Study Abroad

Alexandra Sarell collecting insects in the Amazon
Alexandra Sarell collecting insects in the Amazon

Do you want to earn course credit, while traveling the globe? If you truly want the world to be your classroom, then Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s study abroad program is the right fit for you.

Studying abroad gives you control of your future by broadening your perspectives and enhancing your professional potential. The growth and development you can obtain from studying abroad is unmatched. With more than 25 majors, SMWC students with a variety of interests can benefit from studying abroad.

Achieving cultural literacy in another country -- some understanding of another perspective on the world -- will deepen self-understanding, and will contribute to a greater understanding of your society and your values. You can dispel stereotypes through unexpected personal connections and encourage others to see past misconceptions about your own culture.

SMWC students have studied in places like Belize, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, France, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Taiwan and New Zealand. You can earn course credit, expand your career international opportunities and add knowledge of other cultures to your learning experience. Studying abroad takes backbone, determination and a sense of adventure.  The influence and effect of this cultural exploration will last a lifetime.

Programs can last from several weeks to several months and, in many cases, financial aid can be applied to at least some of the costs. 

  • Study Abroad Grants: Grants and scholarship opportunities may be available from outside sources. Here are resources to help you get started.
  • Learn More: For more information about studying abroad, contact Monica Baez-Holley.
Study Abroad - Japan

10 Benefits to Studying Abroad

Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!

Source: International student (2015). Ten Benefits to Studying Abroad. Retrieved on May 2015.
http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/

1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London, Barcelona , and Rome.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor. 

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life. It often takes some time to adjust to a new culture, new language, new people, and new surroundings.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience.

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

Check out all the different ways to keep in touch with your friends and family back home, and with your new friends from around the world.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve. 

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.

Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.