Seven Reasons Why All College Students Should Study Abroad

A group of St. John's University college students studying abroad
By Madison Coombs

If you’ve dreamed of exploring new countries, studying abroad may be your perfect opportunity! Studying abroad allows you to gain global connections, learn new languages, make new friends, and grow personally, professionally, and academically.

Why Study Abroad? Here are Seven Compelling Reasons : 

1. You boost your independence and confidence. 

Moving to a foreign country, being away from family and friends, and adapting to a new culture can be challenging, but it can also be a life-changing experience. When studying abroad, you must rely on yourself to navigate your new environment, which can help you strengthen your self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and sense of responsibility. Furthermore, exposure to different customs, languages, and lifestyles broadens your perspective and enhances your ability to communicate and connect with people from diverse backgrounds.  

Girl in blue shirt and white long shirt standing in the middle of a street in Italy

St. John’s University student Emily Wenke recently reflected on her newfound independence while exploring the streets of Rome, Italy. “Even as an independent person, I still experienced anxiety and hesitation when planning trips alone,” she shared. “I learned a lot on my first solo trip to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Dead Sea, and realized that I could thrive independently.” 

Read Emily’s Story.

2. You have the opportunity to learn a new language.          

Studying abroad is an excellent way to improve your language proficiency if you’re considering learning a new language or have already started taking language courses in college. By living in a country where the language is spoken, you have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning experiences and immerse yourself fully in the local culture. This approach to language provides a more authentic and effective way of learning than traditional classroom instruction.

Moreover, you have the opportunity to practice and refine your language skills in a real-world setting, which can help you achieve greater fluency and confidence in speaking, reading, and writing.

3.You learn more about yourself. 

Studying abroad in a foreign country is a wonderful way to step outside of your comfort zone and explore new horizons. You can discover new things about yourself and gain valuable skills that can shape your future. 

Male looking out into the distance with the view of mountains

St. John’s University Biology major Jake Gera credits studying abroad with pushing him beyond his comfort zone and fostering profound personal growth. He recounts backpacking through the rugged Patagonian mountains for days, relying on his resourcefulness and limited Spanish to navigate. “Studying abroad has allowed me to explore my limits, from backpacking for days to trying to communicate with people who didn’t speak the same language as me,” Jake reflected. “It made me realize I’m far more adaptable than I thought. There has always been a new experience to learn something about myself. Traveling teaches you things about yourself that you never knew beforehand, and I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel almost weekly while studying abroad.”

Read Jake’s Story. 

4. You stand out to future employers.

Studying abroad is a new, exciting experience and an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that can set you apart from other job applicants. Employers value the skills and personal development gained from studying abroad. 

Exposure to new cultures, languages, and ways of thinking can help you develop problem-solving skills and adaptability. Furthermore, studying abroad provides a unique chance to improve language proficiency and cross-cultural communication.

5. You have the opportunity to explore career options. 

Studying abroad can open new career paths and industries that you may not have considered before. By interacting with professionals and companies in a different country, you can acquire a global perspective on your chosen field and explore potential career opportunities. 

St. John's Study Abroad Students

Government and Politics student Sullivan D. Padgett recently reflected on his transformative study abroad experience in Rome. “While I initially held a strong interest in American politics, being surrounded by Rome’s rich history and engaging in fascinating coursework like Middle East policy and European warfare truly opened my eyes to the broader global arena.” 

Inspired by this exposure, Sullivan now aspires to pursue a career in international relations, a path he might not have considered without his time abroad.

Read Sullivan’s Story.


6. You make new connections and unforgettable memories.

Traveling abroad can help you improve your bonds with your current friends and also allow you to meet new people. While studying in a foreign country, you can also interact with students from other schools and connect with people from the local community. This can be a great way to broaden your horizons and make long-lasting connections.

7. You experience unique learning styles.

When you study in a foreign country, you might notice that the teaching approach differs. Studying abroad can provide an opportunity to experience the customs and cultural variations of the country. Although the teaching methods may be unfamiliar, youmight enjoy them even more than those of which you are accustomed. 

young girl teaching class

Acayla Wray, a Secondary Education and Teaching major, shared how her time teaching children in a public elementary school in Rome positively impacted her experience. “Studying abroad has made me realize students learn differently and has challenged me to learn new ways to teach,” she said. “For the first several weeks, I observed how the classroom runs and was able to learn ways to conduct my lessons and assess students’ behavior.” 

Read Acayla’s Story. 

To summarize, here are the seven compelling reasons:

  • Boost your independence and confidence.
  • Master a new language.
  • Discover yourself.
  • Stand out to future employers: 
  • Explore exciting career options.
  • Forge lasting connections.
  • Experience unique learning styles.

Spotlight: St. John's University Rome Campus 

Explore the World with St. John’s University. 

St. John’s University opens doors to transformative global learning for all students. With more than 25 percent of undergraduates embarking on study abroad adventures, the University fosters a vibrant community of global citizens. Diverse programs cater to every interest and budget, ranging from academic immersion to service learning, and spanning durations from short-term trips to full semesters.  

St. John's Study Abroad Opportunites

St. John's University Student

Madison Coombs

Digital Content Writer

Madison Coombs is a third-year student studying Public Relations at St. John’s University. She is a Digital Content Writer through the work-study program. Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, she always had a dream of attending a university in New York. Madison is also the Public Relations Chair of RedHouse, the fashion club at St. John’s. Her ultimate goal is to secure a job in New York in the field of social media or public relations.