Top 5 Benefits of Being a Student Traveler
We talk often about how great it is to travel, and especially what a wonderful experience traveling can be for students. But sometimes we fail to really lay out the specifics on exactly what the benefits are for students who choose to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Here are a few of the top reasons (which can perhaps help you explain to doubting family and friends!) why travel is great for students, offering benefits that will last a lifetime!
1. Become a Citizen of the World
It’s a big ol’ beautiful world, and there’s just so much to see! People who travel return home with not only an enhanced knowledge of the rest of the planet we share with 7 billion fellow humans, but also with a more acute appreciation for the beauty in their own backyard. Even excluding formal classroom and other educational time you will spend while traveling abroad, the learning and education that one gains as you visit new places and learn about the region’s culture, geology, history, biology and much more cannot be overestimated!
2. Cultural Awareness
It’s a complicated world too, with all kinds of people who have developed all kinds of ways of life. The more we know about each other, the more compassion and the better our sense of openness and appreciation is for each other. Sure, you can read about other cultures while staying safely locked away in your university’s library or classroom, but there’s nothing like getting your feet on the ground in a new place among people who are different from you in order to gain a better understanding of them.
Sure, spending some time on your own in a strange land can be a little scary at first, especially for the novice traveler. But having gone through the fire, we come out the other side braver, more confident, and more able to face life’s difficulties. Once you’ve navigated a strange city where you barely speak the language, or conquered a famous mountain peak, or swam with sharks, or seen the sun rise over an ocean on the other side of the world, challenges like exams and job interviews seem pretty tame in comparison.
4. Enhanced Language Skills
No matter how much time you spend in the classroom learning a new language, it simply doesn’t compare to what you will learn while immersed in a foreign land among native speakers. The opportunities for cultural exchange are enhanced a thousand percent when you can communicate in someone else’s native language. And people who speak multiple languages have not only enhanced chances at employment at home in this increasingly internationalized world, but also open themselves up to opportunities to live and work overseas in the future.
5. Become a More Well-Rounded Person
When it comes to traveling overseas as a student, all of the above leads to one thing: you become a better, more well-rounded person. You learn not only about new cultures and people, you learn more about yourself as you grow. Quite simply, travel changes a person inside in ways that are hard to really put your finger on. But the bottom line is you’ll come out the other side stronger, more open to new experiences, better educated, and more able to face future challenges!
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