Every year, almost 4 million students from all over the world apply for overseas higher education institutions to study abroad, with United States of America having the influx of 1 million applicants. Following it are China, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom with almost half a million applicants annually.
|Rank||Destination countries||Foreign Students (2019)||Top Sending Countries|
|1||United States||1,095,299||China, India, South Korea|
|2||United Kingdom||496,570||China, United States, India|
|3||China||492,185||South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan|
|4||Canada||435,415||India, China, France|
|5||Australia||420,501||China, India, Nepal|
|6||France||343,400||Morocco, Algeria, China|
|7||Russia||334,497||Kazakhstan, China, Turkmenistan|
|8||Germany||282,002||China, India, Austria|
|9||Japan||208,901||China, Vietnam, Nepal|
|10||Spain||120,991||Italy, France, the United States|
But the question is: why do students go for these study abroad programs and what impact does the entire experience have on them? The answer is pretty simple – international experience promotes the growth of an individual on levels that are beneficial for one’s future ventures. Here are some of the benefits that accompany an international experience –
Honing Communication Skills
Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most vital life skill in one’s career. Conversations with international students offer creative insights and suggestions that are previously unexplored by the student. The incorporation of web-based engagement and participatory interactions between students generates more opportunities to foster critical thinking skills.
Also, having a good command of a second language while conversing with different people from various backgrounds can have a positive impact one’s career when working with multinational organizations.
Expansion of Academic Horizon
While being a part of study abroad programs, students experience a change in the style of teaching. Each country has its distinctive style that enables the students to adapt to various academic settings.
Different teaching styles such as authoritative, delegatory, facilitating, demonstrating, and hybrid have emerged as the primary strategies adopted by modern teachers throughout the globe. Students get to experience all of these in an international institution.
Broadening International Connections and Networks
Many companies, when recruiting, emphasize having some international experience as it ensures internal growth. Studying abroad also encourages the development of international friendships, which might serve as a valuable source of social, cultural, political, and economic knowledge when students enter the workforce. Building an international network gives students a competitive advantage in the marketplace in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world.
Gaining New Perspectives
Studying in other countries is a practical way to expose students to new cultures, new inspirations, and unique experiences. Engaging with international students through study abroad programs in discussions and exchange of ideas and perceptions both inside and outside the classroom encourages cross-cultural communications. When students from various nationalities interact with each other, they develop a deeper understanding of each other’s cultures and social backgrounds, which in turn helps them in developing empathy and a better understanding of their values and biases.
Study abroad programs also catalyze student maturity. Moreover, when in a formal set up, if students have a better understanding of the situation at hand, coming up with solutions that are acceptable to a majority of the representatives also inculcates skills of negotiation, dispute resolution, and collaboration.
Building Up Confidence
Study abroad programs can add a boost to a student’s personal and professional life. It also ensures the active participation of a student in various activities such as volunteering, competitions, presentations, etc. Students gain confidence by developing their leadership skills, research capabilities, and problem-solving skills when placed in a foreign environment. They bloom and come out of their shell when the situation demands it, developing a sense of independency that makes them aware of their limitations and their ability to manage them.
Exploring the World
Traveling to a new country for education is an action-packed journey that is filled with unforgettable experiences. Students get to explore so much! They get to try different authentic cuisines, meet new interesting people, go on sightseeing trips, explore the city they’re in with their new friends, interact with locals, enjoy the nightlife, discover new music, etc. Students make memories that last a lifetime. Most students experience the best time of their life while participating in study abroad programs.