Studying abroad enables you to see the world and learn about other cultures. While abroad, you will be learning in a classroom setting, and you will also have the freedom and flexibility to explore and experience the city and country where you're studying. Many students travel outside of the country to other nearby places before, after, or during their study abroad experience. Studying abroad is an adventure! Whether you are riding camels in Morocco, climbing to the top of a volcano in Costa Rica, or hiking the Great Wall of China, you will be amazed at the experiences and the people that you encounter. You will make memories that will last a lifetime, guaranteed!
With less than 2% of the entire US student population going abroad, this type of experience on your résumé will help you to gain a significant competitive edge in the fierce job market that awaits after graduation. Studying abroad is relevant to your academic career and can help a you to have real-world experience that relates to your career path. In addition to showing interest in diversity and international issues, going abroad also demonstrates many other traits that potential employers may find valuable, including open-mindedness, initiative and leadership capability, willingness to step outside their comfort zone, maturity, independence, flexibility, curiousity, and self-reliance.
You are never alone on a study abroad program. Whether you are with a group of SVSU students on a faculty-led program, or if you're going with other American and international students on a provider or exchange program, you'll always have peers alongside you who are going through similar experiences and emotions. This makes it easier to make friends and find travel partners! You'll meet people from home, locals in your destination city, and people from all over the world!
Looking to put yourself out there and get some work experience for your résumé? The Study Abroad Program offers customizable internships that you can take advantage of. Intern for a non-profit business, a broadcasting group, a children's hospital, a local school, or work with the Study Abroad Office to create an internship experience that fits your goals! Combining work experience in an international setting looks great on a résumé and gives you a unique perspective on your field of study and career path.
Though foreign language skills are not a requirement to go abroad, studying abroad does provide a great platform for you to gain or increase foreign language skills. Surrounding yourself by the culture and the language you're studying drives you to learn quickly how to communicate. You can choose to live with a host family to help perfect your language skills, take classes taught in a foreign language, make friends with locals, or to simply get out and about and just practice. You'll be amazed at how much you are able to learn!
If you are interested in seeing the world and experiencing culture and adventure, going during college is one of the best times to do so. You have the financial aid and scholarships to make it affordable, friends alongside you to lean on, the time available to be away from home, and the support of the Study Abroad Office and partners in country to ensure your safety. Don't wait until after graduation when you have a full-time career, a mortage, a family, and other responsibilities that tie your feet to the ground! (Don't worry if you do have some of these responsibilities, though, as we have short-term programs and other options that can work for you!)
Spending time outside of your normal routine forces you to learn about yourself and what you are capable of. You will gain confidence, growing both personally and professionally, while stretching your boundaries and increasing your personal comfort zone. You will discover new passions and develop new interests. Going abroad can even help you to choose a new life path and develop future life goals.