Studying abroad has been described by participants as life-changing for many years now but the beneficial long-term effects are only beginning to be properly understood. The overwhelming consensus is that students will learn more about themselves in one semester than in three years at home, with the unique experience acting as a catalyst for personal growth attributes such as maturity, self-confidence and tolerance. The cultural immersion provides a fresh perspective on the world, with valuable exposure to important global issues related to development, international affairs and politics.
Understanding global context is increasingly important in today’s interconnected world and it can have lasting career implications. A 2009 survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education found nearly all employers valued the cross-cultural adaptation and communication skills gained by prospective employees with international experience and half said they would choose a candidate who had studied abroad over one who hadn’t. International education provides opportunities for students to understand their discipline in different places, build international networks, challenge themselves beyond their comfort zone and identify how they see the world. Learning new approaches to research methods and ethics broadens project management practices while constantly navigating uncharted territories rapidly improves and refines decision-making and problem-solving abilities.
Studying in Europe
To study abroad in Europe brings the additional bonus of having access to several diverse cultures in relatively close proximity. Immersion in different environments offers fantastic opportunities to learn new languages, given the abundant chances to practice and improve. Applying language skills in daily life demonstrates that students can not only survive, but flourish in foreign countries. These sorts of intercultural skills breed confidence and adaptability, transferable to both personal and professional aspects throughout students’ lives.
It isn’t difficult to jet off for a weekend trip to Paris or Barcelona, or plan extensive holidays to exciting new destinations once studies are completed. These immersions encourage an appreciation and respect for the differences and commonalities of the human condition, expanding worldviews and cultivating wisdom.
Studying in Italy
From its ancient history to dynamic present, Italy has long been a leader in higher education. To study abroad in Italy is to experience the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest art, architecture and food. There are the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, of course, but also mountains, volcanoes, and breathtaking coastlines! Rome is incredibly edifying, and students have the priceless opportunity to have its fascinating city squares and architectural marvels as their study spaces. Interacting with students from around the world in small classes taught by multicultural professors promotes diverse and rewarding viewpoints. According to an alumni survey by The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), the longer that students study abroad, the more significant the academic and cultural development and personal growth benefits. Going to university in Rome really will change your life!