Studying abroad is an adventure that is sure to change your life. While there are some cons to attending a university far away from home – such as missing family and friends – there are also pros. Lots of pros!

Some of these are obvious, such as earning an internationally recognised degree which will help you find employment anywhere in the world. But there are also some pros that are less obvious, such as these...

You Will Stand Out (In a Good Way) As An International Student

When you apply to a university within your own country, you are just another local applicant. There may be several students with the same qualifications as you, and some may even have graduated from the same high school. Having your application stand out from the crowd is hard, especially if you are applying to your country’s top-level universities. But when you apply to a uni abroad, you are sure to stand out. Your application is likely to be very different from those of the local students, and that’s your major selling point. Universities want variety and diversity in their ranks. Many of them strive to have an international student body, as this adds prestige to the school’s reputation. International students often also pay more in tuition than local students, so it makes financial sense for universities to take in as many of them as possible.

You Will Broaden Your Language Skills

One of the biggest pros about studying abroad is that your language skills are almost guaranteed to expand. Even if you are studying in English or another language you already know, your vocabulary will grow immensely while living in a new country. In addition to learning specialty words related to your major, you will learn local slang or lingo, and cultural references. Your accent will also change while abroad, so take that into consideration when deciding where to go study. If you’d like to develop a perfect British accent, for example, you should look into schools in the UK rather than the USA or Canada.

Your Career Opportunities Will Expand Even Back Home

When you earn your bachelor’s from an English-speaking country like the US or the UK, you can pursue an international career anywhere in the world. But even if you decide to return back to your home country, your foreign degree will serve you well. In today’s globalized world there are more and more domestic jobs that require international expertise and fluent language skills. Depending on your field, you may even end up serving as a company liaison between your home country and the country you studied in. In any case, having an international degree and good connections abroad helps to set you apart from other job applicants.

You Can Explore New Activities and Interests

Studying abroad gives you a chance to reinvent yourself, as you can try new activities and sports that may not even exist in your home country. If you are studying in Sydney, you can take surfing lessons and experience some of the world’s best waves. If your school happens to be in a cold place like Colorado or Utah, you can practice snowboarding or skiing. In England you can learn about the local tea culture and etiquette. Depending on where you end up studying, your university may also offer exciting extracurricular classes that will help you broaden your horizons while living in a new country.

You Will Develop a Global Circle of Friends

When you study abroad, you will most likely become friends with people from your host country as well as with international students from all over the world. Before you know it, you will have pals from Argentina, Germany and Australia, and a stack of invitations to visit people in their home countries. It is also very common to find your life partner while studying abroad: a study published by the European Commission revealed that more than one in four Erasmus students have met their life partners during their studies.

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About the Writer: Mirva Lempiäinen is a US-educated freelance journalist from Finland. After calling New York City home for about a decade, she now resides on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.