Studying Abroad: The Top Benefits Of Your Child Studying Abroad
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature studying abroad opportunities in this guest post. While many of the recommendations below are great for select children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
When it comes to education, many of us are on autopilot. We go to our nearest school, and when it comes down to sending our children to school, they go to precisely the same one. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, especially if it is a good school. Plus, sending your child off to face school is a huge life milestone. It’s only natural that you want them to be safe and that aspect of familiarity can be hugely comforting. Most children attend a local school between the ages of 4 to 11, at least. Many remain in the local education system throughout high school, and then the same when they come of university age. But sometimes, it can be worth breaking that cycle of familiarity to give your child some amazing opportunities.
Studying abroad can present your child with an entirely new system of education. It can be hugely beneficial to their development, both on an academic level and a personal level. There are, however, a few things you will need to consider before you and your child decide that studying abroad is for you. One important factor is their age. Our children are, of course, precious to us. Every moment when they are growing up is special, and missing out on milestones can leave many parents with a feeling of loss. Think carefully about what age you feel is appropriate to send your to child abroad to study. However, many overseas boarding schools have counselors and staff available to both you and your child. These specially trained people are used to boarding school life and can make sure that your child’s welfare is of the utmost importance. Plus, boarding school can be a great way for your child to make new friends and experience a sense of camaraderie often not found in regular schools. If your child is older, for example of university age, studying abroad will mean they meet people from all walks of life. Plus, they can enjoy living independently in a new country.
Top benefits of studying abroad
Different style of education
There is no denying that studying abroad is a lot of fun, no matter what age you are. But among all the fun and frolics, your child is ultimately there to learn. Different countries have very different schooling systems. Your child may come back having learnt much more than originally planned. For example, in the USA, a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete. In the UK, bachelor’s degrees are three years long. They only take longer if the undergraduate is a dual honors student, is doing a year in industry or is on a year abroad themselves. Also, in the UK, undergraduates have to decide what subject they want to major in before attending the university. In America, students typically study a number of topics during their first year of ‘college’ before deciding on what they want to major in. Therefore, if your child is still unsure about their career, studying at a US university would be perfect for them. If they already have their sights set on a specific job, attending a UK university could help them achieve their goal.
Seeing the world
For obvious reasons, choosing a study abroad programme with your child can help them grow by seeing the world. Travel is a great way to enrich your child’s life, and by seeing different cultures they will in turn become more educated and more tolerant. They are many different kinds of culture across the world that can help your child in positive ways. For example, if your child is of university age, seeing different attitudes to alcohol across the world may benefit them hugely. European countries such as Italy tend to have a less damaging drinking culture than other countries. This can be due to a number of factors, such as people there being exposed to it in a family environment and a respect for the craftsmanship of alcohol. Your child may also return from their time abroad with the ability to cook many international meals. Learning about the history and culture of other countries can also make your child better educated in current affairs. These skills in particular can be very useful when it comes to getting a job.
Learning a new language
Unless your child is undertaking a language degree, chances are they will be taught overseas in a language they are familiar with. Mandarin, Spanish and English are the three most widely spoken languages in the world. English is the primary language in 50 countries. However, even if they are being taught in a language they know, not everyone in that country will necessarily speak it too. Even if they avoid it, they will eventually have to learn some of the local language in order to complete basic tasks such as shopping or eating out. Immersing yourself in the language by living in its host country can often be the best way to learn it. Unlike learning a language in your home country, you are hearing it being spoken every single day by natives. This can help hugely with skills such as pronunciation and inflection. If your child travels around the country they are studying in, they may also learn some local dialect and be able to eventually distinguish between accents. For example, the Yorkshire accent from the UK is very different to how someone from London sounds. It can take a while to get used to this kind of thing, but it’s all part of the challenge!
Finding new hobbies
Different countries offer many different opportunities for things to do in your spare time. If you are from Hawaii, but are studying in Switzerland, you may be able to take up something such as skiing or snowboarding. Chances are, you would never have had the chance to do something like that before! You might meet a bunch of locals who are all into deep-sea diving, or who go to a karaoke bar every week – the list is quite literally endless! This is all part of the beauty of studying abroad. Along with returning with a great education, you child could also come home having acquired a new skill, or they could be an expert at a certain sport. It is important to encourage your child to explore the areas outside of their college dorm to truly experience the local life. These skills are almost as important as the education itself, as it is all about personal development. Along with meeting lots of new people and making new friends, taking time to study overseas can shape your child into the person they become.
Whilst living and learning abroad, your child may meet certain professors or tutors who see something in them. These people all tend to have a lot of connections and are surrounded by job networks. Encourage your child to speak to their teachers about what opportunities are available post-study. Upon returning home, your child will also have access to a whole new world of opportunities that would not be possible if they hadn’t gone abroad. Multi-lingual people are extremely coveted by many companies these days. This is because it offers employers the prospect of taking their business overseas and building good relations. Living abroad for a number of years also shows employers that your child is motivated, determined and independent. All of these are traits vital for securing a good job. If your child truly falls in love with their host country, a good grasp of the language and culture on top of their education will help them find a role.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
10 Jan 2017