Why Study Abroad?
International education connects institutions across the world making universities in every country visible to each other. It facilitates knowledge flow, debate on our most difficult problems, and provides a platform for collaborative research.
International education allows us to see our own challenges in sharp contrast, and with more clarity, as we observe people in other lands dealing with similar issues. Nations are more secure when they find common cause with others.
International education is critical in this time of globalization to create a new generation of leaders who can bridge divides and ignore physical borders. A global perspective will be indispensable to tackle the shared challenges we inevitably face.
International education generates people who have enthusiasm rather than anxiety about other cultures. There is a lot of fear in our society today and travel teaches us that the other side of fear is understanding. It teaches us to celebrate the diversity on our planet.
The benefits of study abroad...
- Take courses not available at Virginia Tech
- Gain a global perspective on your field of study from reputed international faculty
- Gain global competencies: learn how to be a good global citizen, gain a multicultural perspective on the world, learn to understand and appreciate differences, become more compassionate
- Get an edge in the job market as employers seek employees with intercultural skills and sensitivity
- Explore career opportunities
- Develop connections for future international travel and/or work
- Get an edge in graduate and professional schools
- Learn or perfect a foreign language
- Gain (inter)personal skills: adaptability, self-confidence, independence, critical thinking, problem solving skills, decision making skills and (cross-cultural) communication competencies
- Experience novelty and adventure, travel, track back family roots, learn about another culture firsthand
- Have an opportunity to make lifelong friendships with people from around the world.
- Learn what it is really means to be an ‘American’ as you experience what makes life in the United States different from anywhere else
What the statistics say...
80% of study abroad alumni expressed a stronger interest in and dedication to their studies. The same study noted that 87% credited study abroad for their desire to pursue additional education.
More than 90% of students reported improved soft skills, knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills.
A recent survey reported that nearly 40% of 800 U.S. companies missed out on international business opportunities due to lack of internationally competent employees.
90% of American college students do not study abroad at all. You can change this!