Studying abroad can be difficult and challenging.In fact, it can become a chaotic time for many students. But it’s also an experience unlike any other in life where you learn a lot of exciting skills which will help you later in life.
From cooking, cleaning and paying your bills to time management, attending classes and having a social life in a culture so different from yours, there are lots of things which you have to do as an international student.
You might not feel comfortable with the idea of studying abroad but overcoming this fear will bring out some incredible qualities in you. You will also learn many soft skills like planning, organization and EQ development which will help you cruise through your professional and personal milestones.
Some of the most important soft skills that you will gain include:
- Communication skills:Your listening, speaking and interpretation skills will improve significantly when living in a different country as they are absolutely essential to your learning both within and outside the classroom. If you learn the language of the land, you will also expand your memory and cognitive functioning.Not to forget, you will have a new perspective on your own mother tongue. You will also learn the importance of speaking coherently as you have to make yourself understandable to the locals around you.
- Cultural engagement and understanding: By living abroad even for a couple of years, you will assimilate into the local culture to a great extent, and that will give you a clear understanding of the local culture and what makes it different from yours. You will learn to appreciate and work around your differences with people and bond with them based on your similarities. For example,eating dinner together as a family is a lovely tradition you may share with your host country’s culture,but they may like to eat with hands whereas you might be used to the knife and fork. This skill of finding ways to connect with others will be precious everywhere.
- Empathy and EQ: You will develop E.Q and compassion as you will meet, study and work with people from all over the world. This experience will build your understanding that people may work in different ways but we have the same basic needs and emotions. You will also have the chance to give support and receive kindness from people who speak a different language but can understand your feelings.
- Teamwork: Your experience abroad will be all about collaboration, whether it’s your assignments or chores like sharing transportation with friends when heading out or pooling in for your groceries with your flatmates. Learning to work with people and solve problems will teach you to adjust, compromise, take the lead and contribute towards a common goal even if you aren’t directly benefiting from it. You will learn that by being helpful today, you can open doors for tomorrow. Simply put, other people will offer to help you even when you won’t need it.
- Planning: You will have to continually plan when living abroad because you are managing a lot more than just yourself. Things like submission deadlines and friends’ birthday parties will have to go hand in hand with maintaining your monthly budget, taking care of your health, keeping your house clean and taking responsibility for your mental health. You can’t just lash out on your friends or overdue your rent so you will have to learn the critical skill of managing your time, money and efforts. Once you master this crucial skill correctly, you will be invincible from being caught unguarded when something goes wrong. Remember, you are planning and time management skills will come handy in any business or professional venture in future.
- Self-management: When out on your own, you have to learn the art of self-management which includes perseverance, patience, self-representation, initiative, self-esteem, etc. You will also develop confidence by talking to new people and learn integrity by seeing how your problems may not be the worst thing in the world. You will have to learn to manage your emotions as lashing them out will not only be harmful to you but also to those who care for you even though they are not your family.
- Resourcefulness and problem-solving skills: Studying abroad will make you more resourceful, independent and it will also polish your problem-solving skills. When you encounter any problem overseas, you have to take the initiative and use your personal experience to find a solution. This ability will be priceless when you look for work, as dealing with discrepancies will become a big part of your personality, and that is something companies are always on the lookout for.
- Adaptability: Because the culture is so different, moving abroad can be overwhelming,and students who pull through successfully do so because they are able to adapt to the change. Adaptability allows us to make the most of the opportunities that come with a new place. Foreign students have to make changes to their lifestyle, behavior, habits and desires. More importantly, they are equipped with adaptability and flexibility that gives them the power and the edge to get through the workplace and personal challenges in a more efficient manner.