Studying abroad can be an invaluable experience that offers many benefits, both academically and personally. Whether for a semester, a year or a full course, there are many benefits of studying abroad.
It’s the experience of a lifetime
It’s hard to avoid the clichés when describing a year abroad, but most students who have embarked on one would tell you about the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience it provides.
Moving abroad to study takes you out of your comfort zone, placing you in exciting and alluring surroundings, immersed in the culture of another country. Everyday tasks such as going to the supermarket, taking the train and attending classes will become small adventures in themselves as you grow accustomed to a different way of living wherever you choose to study.
On top of this, if you’re part of the Erasmus programme, you’ll be in the same boat as a large number of students from around the world, some of whom will surely become friends for life.
You can learn a second language
If you choose to study in a foreign country where English isn’t the first language, then you’ll be given the opportunity to expand your horizons and either learn a new language or improve your knowledge of it.
The best way to learn a language is through immersion, and whether you’re there for a year or for longer, you’ll be able to improve your skills drastically as you’re surrounded by this language on a daily basis.
It can boost your career prospects
To have studied abroad is a valuable feature to have on your CV for a number of reasons when it comes to seeking a job post-graduation.
Primarily, it displays an attitude or character open to going outside of your comfort zone, and shows an eagerness to learn new skills and challenge yourself. In addition, having lived and studied in a foreign environment demonstrates your ability to adapt to international surroundings, which is of significance to companies and employers with interests overseas or with an internationally diverse range of staff.
On top of this, any foreign language skills gained are hugely beneficial in the current job market, with demand for employees with second language having grown hugely in recent years.
It’s cheaper than studying in the UK
With the trebling of the cap on UK tuition fees trebling in 2012, it can work out much cheaper to study abroad for your degree. Most universities in mainland Europe charge considerably less in tuition fees, while a number of universities in Germany and Netherlands are free to study at!
If you choose to study abroad for a year as part of your UK university degree, in most cases you will simply need to pay for the tuition at the foreign University, rather than pay for another year at your UK university. This can be done through Student Finance, if you have already taken a student loan, as they will loan you the money to pay your foreign tuition fees.
The majority of the UK student population relies on their student loan to finance their study and living expenses. While those planning to study a year overseas can continue to receive student loans for studying abroad, those that plan on studying a full degree abroad are not able to. This is because they would not be an official student at a UK university and therefore not eligible with Student Finance.
How to study abroad
If you’re interested in studying overseas, whether as part of the Erasmus study abroad programme, or as an independent student for a full course at a foreign University, we can help you with paying for it.
Read our guide on studying abroad and how working with a foreign exchange provider such as moneycorp can help you finance your experience.
With the impact of Brexit still to be determined, Britain's future involvement in the Erasmus programme is uncertain. Read our guide for everything you need to know about studying abroad after Brexit.