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Five Benefits of Studying Abroad

Buildings in Heidelberg, Germany

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience for any student. It’s a chance to explore new cultures, learn new languages, and be exposed to new customs. While it can be challenging at times, students return home with a unique and expanded perspective on the world. 

Seaver College International Programs consistently rank among the top study abroad programs in the nation. Approximately 80 percent of Seaver’s undergraduate students study abroad, with many visiting 10 to 15 different countries during their time away. Explore some of the many benefits of studying abroad.

1. Expanded Cultural Awareness

First and foremost, studying abroad is a chance to immerse yourself in a foreign culture. You get to experience a different way of life, which broadens your horizons and helps you appreciate diversity. Learning about different customs, traditions, and beliefs provides you with a better understanding of the world around you.

Living and studying among people of a different culture also furthers your awareness of your own cultural perspectives, and helps you develop cross-cultural communication skills, a highly valuable ability in a globalized world.

2. Enhanced Academic Experience

Studying abroad enables you to explore new academic interests while earning credits that are applicable to your major or general education course requirements. Additionally, you are able to participate in course offerings that are typically not available at your campus back home. Horseback riding through Hyde Park in London, fencing in Heidelberg, and sailing in Buenos Aires are just some of the unique courses available to students participating in Seaver College International Programs. 

Being immersed in a foreign language environment is also one of the best ways to learn a new language. You will not only have the chance to study the language academically, but you will also have the opportunity to practice your language skills in everyday interactions, reinforcing your studies in a way that the classroom cannot provide.

Big Ben and Parliament building in London

3. Career Advancement

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with international experience and language skills. Studying abroad demonstrates that you are adaptable, independent, and able to work in a global environment. 

Employers are also seeking employees who can solve problems independently and think critically. Studying abroad can help you develop these skills, along with resilience and creativity, making you a more valuable asset to any organization.

4. Additional Travel Opportunities

One of the most obvious benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel and explore new places. From weekend trips to nearby cities to longer excursions during extended breaks, studying abroad allows you to see the world in a way that is simply not possible as a tourist.

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, Seaver College International Programs also offer students educational field trips (EFTs). Accompanied by Pepperdine professors, staff, and faculty-in-residence, students travel to a foreign country to visit historic sites, meet local leaders, engage in service, and attend lectures. Past EFTs include travel to Cyprus, Dubai, Israel, Scotland, Spain, and Tanzania.

5. Enhanced Personal Growth

Moving to and living in a new country requires you to navigate unfamiliar territory, which can help you become more self-sufficient. It forces you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to adapt to new situations. While daunting at first, studying abroad builds resilience and self-confidence. Living in a foreign country can also help you develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding for others. 

Studying abroad allows you to explore new cultures, languages, and academic opportunities. It can be an extremely incredibly rewarding and transformative experience that offers numerous personal and professional benefits. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, it is well worth considering.

Student backpacking trip in Iceland