How Studying Abroad Can Change Your Life
Text: Lydia O’Donnell, EFL Teacher and Life Coach at SEDA College, Dublin.
What is Study Abroad?
When you type that question into google, you get this response, “Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a country other than one’s own. This can include primary, secondary and post-secondary students”. Let’s break that down into smaller pieces…
Studying = learning, [when you do it right ;-)].
Pursuing = is following or chasing.
Therefore, studying abroad is chasing learning opportunities outside your home country.
Can learning Change your life?
Well, doesn’t that sound exciting? There are so many opportunities to learn outside one’s own country. Beyond our comfort zone we can learn more than just another language, like English, we can learn about the world and ourselves. That type of learning CAN change your life because it can shift your perspective, make you see things differently, possibly even help you find your life passion, and that’s a BIG deal!
How can this experience help you as a professional?
Professionals are people who have a good education as well as practical experience and knowledge. Study abroad can give you both of these things. What better learning experience can you get than being dropped in the middle of a completely different language and culture, have to get a job, place to live, and make new friends, while studying a foreign language in the country where it is spoken?
To be successful when studying abroad you have to be friendly, open, hard-working, and positive. Those are all important personal attributes for a professional to have. Often, in the professional working world, one needs specialized knowledge as well to make conversations, understand clients or colleagues from other parts of the world, and/or solve problems. Studying abroad gives you lots of opportunities to learn bits of information or cultural details that cannot be learned from the comfort zone of your country.
Problem-solving is something that you are constantly doing as a foreigner trying to live in a new country. As one myself, I know first hand.