Why Study Abroad? 10 Compelling Reasons:
- Earn academic credit toward your UMass degree, while traveling the world!
With planning, you can take courses specific to your major(s), minor, school or college, general education, or certificate program requirements. You may also do internships and independent study projects abroad, with approval from your academic department. All grades and credits from abroad will become part of your transcript and be applied toward your degree when you study on a UMass program, partner program, or other approved study abroad program.
- Compete in the global marketplace: enhance your resume.
Your experience studying abroad will set you apart from other students in the increasingly competitive global job marketplace. The skills you gain while living abroad will give you an advantage in just about any career field. Did you know that fewer than 10% of state university students have had this experience yet more than 60% of private college students do? Be counted among the growing number of UMass undergraduates!
- Immerse yourself in another culture.
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to actually live in another culture, not simply be a tourist or observer. Being a student in another country allows you an opportunity to experience the traditions, culture, and society from the inside.
- Improve your foreign language skills.
Intimidated by another language? Perhaps you're ready to become fluent in your second or even third language? Whether you've failed every language class ever taken in the U.S. or are ready for the next level toward fluency, everyone can enhance their language skills when studying abroad. Learn a language by living it, not by reading it in a textbook.
English only? Many programs take place in English-only institutions, such as universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, India and more. Other programs offer the opportunity to take courses in English in a non-English speaking country.
- Make new friendships that will last a lifetime.
Becoming a "world citizen" by studying abroad gives you the advantage of meeting people from other cultures and countries. Bonding in the common experience of living in another culture, you will make lifetime friends who are from all over the U.S., your host country, and around the world.
- Gain a new perspective about the U.S.
See your home from a new perspective. You will gain a more informed perspective on world affairs and the role of the United States in international politics when you engage in conversations with students and citizens from your host country and other countries. You will begin to understand the range of opinions and complexities when asking questions from a totally different place in the world. You will bring those insights home when you return.
- Studying abroad is affordable!
Study abroad can cost more than studying on campus, but, with planning, all undergraduate students can afford to go abroad. If you currently receive financial aid, your aid can be applied to your program abroad. There are also scholarships (need- and merit-based), grants, and low-interest loans available to students studying abroad. The costs of education abroad programs vary. We will help you find a program that fits your budget.
- Gain invaluable life-changing and life-enhancing skills.
Increased self-confidence, independence, self-sufficiency, patience, adaptability, cross-cultural communications skills, and a willingness to take on new challenges are all examples of the many personal benefits of studying abroad. The skills you gain while studying abroad will last a lifetime.
- Graduate schools are impressed!
Your experiences abroad as an undergraduate will enhance your application and give you additional information that helps you stand apart in the selection process. Some students use research done while abroad to clarify goals when applying to graduate programs. Whether you're bound for medical school or an MBA, your international undergraduate experience can have a profound impact.
- Have fun!
Meet new people, try new foods, have new adventures! Take advantage of your time abroad to expand your horizons academically and personally. At the end of a summer, semester or year abroad, come home filled with stories about your experiences, and excited to share them with others!