Article 1: First Draft

The Underlying Benefits of Studying Abroad

            As a study abroad student myself, I know the pros and cons of the experience well. My semester at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance studies at the University of Oxford in England was my most difficult and most rewarding semester so far. I think the benefits of studying abroad completely outweigh the disadvantages. I think more students should take advantage of study abroad programs at their own colleges and universities because there is no shortage of programs out there.

Joyce Lau from the International Herald Tribune reports that, “Many American students say they would like to go over seas… but only 1% of U. S. students study abroad during any academic year.” However, Unesco reports that there are 3.4 million students on the move each year all over the world, and that number is expected to grow. So, why aren’t more American students studying abroad?

Studying abroad is expensive. Higher education is expensive. This is the unfortunate truth in the world of education. An undergraduate education is too expensive for today’s students as it is. Add to that a study abroad experience and if a student wasn’t already in debt, he or she is now. If this student wants to go to graduate school in the future as well, there is no shortage of expenses. Many students don’t end up studying abroad because they cannot afford it. However, if a student wants to study abroad, he or she can search out scholarships, find grants, and take out loans. Studying abroad is possible on a budget. The individual students just has to decided if the benefits of the experience will outweigh the hit to his or her bank account.

Studying abroad more often then not is an eye opening experience. I was changed after my time in England and I think most students go through a period of personal exploration and growth while abroad. The IES Abroad program reported from a survey that, “When asked about personal growth, 97 percent said studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96 percent reported increased self-confidence, 89 percent said that it enabled them to tolerate ambiguity, and 95 percent stated that it has had a lasting impact on their world view.” Being completely immersed in a new culture opens the students’ eyes to a whole new way of thinking and living.

A study abroad experience can also often reshape the career path of a student. Students with an international experience often take a more reflective approach to the role they are going to play in the world. The study abroad experience gives them new skills that distinguish him or her from other students entering the work field. Diversity Abroad claims there are four major impacts career wise for students who study abroad, including a willingness and readiness to adapt to new environments, an ability to look at a project or situation from different perspectives, an understanding of diverse cultures, and self-confidence with an ability to take risks. Studying abroad prepares a student for a successful future in his or her career path.

A student who studies abroad is more prepared for life after undergraduate school. The study abroad student has already experienced taking risks, problem solving, interacting with new cultures, working under pressure, and successfully navigating foreign transit. The student has gone through an important period of personal growth and an accelerated period of learning. While study abroad can seem like a daunting concept in the beginning, it’s benefits and future advantages outweigh the cost and other personal disadvantages every time.


  1. Samathaaaaa. I love this!!

    You did a very good job of giving yourself some credibility in your lead, it made me want to keep on reading so I could learn more about your experience.

    Your second paragraph really made me think of questions in my head about why Americans don’t study abroad. “Do we just think we’re too good to study outside of America?”.

    I think you made great points and made it reassuring for anyone interested in studying abroad. You could give more specific details about your personal experience, but it wouldn’t exactly be necessary.

  2. Samantha I think you did a great job of incorporating your sources. Good sources too! And you made good points as to why studying abroad is important. The only thing I’d suggest is looking at the intro a little but, cos it seemed like you went right into it. You can say something about study abroad and then lead into how you have been part of it and how it benefited you.