By Susan Seto
If you were to tell me five years ago that I would be living out of a suitcase for a year, I would think you were crazy. Last year, I decided to take a leap of faith to pursue my passion to go abroad. It was a bold move to leave my career, apartment, and family and friends in Vancouver for the unfamiliar. Looking back, it was by far the best thing I did for myself in terms of personal and professional growth.
I had the opportunity to live in four different places through the Master of Global Business program at the University of Victoria. I studied in Canada, Taiwan, and Austria and completed a summer co-op term in Hong Kong. All of these were enriching in their own ways.
If you’re asking yourself whether you should study abroad, don’t sit on it any longer. Go for it. Get out of your comfort zone and explore the world. It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. Guaranteed.
Here are 12 reasons why you should study abroad:
1.Travel, travel, travel. You will explore so many new places that would not have been possible if you studied back home. This makes your education much more enriching. Whether it be hiking up the most beautiful mountains or simply going to the grocery store in a new country, there is always so much to explore.
2. Culture. You will fully immerse yourself in a new culture and meet locals who will happily share their culture with you.
3. Education system. You will gain a well-rounded perspective by learning from professors in another country.
4. New language. Bonjour. Hola. 你好! Learning a new language will be a natural skill you will pick up by living in a new country.
5. Amazing food. Living abroad will open your taste buds to new and authentic cuisine. This is heaven for any foodie.
6. Photography. If you’re big on photography, you will have the chance to go to the most amazing places and take the most amazing photos.
7. Cross-cultural dating. Many couples tend to come together while studying abroad. If you’re dating a local, this is also an added benefit to learn more about the local culture.
8. Stories. You will come back home with the best travel stories. These stories will be passed onto your grandchildren and be with you forever.
9. Adaptable. You will learn how to adapt quickly to new situations and become an expert problem solver, which is a key characteristic employers now look for.
10. Career opportunities. Studying abroad makes you highly employable. It looks great on a resume as it shows you’re adaptable, well rounded, and a self-starter. You will have many international job opportunities when you graduate. “Should I work here, there, or anywhere?”
11. Grow your network. When you’re abroad, you will meet new people who you might not have met back home. You will build new friendships and contacts from all around the world.
12. Best time of your life. This is the truth. It will be the best decision you will ever make in your life. The lifelong connections and memories you create will be with you forever.
We only have one life to live so jump at the chance to experience all the richness the world has to offer and honour your passions.