Is Studying Abroad Worth It? 10 Outcomes of Studying Abroad

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College Study Abroad

Whether you’ve dreamed of studying abroad your whole life or you’ve only just begun unpacking what study abroad is, you probably have the same question other students ask us: Is studying abroad worth it? Really? 

Of course we believe studying abroad is worth it if you find a program that aligns with your goals, fits your budget and schedule, and excites you! While our response is a resounding “YES!” we can’t ignore the very real commitments and circumstances that hold some students back from having a life-changing adventure abroad.  

The fact is, living and learning in a foreign country requires sacrifice, like: 

  • Saying “see you later” to your family, friends, and classmates for a period of time 
  • Missing out on sports, extracurriculars, or other campus events  
  • Taking a hiatus from any work, internship, or professional commitments you have at home 
  • Spending money to fund your study abroad program 

Once you consider how you feel about these points, the benefits of studying abroad become clear. In fact, of CIEE students who went abroad: 

  • 97% say they found employment within 12 months of graduation  
  • 97% say they deepened their understanding of their host culture 
  • 91% believe they are now more aware of global issues 
  • 79% built skills relevant to their careers 
  • 25% earn higher salaries than their peers who did not study abroad 

Add to that the fact that CIEE awards millions in scholarships and grants each year, it’s understandable why so many students decide to take their studies global. 

If you’re asking is college study abroad worth it or why is it important to study abroad, then our list of the top 10 outcomes of studying overseas was made for you! Read on to learn why you should say “yes” to studying abroad. 

Top 10 Outcomes of Studying Abroad 

1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone 

Yes, living in a new place can be stressful, challenging, and even a little scary, but immersing yourself in a new culture will heighten your senses and open doors to new experiences and possibilities. As the saying goes, “everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” So, push yourself and see what the world has to offer! 

study abroad student ziplining in yucatan mexico

2. Gain Independence and Self Confidence 

The first step is the hardest, but once you decide to study abroad, CIEE is here to support you every step of the way, 24/7. We are even on-site in your host city. You’ll have the support you need to confidently experience your chosen destination in a safe and meaningful way. 

Read more: How to Study Abroad: 5 Steps to Apply with CIEE

3. Discover a New Culture 

Yes, vacations are great. We recommend you take them! But vacations typically barely scratch the surface of a country’s local culture. When you study abroad, you live and breathe the culture. You eat the food. You communicate with the locals. You spend extended time exploring nearby cities, museums, cafes, and the country at large. In other words, you actually discover the place firsthand.  

4. Make Lifelong Friends 

One of the best ways to make a new friend is to share an experience together. Studying overseas is no exception! While abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to share once-in-a-lifetime experiences with classmates and locals alike. And the friendships you make abroad could last forever! 

ciee study abroad students

5. Learn a New Language 

The surest way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it 24/7. Study abroad gives you the opportunity to do just that! Note, however, that most CIEE courses are delivered in English unless you’re in a language class or program designed for advanced speakers. When you study abroad with CIEE, you may have the opportunity to study any of the following languages:

  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • German
  • French
  • Arabic
  • and more!

Regardless, once you step outside of the classroom, well, that’s where your real language learning begins.  


6. Advance Your Future Career 

Studying abroad is an excellent way to make your resume stand out. International education demonstrates to potential employers that you have confidence, worldly knowledge, and are up for new experiences. If you’re interested in gaining real-world experience, check out our global internship programs. We offer full- and part-time internship opportunities abroad across a variety of industries. 

7. Discover New Interests 

Opening yourself to a new culture means you’re opening yourself to new interests. You may never know how much you love to cook until you take a pasta-making class in Rome or how skilled you are at dancing until you practice the salsa with Argentines in Buenos Aires. Funny how new experiences can bring interests and skills out in you that you never considered before! 

8. Learn to Adapt 

Adaptability is a practical life skill that will apply to many different scenarios throughout your lifetime. Studying in an entirely new country is a fabulous way to build this competency. While abroad, you’ll have to adapt to learning alongside new peers, following instructions from new professors, paying with a new currency, communicating in a new language, using a new public transit system, eating new food, and so much more. But it’s all exciting and CIEE will support you from start to finish. 

sichuan excursion while studying abroad in shanghai

9. Gain Intercultural Communication Skills 

Beyond the local language, every culture has its own way of interacting. Some countries are quite formal and hierarchal in their interpersonal interactions. Others are more direct, informal, or even casual. Understanding these distinctions is so important for a broad cultural understanding. Not to mention your personal marketability for future international careers! 

10. Have the Time of Your Life 

Above all else, studying overseas is a fun, extraordinary, and ultimately life-changing experience. The memories you make abroad are priceless and you’ll refer back to the skills you gain over and over again. While the CIEE program you choose is only a few weeks (or a few months) long, the feelings, moments, friendships, connections, skills, and learnings you bring home from your time abroad will last forever.  

student adjusting to bike culture in copenhagen

Should You Study Abroad? 

Ultimately, only you can determine if studying abroad is worth it. While CIEE and our incredible alums overwhelmingly agree it is, it’s up to you to experience firsthand how studying abroad cab change your life in the best ways.  

If you’re ready to explore why studying abroad is beneficial, connect with us to learn more.