Welcome to Part two of 10 Study Abroad Advantages for Mature Students. If you haven’t checked Part I yet, you can click on this link here. But don’t worry, you can read this post first and then go on reading Part I, whichever you like.
I would like to inform you that the main reason I wrote these two parts post was that I believe there are plenty of mature students out there who are still hesitating about pursuing their dream abroad, considering that now they are adults with big responsibilities such as work and families.
I knew it from my experience because when I decided to go back to college as an international student, I was already 32 (totally qualified to be classified as mature students) and a mom of a (then) 4 years old. Therefore, I was a student mom, a mature student, and an international student altogether.
I had families and friends who doubted me, and when I finally got my master’s degree, they’ve seen that it was not a mission impossible after all.
It is not going to be easy but totally doable. I started to get many questions from them on how exactly I did it. I even inspire my younger sister to follow in my footstep and finally took the leap and study abroad.
The most common thing I noticed was that they lack confidence. They are not sure yet whether deciding to go back to school as an adult with many responsibilities and, on top of that, choose to do it abroad, worth all the sacrifices or not.
So, in these two-part posts, I want to first describe the main advantages that you could have as mature students if you choose to continue your education abroad.
Then, I will post other related things which going to provide more specific information, tips and tricks, and step-by-step information on how to prepare for your moving abroad for your study, should you decide to do so.
For that reason, I really hope you will stick around and visit my writing on this blog. Because I will do the best I could to accompany you through this exhausting but extremely rewarding journey of going back to college/university as an adult, a mature student, even a student mom, and dad.
For now, let’s continue on. Here are the rest of the advantages of continuing your study abroad, even if you are a mature student and perhaps already a mom or a dad :
6. More Mature and Independent
Yes, you are a full-grown adult. You already used to do everything by yourself. You are independent financially and emotionally for quite some time now.
But nothing tested your independence and maturity more than being a thousand miles away from home, alone in a foreign country with no family and only a handful of friends (who are most likely younger than you, so you can not really expect much either, unfortunately, since being older, you will know a thing or two better than them).
The distance will teach you how to rely on yourself, which will be useful in the real world. Perhaps after you finish school and return to the workplace, you will be more organized at your business trips, since now you are used to preparing for the worst.
You will also be calmer when things don’t go as expected since you used to handle everything by yourself anyway, in a foreign country.
7. Better Problem-Solving and Communication Skills.
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to work with a diverse team, consists of people from different countries.
A person’s perspective is influenced heavily by their field of experiences and frame of references. The fewer experiences and references shared between people, the less likely they are to share the same perspectives.
In group projects and activities that you share with your international classmates, most likely all of you will have different perspectives due to your differences.
Despite that, you and your group will have to exchange ideas, contributing your ideas as well as considering other’s ideas, come up with the best solutions, and solving problems as a team.
This experience will give you the ability to communicate verbally and in writing, beyond the language barriers and cultural differences.
You will have the advantage of having the knowledge and experience of viewing and solving a problem from an international perspective, thanks to the skills and techniques you acquire during your study abroad.
8. Unique Selling Point
Whether or not you return to work in your home country, or start working in a foreign country ( the country where you spent your time studying abroad or a totally new one), you will have a unique selling point that other people don’t.
First of all, you will master another language that is not English, or your English speaking level will be a whole lot more above average if you are not from an English-speaking country and study abroad in an English-speaking country.
Secondly, if you choose to work in a foreign country, your ability to speak your language and understand your culture will be a plus and give you a unique selling point that other people don’t have.
For example, shortly after graduation, I got the opportunity to work for an industry giant because they need to expand their product to the Asian market.
Being an Asian who understands the culture and speaks an Asian language which used and understood by the people in at least four Asian countries, I had the advantage that other people in Italy (where I studied) didn’t have.
Your time spent studying abroad will be an unforgettable experience for you, but it also can be a good icebreaker to have when you are conversing with a stranger for the first time. Better yet, it will be an interesting topic you could talk about with your future employer during your job interview.
Whether or not you’ll end up getting the job, you surely gave a good and memorable impression, and automatically, stood out among your competitor.
If you are not the perfect fit for now, perhaps later when they have something more suitable for you, they will contact you since they remembered you from your interaction with them.
Furthermore, you will find people who also have traveled to places you’ve visited during your time studying abroad, and you can strike a nice conversation with them, since your time spent learning and traveling while you were abroad, not only relatable to other people but also much more interesting than small talks about weather or some other mundane things people swap when they first meet.
9. Adventures and Travel Opportunities
During my study in Italy, I took the opportunity to travel around Europe. Inside Italy, even in the city of Milan, where I studied, there were plenty of things I could explore such as museums, castles and so on. The landscapes are breathtaking; the mountains, beaches, hills.
The food, culture, and people also made the experience unforgettable. When you study abroad, you will have the opportunity to explore the country and its surroundings and be open to trying on new adventures.
Give yourself a reward and time to relax after all your hard work in doing papers, assignments, group projects, and studying for exams. Return fresh, ready to tackle whatever you must do next.
Who knows, you might have new ideas from your travel and made new friends along the way.
10. Once in a Lifetime Experience
The opportunity to continue your study abroad is a once-a-lifetime experience. A privilege that not everyone has the chance to experience. Embrace it, be grateful for it, learn as much as you can, absorb everything; the new language, the culture, and all.
Learn from everything, beyond the classroom. Learn from your professors and peers, from the experience you have while interacting with people, learn from all the mishaps and mistakes.
Take all the positive things you can take away from the experience, and let the negative things help you reflect on who you are as a person and where you want to be at the professional level.
It is a life-changing experience. It will change you as a person, and your perspective in life. Most importantly, you will be thankful for everything you have before, you will be missing all the things and the people you left behind at home.
But at the same time, it will leave you wanting more, now that you know there is a whole big world out there, outside the world you live in, waiting to explore and conquer.
Over To You
Perhaps you didn’t have a chance to study abroad before, back when you were younger. But don’t let that stopping you from achieving your dream.
Because study abroad will bring you plenty of benefits, both personally and professionally, especially now when you are an adult and a mature student.
As an adult, you will be prepared better, financially, and mentally. You already know who you are and what you want to gain from this experience, and how to maximize them for your own advantage. Most likely you will not be going to waste the opportunity and use it to reach your full potential.
So, does study abroad has been a lifelong dream for you? What are you waiting for? Start researching and enroll. A whole new adventure awaits you!
Check out some of the information here.
Tell me, where do you want to study? I bet somewhere exciting. Or have you been studying abroad before? Share your experience with us by commenting down below.
Did you have a friend who’s been wanting to study abroad but still hesitate? Share this post on social media and pin it, let them see and who knows, perhaps they’ll decide to go!
Thanks, and till next time
- 10 Study Abroad Advantages for Mature Students (Part 1)
- 5 Fascinating Reasons Why A Mom Should Go Back To School
- 10 University Major to Choose If You Don’t Like Math
- 6 Surprising Ways College Will Be Easy for You When You Go Back to College as Student-Moms and Mature Students
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