10 Reasons to Encourage Your Children to Study and Live Abroad

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 4th October 2008 .

10 Reasons to Encourage Your Children to Study & Live AbroadWhether the thought of one day living abroad has ever crossed your mind or not, there is new research to suggest that by encouraging your children to study and live abroad for at least a semester, you will be doing so much for their immediate and long term development.

The survey, published by the Institute for the International Education of Students, is based upon extensive research and feedback from students who have participated in study abroad programmes.  It shows how children of all ages can benefit from time spent in a different culture, and how student aged ‘children’ of broad minded and encouraging parents can gain so much from their time spent abroad.

In this article we will touch on the top 10 reasons to encourage your children to study and live abroad for at least a semester, and we will show that those who commit to spending a year overseas away from home or college get the very most from their time abroad.

1) Increased self confidence – having to face up to new challenges alone is difficult for any of us at any age, but for students and young people the challenge can be so incredibly rewarding and it can build significant self confidence.  Those who take the challenge of moving abroad to study and accepting all the tests that that decision can bring, end up coming out of the experience so much stronger.

2) Increased maturity – young people who set out alone to make a new life for themselves overseas, if only for a semester or a year, learn a great deal about the world, about themselves and about getting things done.  This naturally leads to a rapid advancement in terms of gaining maturity, and this stands an individual in good stead for the immediate and long-term future.

3) Develop a broader mind – they say travel broadens the mind, and for youngsters who go abroad on their own and are willing to remain open and accepting of change and cultural differences, the experience can indeed be mind altering!  Those who spend time abroad at a young age have a much broader view of the world and don’t just see things in relation to their own home environment.

4) Gain a greater interest in studying – according to the Institute for the International Education of Students, those who spend up to a year abroad studying actually gain a greater passion for study thanks to the broad range of subjects, skills and talents that they pick up from their time overseas.  Naturally this can make the rest of a student’s academic studies that much more valued and valuable!

5) Greater commitment to learn a foreign language – those who study abroad in a country where they have to learn a new language find that after getting over the initial communication hurdles, learning a new language in an environment where the language in question is used all the time is not just fun but rewarding.  This increases an individual’s passion and desire to continue learning that language.

6) Learn more about different cultures and values – as part of the concept of travel expanding the mind, those who spend time living abroad in a different culture begin to better understand their own culture and their own values and biases as well as those of their nation as a whole.  This enables one to get things more in perspective in life, and appreciate that we are all individuals, we are all different, and we all deserve the same amount of respect – no matter where in the world we herald from.

7) Make more friends – anyone who embraces the idea of living abroad for a period of time will find that they make so many more friends!  It is par for the course when living in a new country that you will seek out those who can make the experience easier and more fun – and in so doing an individual immediately vastly widens their circle of friends, and for many people these friendships exist for life and are life enhancing!

8) Find it easier to understand and interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

9) Learn new skills – some people who live abroad learn so much more than just the languages, they learn new skills and passions that influence the whole of the rest of their life - from the career they enter into to the person they marry!

10) Acquire a lifetime of benefits!  Finally, it seems that those who move to live abroad and study abroad for at least a year gain so many rounding experiences and skills that their lives are positively and profoundly altered forever. 

Therefore if you want your child to benefit from the above detailed advantages of spending time abroad, why not encourage them to take part in a well supervised and supported study abroad programme.  You can rest assured that they will be taken care of, but at the same time they will have the space and freedom to grow and develop.

Rhiannon Davies's photo

Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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