November 11, 2017

23 Study Abroad Statistics That Will Inspire You

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More than 300,000 students study abroad. Are they wasting their money or is there value in the experience?

Read this report to find out what studying abroad can do for you.

A Small Demographic

  • There are 313,415 students studying abroad. While it sounds like a large number, it is only 1.5% of the total number of students enrolled in U.S. colleges.

The Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad provides students with many benefits. You immerse yourself in a new culture and learn from a new perspective. You also enhance your language skills, increase your world awareness, and grow personally.

  • How much does studying abroad help students learn foreign language?
    Students taking the TEF, a test to determine a student's understanding of a foreign language, increased their score by 37%. This was just those who studied abroad for one semester. There's value in immersing yourself in the culture versus reading a textbook.

  • How does studying abroad help a student's world awareness?
    Students tend to be self-centered only because they aren't exposed to the issues in the world around us. When they study abroad, they have no choice but to be faced with the problems the nation faces. It gives students an understanding of the world around them. It helps prepare them for the global interactions in the working world. Today, dealing with global issues is no longer just a diplomatic issue. It's something many workers face on a daily basis.

  • How does studying abroad help a student's personal growth?
    Students who immerse themselves in other cultures tend to truly reflect on their own lives. Taking themselves out of their comfort zone and throwing themselves into another culture gives them no choice but to examine their lives and how they live them. Many students come back more compassionate. They also have a greater drive to make a difference in the world.

How to Work and Study Abroad

Working and studying abroad sounds nearly impossible. If you find it hard to balance life here in the U.S., how could you possibly do it abroad? Luckily, it's not as hard as it seems. Many countries limit the amount you can work, anyway. But, every dollar helps.

  • What countries make it the easiest to work and study abroad?
    Not every country allows students to work while studying abroad. The countries that do allow it have their own requirements. The UK makes it easy for students with a Tier 4 student visa. Ireland also makes it possible to work and study abroad. But you can't start working until you've studied there for 1 year.

    Countries, like Italy, though, make it very difficult for students studying abroad to work. Italy does allow it, but makes it very difficult to get approved.

  • How many hours can you work on a student visa in Australia?
    Australia allows international students with a visa to work 40 hours over a two-week period. This is while school is in session. Students can work full-time during vacation periods. If you are there on a scholarship, however, you must find out the requirements. Many scholarship programs don't allow students to work and study.

  • Can short-term students in the UK study and work?
    Short-term students in the UK cannot work. You must study in the UK for at least 6 months before you gain eligibility to work alongside your studies.

How to Study Abroad

Don't let money keep you from studying abroad. There are many programs available to help make it affordable, including scholarships. Take the necessary steps to figure out what you need and the pieces will fall into place.

  • Is it cheaper to study abroad?
    Whether or not it's cheaper to study abroad depends on where you study. The largest expense oftentimes isn't the tuition, but the cost of living. In order to keep the cost of tuition down, you can try:

    • Looking for volunteer opportunities that count as course credits
    • Use an exchange program through your school
    • Take an internship abroad

    The key is to find out all aspects of any program. Ask about hidden costs and make sure you understand the cost of living in the area.

  • How do I go overseas?
    Applying and getting accepted into an overseas program is just a part of the process of studying abroad. The bigger piece of the puzzle is getting your student visa. Once you choose your country, visit the embassy's website. This will give you the information you need to start your visa application. Prepare yourself for lengthy applications, in-person interviews at the embassy, and documentation requirements including proof of the funds to pay your way to study abroad.

  • How do I get a scholarship to study abroad?
    Many students can get a study abroad scholarship. You don't even have to have spectacular grades to get one, although that helps, of course. You'll find scholarships based on academics, sports, and community service. You'll also find specific scholarships based on area of study or even specific countries.

Best Places to Study Abroad

Each country has its specialties. If you have your heart set on a specific country, do your research. Chances are there is a university that will help enhance your skills while giving you the college credits you need.

  • Which is the best country to study abroad for business?
    London tops the charts as the best country to study abroad for business majors. With more than 800,000 businesses, including the top 100 businesses in Europe, there are plenty of opportunities for business majors.

  • Which is the best country to study architecture abroad?
    Barcelona is an historic city ripe with famous architecture and art. Studying abroad in Spain gives students the opportunity to see in person the architecture they study in class. Many of the courses are offered in English. This can make it even easier to study abroad.

  • Which is the best country to study music abroad?
    Vienna, Austria, tops the charts for music students wishing to study abroad. Vienna is home to composers such as Beethoven and Mozart, and is a musical cultural mecca today. Known as the "city of music," it is the perfect place for music students to study abroad.

Getting Into Grad School

If there's no other reason to study abroad, consider how much easier you might get into the grad school of your choice.

  • How many students who studied abroad got into their first choice grad school?
    If you are still unsure about the need to study abroad, consider this. 90% of students who studied abroad got into their first or second choice of grad school.

Finding Promising Employment

Employers look favorably on applicants who studied abroad. Just see how the statistic stack up.

  • How many students felt studying abroad helped them choose their field of employment?
    If you are unsure about what to do with your life after college - study abroad. 34% of those who study abroad said it helped direct them to their chosen field.

  • How many students believe studying abroad helped them adapt to a diverse working environment?
    Accepting diversity is a key point to succeeding in today's workforce. 80% of students who studied abroad believe their studies helped them develop that sense of acceptance, helping them succeed in their field.

  • How many companies give preferential treatment to applicants who studied aboard?
    Having international experience puts you on a different level than the other applicants. It shows not only diversity, but that you can successfully overcome challenges thrown your way. Employers know it's not easy to adapt to another culture. If you have the proof that you did it and made it out alive, you may make that 2nd interview before the other applicants. In fact, 80% of companies actively seek graduates who studied abroad.

  • How many students who studied abroad found employment within 12 months?
    Finding a job after college is proving to be more difficult today. Not for those who studied abroad, though. 97% of those who studied abroad found a job within 12 months. Compare that to the 49% who didn't study abroad who found employment within 12 months.

  • How many students who studied abroad found employment within 6 months?
    90% of students who studied abroad even managed to find a job within 6 months of graduation.

  • What impression do employers have of graduates who took a "gap year" or year-long "career break" to travel abroad?
    Many college students worry what employers might think if they took time off to travel abroad. A gap year seems to have negative connotations, but employers think differently. If you can come back with a stronger set of skills, whether field specific or in general patience and problem solving skills, you are a bigger asset to the company. There's something to be said about the virtues that dealing with diversity creates.

  • How much more money do students who studied abroad make?
    If you are looking for a high starting salary, start studying abroad. Graduates with overseas experience make 25% more than graduates who remained in the U.S.

  • How many students who studied abroad felt they had the necessary skills to get a job?
    84% of those who studied abroad felt it prepared them for their jobs today.

  • How many workers are expected to have to deal with global assignments in the next decade?
    According to PwC, employees expected to take on global assignments will increase by 50% over the next 10 years. That's a large increase that graduates must be prepared to handle.

Bottom Line

Studying abroad offers many benefits. It can be expensive, but there is aid available. Consider all of your options before ending your days in college. Before you know it, you'll be out in the working world competing against those who chose to study abroad.

Sources and References:

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