Three Benefits of Studying Abroad


Graphic designed and provided by Jadyn Forbes.

Kosuke Fukuda, Staff

The phrase “study abroad” alone sounds incredibly attractive. Many students have thought at least once in their lifetime that they have the interest to study in another country.  

But what kind of value will a study abroad experience add to your life?  

I am an international student from Japan, and currently, a junior at Buena Vista University majoring in Digital Media. My motivation to study abroad was simply because I did not want to spend the rest of my life in one country. The first step of my dream process to see the rest of the world began with choosing America, which I was most familiar with, and became my study abroad destination for college. 

The first lesson that studying abroad has given me is how no one can truly do anything alone.

I first came to BVU in the spring semester of 2021. It was quite a challenge for me though since my English was at the beginner level, and I could barely keep up with some of my classes. In this situation, my professors and classmates were the ones who helped me. They cared about me, called on me, and assisted me when I was struggling in a completely different environment. Their support helped me survive my first semester at BVU. This experience was a wake-up call for me, as I had grown up to a certain extent in Japan and was under the illusion that I could do most things on my own.

The second lesson my study abroad experience has taught me is that what is natural for me is not necessarily natural for others. 

I have experienced many cultural differences since I came to this country. Unlike other Asian countries, many races live together here. Of course, the language is also different from the one I grew up with in Japan. Everything from food, education, and work style was a whole new experience for me. Common sense is not universal. The experience of studying abroad will give you a whole new set of values and perspectives.

The third gift that living in a foreign country gives you is confidence.

Adapting to life in a different environment and culture is not easy. The difference in diet, climate, and difficulties in communication due to the language gap, sometimes causes stress. Facing these challenges head-on takes a certain amount of effort and ingenuity. It is vital to take good care of yourself, including exercise and sleep to maintain your health. Improving communication skills such as smiling, greeting, and friendliness to overcome language handicaps is vital. All of these efforts will help you excel within your personal capabilities and confidence levels in your ability to adapt. 

After completing your study abroad experience, you will have the confidence to overcome any difficulties you may face later in life. Helen Keller, one of America’s most famous women novelists, put it this way, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” The chapter on studying abroad will make your life story even more wonderful.