Wondering if studying abroad is worth the investment? Well, what if studying abroad could actually help your finances, rather than hurt them?
Instead of just looking at the price tag on a semester abroad, consider all the financial benefits this experience can bring.
Ways Studying Abroad Can Improve Your Finances
Learning a new language. Spending a couple months in a non-English speaking country can force you to quickly learn that country’s language. It can be somewhat stressful yet exciting at the same time. After all, it’s just one of those things that makes studying abroad an all-around terrific learning experience.
By the end of your studies, you might find that you’re fluent in a second language. Learning a new language is truly valuable and something that can help you throughout your college career, professional career, and even your personal life. Adding that extra language on your resume can mean the difference of landing that coveted job interview – or even the job itself. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of nearly 30% (which they consider much faster than average) for interpreters and translators by 2024.
Becoming bilingual can possibly help you cut down on college expenses too. Many schools and programs require that students take one or two classes in a foreign language, but bilingual students may have the opportunity to test out of those classes. This can save both a great deal of money and time.
Standing out from the crowd. Adding that second language to your resume is just one perk of studying abroad. In general, that semester overseas can open up doors to career opportunities that you may not otherwise have known about or been considered for. Not only can you make connections that can last a lifetime but also once you graduate, your international studies can give you an edge over the competition.
Employers value the experience that students gain from study abroad programs, and as a result, you may find that the job search is a little easier because you’re standing out from the crowd. In fact, data from the QS Global Employer Survey revealed that more than half of employers in the United States “seek or attributed value to the international study experience when recruiting.”
Higher starting salaries. Not only do you have a better chance at getting a job after graduating if you studied overseas but you also might end up with a higher starting salary than your peers who didn’t study abroad. The Institute for the International Education of Students conducted a recent survey, which revealed that with international study experience, the average individual received a starting salary of $7,000 more than those who did not study internationally.
Finding a clear direction. Most college students will choose to study abroad during their junior year, but there are financial benefits to consider when it comes to studying overseas a bit earlier. One is that it allows you to find a clear direction on what you truly want to study while you’re in college and what your career goals will be once you graduate.
Semesters abroad tend to offer more intense study than those back at home, and these classes can give you a real look into the major you selected and whether it’s the right path for you. Figuring this out early on in your college years can help you to avoid costly mistakes later on, such as changing majors after you already invested a lot of time in money into the one you originally selected.
Potentially graduating faster. The majority of study abroad programs take place during the summer semester – after all, it’s the time of year when students typically have the most time off. Instead of taking that semester off, though, studying abroad can give you the opportunity to earn credits that can be applied toward your degree. If you would have otherwise skipped that semester entirely, think of the financial benefits of finishing your course load faster and graduating earlier. Not only does this allow you to start your career quicker but also by graduating faster, you are less likely to see tuition increases. Just be sure that the program you select will offer transferable credits that will apply towards your degree, and always ask a school advisor if you’re uncertain.
Continuing your studies. Professional degrees can help open up doors to additional career opportunities and higher salaries. If you plan on pursuing your master’s degree (or beyond) after graduating with your four-year degree, that semester abroad can improve your odds of getting accepted. Just like with finding a job, admissions into graduate and professional study programs can be very competitive – but as a student who has studied abroad, your application has the potential to stand out from the rest.
At College Ave Student Loans, we’re all about helping people invest in their future. Whether it’s a semester at home or a semester abroad, a quality college education is a sound investment worth making. If you’re currently exploring financial options for college, check out what we have to offer at College Ave Student Loans.