While the actual list of benefits is much longer, we think these are some of the most important aspects of being a high school-aged international student.
Improve language skills outside the classroom.
While learning proper grammar, tenses, and vocabulary from a teacher are an essential piece of learning any language, nothing compares to engaging in conversation with native speakers. From meals with Host Families to friendly strangers, every interaction has the potential to be a learning experience. And oh yeah: learning a second language makes your brain bigger.
Boost for your college application.
With so many students vying for limited space at the world’s best universities, it can be hard to stand out. Studying abroad is one way to get a head start. Many world leaders today studied abroad at some point in their education. Plus, stories of your experiences in a new place, culture, etc., can turn any application essay into your ticket to university.
Taste of independence.
While we do our best to offer students a wide variety of support at NOD, you’re going to have to be independent as well. From the first plane ride alone to your country of study to managing a budget (with the added fun of foreign currency exchange rates), you’ll have plenty of chances to see how you handle navigating life “on your own”, which is also great prep for college.
Networking for your career
It’s never too early to think about your future, and you never know when that random conversation with a stranger could turn into a potential internship or job offer down the road. A semester or two abroad can also help you land career-related jobs and higher salaries sooner after you graduate.
We use the phrase often here at NOD, and for good reason: we believe that in order to be proper global citizens and the leaders of tomorrow, a knowledge of cultures other than your own is supremely beneficial. As our planet grows ever connected, the importance of respecting and appreciating differences in cultures – and finding common ground– becomes even more important. A year (or more) spent learning a different language, talking to different people, eating different foods, and seeing how life operates in a different place can not only give students an insight into another culture, it’ll give you a new perspective on your own culture.
Think we missed something major? Let us know if you’d like to make your own list to share with the NOD family (aka the world)!