Studying abroad is becoming more popular among university students for the simple fact that they can explore a different part of the world while earning credit toward their degree. But did you know that there are many benefits to studying abroad, in addition to earning degree credits and satisfying wanderlust curiosity? Keep reading to learn more about why you should seriously consider studying in a new country for a semester (or two). 1. Explore Another Part of the World From exploring a new destination and culture to understanding a different way of living, studying abroad offers first-hand opportunities you may not otherwise experience. Whether you’re determined to see certain museums, monuments and art exhibits, or you’re looking for an authentic adventure, checking items off your bucket-list while studying is a great idea. “I had the opportunity to be a part of the Study Abroad program, which lead me to live and study in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, located in the Caribbean Sea. The University of the Virgin Islands has its own beach, where I never once went swimming without seeing sea turtles!” – Matt Brown, BBA’16 With so many travel options available to CBU students like China, Brazil, Sweden and Taiwan, to name a few, you won’t be short on location inspiration. Our knowledgeable coordinator in the International Student and Study Abroad Centre is ready to help you find the right opportunity to spread your wings. 2. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone Personal growth and development may not be the first thing you think of when considering a study abroad option. But when you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone, travelling to a new country, making new friends and networking with people from all over the world, you can’t help but pick up personal development skills. And who knows what you’ll learn along the way, not only from others and the experience, but also about yourself. While studying science at CBU, Stacey Lee decided to travel to Ireland for a semester. It was there that she realized (and truly started appreciating) her experiences at CBU. It sounds ironic, because even though Stacey enjoyed her time in Ireland, she couldn’t help but think about her learning opportunities back home. It was in Ireland, while discussing experiences with classmates, that Stacey learned how advantageous her research grants and opportunities were at CBU. “We really get these amazing experiences that people at larger institutions don’t always get. I really made a note not to take those opportunities for granted anymore. There are so many ways to get involved at CBU, which gives you the opportunity to get to know people and enhance your university experience.” – Stacey Lee, BSc’18
3. Expand your network The odds are good that you’ve already been meeting people from around the world since attending CBU- the campus is shared among students from over 40 countries, afterall. Meeting your classmates and learning things from each other is one of the great benefits of attending university. But if you wanted to take networking one step further, studying abroad would be a great way to do it! Julie Martin, originally from Cape Breton, chose to pack her bags and study across the Atlantic, where she also fulfilled her dream of travelling around Europe. While studying and travelling, Julie expanded her network and made more friends from all over the globe.
“The world became a lot smaller in my eyes…It’s amazing the connections you really make.” – Julie Martin, BA’13
4. Test Out that Big Move Aside from the reasons already mentioned, you should consider studying abroad for next-level independence! What’s more independent than moving to a new country for school? Ok, maybe some things, but what’s better than finding an opportunity where you will gain valuable experience and serious life skills, all while having the comfort of knowing you’re heading home in a few months to reflect on the journey? For some who study locally, moving to a new country for school could mean living on your own for the first time. And with that comes responsibilities and opportunities for growth that you maybe haven’t faced before. For others, it’s a chance to move to a new country that you haven’t yet experienced. Navigating big moves is a great skill to have, something at which Tanha Tanjila, a CBU student currently studying in the United States, is becoming a pro! Her study abroad experiences have been both challenging and empowering. Tanha enjoyed her first semester at Binghamton University in New York so much that she decided to continue her exchange for a second semester at Eastern Connecticut State University. “I feel like this whole exchange experience has boosted my self-confidence, made me more capable of adapting to new environments, and has increased my teamwork efficiency and other social skills. I decided to do another exchange semester as I personally and academically grew a lot in my first semester. I encourage everyone to make use of the great opportunity CBU is offering through National Student Exchange Program.” – Tanha Tanjila, Current CBU student, BBA The truth about studying abroad is that it’s not possible to explain all the benefits in one short blog post. Everyone who takes part in this program gains their own unique perspective and experiences. But, trust your fellow students and alumni- there is so much to learn from studying abroad, both in and outside of the classroom, that you’ll be glad you did. So, where are you headed?
For more information about CBU’s Study Abroad Program, please contact our Study Abroad Coordinator.