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6 Reasons Why Every Black Woman Should Study Abroad In College

Black woman travel

Just pick a country and go!

When we look to the future, we do everything that we can to envision the right career that works for us and that will last us for most of our lives. An option that many don’t consider when they are making their future plans is the chance to study or work abroad. You have probably heard rumors about the benefits of traveling while you study with your college or while you find work after college, and the rumors are true. Studying abroad can help your career in ways that you may never have thought possible and it could be the very beginning of opening your eyes to how the world works for a person looking to study hard elsewhere.

When you first hear about the chance to move your college degree to another country and culture, you probably do a ton of research, scrolling through as many college alumni photos of the international part of the course. You research the exotic places that your college course could take you, the experiences that it could give you, the money it could end up earning you. There are a few things that you have to ask yourself before you go ahead and apply for college courses internationally, of course. You have to remember that crossing oceans for your education are a big deal, and not something to be taken lightly. Some of the things that you should ask yourself are:

  1. Is the investment of an international education really worth it?
  2. Will this international course pay off for my career?
  3. How will I bridge a possible cultural divide?

These are all excellent questions and each one is going to be a big deciding factor in whether you pay that college deposit and go ahead. The impact of studying away from everything that you know differs for everyone out there, with some people finding it unbearable to be away from home and others making a big real estate investment overseas because they’ve found a place that they never want to leave. Whichever way that you look at it, studying abroad is going to enrich your life in some way or another, even if you don’t enjoy the experience of being in another country.

Even hating the experience can contribute to your overall experiences; you can say that you’ve done it and it didn’t work for you. It’s a big culture shock to move to a new country and work among a new language while absorbing the cultural differences. The thing is, you would have chosen to get out of your comfort zone and this is so important to remember when you go for it. So, let’s answer some of those earlier, important questions: how does studying abroad boost your career potential?

Communication Skills

Global communication is so important for your personal development and when you work somewhere that has an entirely new language, you learn different ways to communicate every day. Sometimes, this starts out as hand gestures and body language and carrying around a local dictionary and that’s okay. You’ll also learn to decipher the expressions used by others to communicate effectively. Studying abroad is one of those major life experiences that will shape you as a person and shape the career that you hope to take on. You’ll be forced into adapting your own communication skills and making career choices early as you experience the new country.

When you learn a new language as part of your studying, you will face challenges that you didn’t anticipate but it will help you to better understand yourself and whether you want to continue in that country after you graduate. You’ll get fast lessons in communicating with people from other cultures and really open your mind and eyes as to how things work in other places. If you’re worried about how studying abroad will benefit you, you should think about the way that you will be putting yourself out there and you’ll realize that the benefits to your communication skills and acceptance of other cultures are enormous.

Responsibility

When you’re studying abroad, you’ll be repeatedly thrown into situations that take you right out of your comfort zone every single day. Sometimes, this can make you question whether you’ve made the right decision, but college is one big experience, right? Embracing being challenged is going to make a huge difference to your future, and when you get the chance to study abroad you will end up as far better equipped to handle more demanding jobs, wherever you end up working. You could work as a travel guide or a travel agent while you are studying, as you are going to be living in the country as a foreigner; this means that you are uniquely qualified to give an honest review of the place that you are living.

Exposure To Traveling

This one is so important, but more for your life rather than your career. It is impossible to avoid wanderlust once you’ve moved abroad for the first ever time. The unfamiliar architecture and culture of the place that you live in, from the color of the streets to the cultural norms in manners will give you a mentality to crave more and more of seeing the world. Studying abroad can light a fire in you to go further than you thought possible, and instead of being thrown into the deep end you’ll be willingly jumping in. When you take on international study, you get to have your eyes opened to a new way of meeting other people. You may come to enjoy those daily challenges involving the language barrier and if you’re worried about how you will get around, you need to get to know some of the locals to give you a hand!

Independence

When you travel alone to experience even a semester of studying abroad, you gain an independence that you didn’t expect. You end up relying entirely on yourself as you don’t know anyone else in your host country, and so you don’t have a choice. Sure, you’ll make new friends on your course and in your hall of residence, and this will help you to learn overseas teamwork skills. Learning to be on your own and learning to meet people and work as a team will help you later in your career. You’ll be able to transfer the skills that you use when coping alone to strengthen your chances of being a reliable employee. Corporate environments are often high pressure and they move at a very fast pace. Traveling alone can give you the ‘wing it’ persona that you really need to handle that type of pressure. Let’s face it, though, moving abroad to study and leaving your family behind is going to be the biggest adventure that will change the way you handle every situation in the future.

Résumé Improvement

Learning a new language, being open to adapting to new cultures and overcoming the daily challenges of living in another country are all things that you can put on your résumé. Companies around the globe will be looking to hire people that have the get up and go that you do; and you do have it. If you’re making big decisions to step away from what you know to challenge yourself, you’re going to automatically have traits that people will want to see in a business.

The ability to put yourself out there and move forward through a college degree successfully is an achievement that you may never have thought you could manage before, but companies will see this and applaud it. That cultural experience on your resume is going to open doors for you, and you may end up working as a foreign language teacher. English is a global language, and everyone everywhere will want to learn it; if you can teach it in the place you’ve moved to and fallen in love with, you will be successful.

The Challenge

I’ve mentioned the challenges of studying abroad several times throughout this article and so it definitely needs a section all on its own. It is not an easy thing to do, to move away from everyone you know and the usual places that you visit, but it’s a way to push yourself to the limit and have a new experience. There will always be concerns about leaving and homesickness issues, but we now live in a time where technology allows us to be close to those that we are living far away from. You don’t have to miss your family when you can link up with them on Skype every day. Even if you have chosen to live in the far reaches of Australia, you’re only going to be twenty-four hours away.

Studying abroad could epically and dramatically change your life, so if the opportunity presents itself you should grab it with both hands and embrace the experiences that you could have while you’re out there and doing it on your own.

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  1. Pingback: Tips for Women Solo Traveling for the First Time | Unearth Women

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