Most students returning from study abroad report a common experience: an increase in self-confidence and maturity. Initial feelings of timidity and a lack of confidence give way to exploration and interest in new cultural values. Experience teaches what textbooks cannot.
Many of those life-changing experiences are gained from learning how to navigate in an unfamiliar environment. The skills needed for thriving in a foreign culture are valuable skills and the study abroad experience is very similar to accepting your first job after graduation. Young people who return from working or studying abroad have a unique set of skills and experiences to bring to their first professional job.
Study abroad programs are nothing new, but they have greatly grown in favor over the past decade. The latest statistics show a 77% increase in the number of students studying abroad. Study abroad programs are not cheap, but many agree that they are worth the expense. A semester abroad is always more expensive than a semester at your home campus.
Besides class fees there is the expense of traveling to and from the host country and the costs of being a tourist in the host country. Other things to consider are the daily expenses of the particular city in which you are placed – you could end up in a very expensive city. If you arrive in your host country with a budget and are good at sticking to budgets, then you should be able to survive, thrive and enjoy life as a study abroad student.