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Why should parents encourage study abroad?

There are lots of good reasons to encourage your son or daughter to study abroad.  Here are five:

1. Study abroad is a life-altering experience

You probably often hear that study abroad is a life-changing experience. But why take our word for it? Our student blog  has a number of stories that outline the incredible transformation that students go through while abroad. Studying and living in a different culture helps students to see the world from a completely different perspective. It's an amazing experience that changes lives. Not only do students learn about other cultures; they learn how to view their own culture from a different perspective. It’s also an opportunity for personal growth and development. 

2.  Life-long Connections

While studying abroad, students have new opportunities to form bonds with people around the world. The friendships and professional relationships formed with others while studying abroad can last forever.

3.  Professional and Career Development

Students have the opportunity to not only learn while studying abroad, but to later apply what they’ve learned in the work force. In today’s competitive job markets, studying abroad helps students stand out from other applicants. 59% of employers recently surveyed states that they value a study abroad experience in job candidates.

Over 80% of students that have participated in an internship overseas believe that it allowed them to acquire essential skill sets for their intended career path, including, but not limited to, cross-cultural competency.  This is something that employers are looking for in new hires and 50% of returning study abroad students believe that their overseas experience helped them land their first job.

Additionally, more than half of students that study abroad state that their experience overseas had a notable or significant impact on their career plans.

As mentioned above, students experience tremendous personal growth during their study abroad experience which translates into newly acquired skills that will assist them in their job search and make them stand out head and shoulders above their competition.

UAlbany offers many study abroad options that include an internship experience.  These opportunities to combine an international experience with a work experience making students’ resumes even stronger! 

4.  Educational Benefits

For UAlbany students, all credits successfully completed overseas will count towards their degree.  Courses can be approved for inclusion in a student’s major or minor, and general education credits can be earned with prior approval. 

One of the most incredible educational benefits of studying abroad is the ability to gain fluency in a foreign language. The only way to truly become fluent in a language is to be immersed in the language. If your son or daughter studied a language for several years, and hopes to gain fluency in that language, this is a great opportunity for them to succeed in that goal. Please note that you are not required to know another language to study abroad.

Other academic benefits include a higher 4 year graduation rate for study abroad participants vs non-study abroad participants. Study abroad students often experience a rise in their GPA after their study abroad experience and studying abroad makes you SMARTER, according to this TIME article

5.  Why be just another tourist?

Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to really learn and understand your host country. It allows students unmediated access to the host country’s culture and its people.