Diverse group of young people smiling while taking group photo on phone

9 Great Things You'll Gain From Studying Abroad

Studying abroad has a lot of benefits for your life now and after college. Here are just nine things you'll gain from this life-changing experience.

Moving a few hundred miles away from home can be daunting enough. It’s difficult to even imagine that others willingly venture thousands of miles away for several months at a time to study abroad. Not only can the distance be disheartening, but the idea of immersing themselves into a completely unknown culture, likely filled with a new language, cuisine, and atmosphere, is enough to keep many students far away from foreign experiences. Although studying abroad can cause many fears, it is a decision that can immensely impact your overall college experience and ultimately your entire outlook on the world around you. Deciding to study abroad is a life-changing choice made by millions of students every year. Here are nine things you’ll gain from choosing this life-changing experience.

1. Independence

Starting on your own at a college far away from home is a pretty good test of independence itself, but you can often find comfort in at least staying in the same country as your family. However, choosing to study abroad in a foreign country can prove to be a huge test of your independence as you tackle living on your own in a culture that is far from familiar. By taking a plunge headfirst into newfound independence, you may find that it’s not nearly as bad as you expected.

2. A well-rounded résumé

Crediting a semester abroad on any future school or job application is a unique quality that’s highly appealing to many admission officers and companies. A student who has studied abroad is clearly not afraid to take a chance and is presumably well rounded and worldly in general. As far as interviews go, talking about an interesting experience or something significant that you gained from spending time abroad is a distinctive aspect that can easily set you apart from other applicants.

3. Better self-awareness

Figuring out how you adjust to a drastically new environment is a great way to simply get to know yourself a bit better. You may find that some things you love about home aren’t nearly as great as some of the new experiences you’ve come to love while abroad. This is something that can simply open your eyes to what you like and what you don’t like, as well as how you work and learn best in specific environments. While studying abroad you will encounter a diverse palate of opportunities that can help you learn things about yourself—things you may have never realized back home.

Related: 3 Important Life Skills Students Need to Learn Before Going to College

4. New perspective on culture

Being able to step outside of the familiarity of your everyday life and explore an entirely new environment and culture is an experience that can drastically alter the way you see the world. Getting to experience firsthand certain customs, values, and lifestyles so different from your own can leave you with a fresh new perspective and take on how others see the world around them and choose to live their lives. Returning from time spent studying abroad with a brand-new outlook can possibly even change how you choose to tackle the remainder of your college experience.

5. Real-life exposure to a new language

If you’re looking to learn a new language, there is no better way to do so than by using it in real-life scenarios. Whether you must order a meal, ask for directions, or have a conversation with a professor, being exposed to the more casual and everyday aspects of a language can help you comprehend it much easier. There’s a significant difference in how easily someone can pick up a language when their only real exposure to it involves an outdated textbook. Studying abroad gives you the chance to put your foreign language skills to use as well as continue to develop new ones.

6. Diverse educational opportunities

There are many different methods of education, some of which are utilized across the globe and others you may have never heard before. Exposing yourself to a variety of diverse learning styles is a great way to figure out what exactly works best for you as a student. The way a foreign professor chooses to teach a class could open your eyes to a new style of learning that you likely would have never experienced back home. Getting to experiment with these various methods of education and learning can ultimately aid in altering your entire outlook on the learning experience as well as college in general. 

Related: How to Find a College With the Best Experiential Learning Opportunities

7. An immersive look at history

Learning history from the perspective of a dusty old textbook can get boring pretty quickly. It’s hard to be able to fully appreciate the beauty of a piece of the past when you’re just reading about it from a secondary source. Studying abroad gives you the chance to place yourself in history and to likely glean a much better understanding from it. Most foreign countries are home to many historical monuments, which can range from ancient churches, government buildings, or local museums filled with various artifacts. Many of these places can serve as a supplement to what you’re learning in class and ultimately help you understand the importance of the topic.

8. New relationships

Instead of strictly limiting yourself to the people you meet in classes, at the library, or around your dorm, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to meet and bond with fellow students not only from a specific country but also from all around the world. You never know who you may end up connecting with and ultimately what bonds could lead to incredible friendships. Spending a semester in a foreign country can broaden your horizons, both socially and academically, and lead to many new possibilities that you would have never before expected.

9. An overall life-changing experience

The knowledge and memories you gain from spending a significant amount of time in another country will likely manifest into a story that can be told for years to come. Possessing such an experience can therefore greatly impact your entire perspective and potential outcome of your future. The people you meet, the places you go, and the information you learn while abroad all become something to hold onto and apply to different situations for many years to come.

Related: 5 Life-Changing Reasons You Should Intern Abroad

Studying abroad is an experience that will enrich your life long after you return home. If you’re seriously considering pursuing this opportunity in college, you won’t be making a mistake. Traveling in college is an incredible experience you won’t ever get again.

Not sure which kind of abroad program is right for you? Check out Benefits of a Global Education: 3 Common Ways to Study Abroad for more advice. 

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Toni Velazquez

Toni Velazquez is a high school junior from the Sunshine State. Aside from writing, she enjoys spending time with friends and sitting through her fair share of enduring Netflix marathons. She considers herself a headstrong and determined perfectionist who absolutely loves helping others in any way she can.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress


High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me find Allegheny College with the super-user-friendly search tool for both schools and scholarships. Using CollegeXpress, I was able to search for programs I was interested in studying and find colleges that offered those programs. Also, once you search for the college, CollegeXpress can get you connected!

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

Lorena Bacallao

Lorena Bacallao

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress was the foundation of my college search process. Because of CollegeXpress, I was able to make a more informed and confident decision as to where it was best to pursue my higher education. I have recommended this website to fellow peers and for first-generation students like me. It’s a website I will continue to promote because of how simple it was to use and how many opportunities were offered to me at my fingertips!

Lu Diehl

Lu Diehl

High School Class of 2022

I never would have found the college I plan on attending without CollegeXpress! I've always been a person of ambition and have been dreaming of studying and working on my passion for law, legal studies, and political science. Washington College is where I plan on pursuing my career. My journey with my education has been difficult, and oftentimes, I was told I would never amount to much, but now I'm dual enrolled at Caroll Community College and have had experience in the fields I am dedicated to. Without the help of CollegeXpress (even in its early days), I would never have found Washington College and the information I need to apply and become a part of their community.



High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Ohio University

Athens, OH

Grace College

Winona Lake, IN

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Asbury University

Wilmore, KY