. Acquire a new Language
It is a universal truth that learning a new language provides a tremendous advantage in life. Nelson Mandela famously said;
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
Or how about this quote from Charlemagne?
"To have another language is to possess a second soul."
Learning English as a second language isn’t easy, but the best place to do so is by being surrounded by native speakers. English is a popular language in commerce and business and is spoken all over the world. Most of the world’s academic papers are published in English, so acquiring them is a skill. Think of it as an investment in your future.
5. Enhance your Career Prospects
There’s no doubt that employers value staff with international experience, and studying abroad can provide a valuable stepping stone for getting into the university or job or your dreams.
Employers don't just want aptitude, they need people with a good attitude too and by travelling and studying you will learn essential life skills. You'll learn resilience and how to get on with people from different backgrounds, and the experience you gain will help develop you far beyond the academic subjects you choose to pursue.
These skills you will learn by studying abroad will include overcoming challenges, developing a better understanding of other cultures and increasing your understanding of our incredibly complicated world. Those are all qualities prospective employers will value and be kept in mind when searching for fresh talent.
Learnability- Your chance to Shine
Learnability is the path to career security in this brave new world.
In a world where new skills need to arise as quickly as others become extinct, today’s job market is less about what you already know and increasingly about your ability to learn. You will have an advantage over your peers by developing your learnability skills (your capacity to adapt your skills to remain employable). This is one of the key benefits of studying abroad.
OK, we have barely scratched the surface regarding all the benefits of studying abroad. Yes, it is expensive, but in the broader scheme of things, the advantages of the life-enriching experience of travelling and studying vastly outweigh the cost. The benefits and skills you learn will be yours for life.
And so, in a year of change and a world where competition for the best jobs is hotter than ever- why not consider giving yourself a competitive edge and giving the international study a go?
What do you think? We would love to hear from you if you would like to contribute to our blog as a guest contributor.
International Group Director for Chichester College Group