Studying abroad has lots of benefits, from gaining a world-class education and improving your career prospects, to making amazing friends for life.
We're sure we won't need to give you many excuses to jump on a plane to explore new cultures and expand your horizons, but here's our top ten reasons we think studying abroad is one of the best things you can do while you're at university.
01 - Push yourself out your comfort zone
You might have already done this when you first came to Leeds Beckett but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and spending time in another country will do wonders for your confidence and adaptability. And, by the time you’ve finished your exchange, you'll probably consider your exchange home firmly part of your comfort zone.
02 - Different style of education
Depending on what university you go to, this will vary, but there are lots of different approaches to education across the world. For example, if you study in the USA you may end up doing weekly pop quizzes - just like in the movies! Undertaking a different style of learning is a great way of sharpening your study skills, and you might find yourself bringing some new learning techniques back to the UK with you for your final year.
03 - Life experience and independence
As well as countless happy memories from your time abroad, you'll also gain lots of life skills. Independence is a huge one which you will develop, and while moving to another country may seem scary, you’ll definitely be glad you did it by the time your exchange is over!
04 - Language (and communication) skills
If you are going to a non-English speaking country, you’ll find yourself picking up lots of the language, even if you were already confident in it. But even if you pick an English speaking country for your exchange, you’re likely to pick up bits of other languages from your fellow international students, and pivotally, the ability to communicate with people from different cultures.
05 - Travel
One of the best perks of choosing to study abroad is the opportunity to travel. Whilst you can certainly immerse yourself in the local culture of where you live, the time between studying will give you a great chance to go and see some amazing sights.
06 - Build your professional network
Study abroad also provides you with a rare opportunity to take your existing professional network and make it international. On your course you will meet like-minded peers and lecturers, who you can form meaningful connections with, and potentially collaborate with in the future.
07 - ...and your personal network
But doing an exchange isn’t just great for your career - you’ll also make friends for life. You will come back to the UK with friends all over the globe. Not only will you have that friendship and a small insight into their culture, but you’ll also have lots of other countries to visit (and if you’re lucky, free accommodation in them too!).
08 - Food, glorious food
Spending time in different places is a foodie's dream. Get an authentic taste of your host country. After all, nothing beats having a croissant in France, tacos in Mexico, or sushi in Japan. If you’re lucky, you’ll discover some local delicacies that you hadn’t even heard of.
Plus, you'll be able to introduce your new foodie friends to the art of the Yorkshire Pudding - what a treat!
09 - Different perspective on your subject
In amongst all of the travel, socialising and eating, you will be studying your chosen subject. Studying abroad will help to give you a whole new way of looking at your subject, allowing you to gain an added perspective and understanding of it.
10 - Employability
Last but not least, is your increased employability. You will become more employable by studying abroad, by widening your knowledge and developing countless soft, transferable skills which all employers are looking for.
I never expected to make lifelong friends and feel as comfortable within a new university as I have been made to feel at home which I didn't expect to happen as much as it has. My academic highlight would be being exposed to highly advanced sport scientists and experience their level and way of teaching across many different subject areas which I find incredibly interesting.
Students who go abroad are 19% more likely to gain a 1st in their degree.
Students who go abroad are 10% more likely to be in graduate jobs six months after graduating.
I can honestly say that this was the best experience of my life and I would not change a thing about it. I really feel that this placement puts me in a good position to do what I really want after university.
Students who go abroad are 20% less likely to be out of work.