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4 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad Before You Graduate

1. You Can Travel on a College Budget

“International travel is so affordable!” said no one ever. Between flights, preparation expenses and accommodations, international travel can easily cost you an arm and a leg. Fortunately for students, there are multiple travel grants available through the university which makes international travels reasonable! There are individual travel grants that are given to people who have a major within each individual college on campus. There is also a Student Government Association grant for any student on campus who is looking to attend a travel study or study abroad. While these grants will not eliminate the entire cost of the trip, they will greatly decrease the price, allowing for as many students as possible to experience international travel!

2. Gain A Competitive Edge

Want to impress potential employers? Companies continue to seek out employees who have international experience, especially if that experience is paired with a second language. With many companies focusing on the global market, being able to put international travel experience on your resume can make you stand out amongst a large pool of applicants. On your resume, studying abroad can say a lot about who you really are. Not only does it hint at a passion for new cultures and languages, but it also shows your ability to thrive in a challenging environment. Even by taking classes abroad, you’re promising to bring a global perspective to the company. In this job market, a global perspective can put you at the top of the list for many jobs.  

3. The World is Your Classroom

Ideas and events that are taught in a classroom can be appreciated to an extent. By leaving the confines of the classroom and taking the information abroad, you are allowing yourself to see real-life applications and examples which are much more memorable. Would a lesson on Shakespeare be more memorable in a classroom or in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare? Is it easier to imagine the Battle of Verdun while looking at a textbook or when you’re standing on the battlefield itself in Verdun, France? There is no question that a hands-on experience surpasses the impact of a passage read in a textbook. This principle also applies well to languages. Whether your trip is a week or an entire semester long, immersing yourself in another country’s culture and, subsequently, language is the most efficient way to learn it. It’s one thing to sit in a class for an hour learning how to conjugate verbs, but when you have to list off your entire Starbucks order in German, the language might stick with you a little more. Real life application of languages reinforces what you have already learned in class, so if you are looking for a way to advance your foreign language skills while having the experience of a lifetime, a travel study would be perfect for you!  

4. Get to Know Yourself

College is a time of exploration and self-discovery, so what better way to get to know yourself than to travel? Traveling abroad is a very challenging experience. You might not be familiar with the language or know the ins and outs of the culture, causing you to make more than a few faux pas. Mistakes will be made, and challenges will be faced, but how you handle those issues will show what you are really made of. Break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with new experiences. Get a better sense of who you are and what is important to you. Become a more independent person. International travel shows you all the good things you are capable of. If you are interested in attending a travel study or study abroad program at UTM, click here for more information and a list of all planned trips!

Photo courtesy of Bucketlistly http://photos.bucketlistly.com/post/135234764946

Addison Hazlewood is a junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin where she is studying Marketing and Graphic Design. She is passionate about 60's and 70's rock music and all things related to hockey, especially the Nashville Predators.
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