10 Benefits to Taking Your Education Abroad

Discover how studying in a foreign country will benefit your future.
Sky Willam | March 4, 2024

Are you enticed by the idea of exploring the world, visiting iconic landmarks, experiencing new cultures and earning college credit? If so, it's time to discover the study abroad opportunities available at UW-Stout. 

Here are the top 10 benefits based on students' experiences.

Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad

Denmark Royal Guards
Denmark, Sweden Royal Guards

Travel at a Lower Cost.

Planning a trip across the world is not cheap, but one of the best benefits of studying abroad is you get to travel at a bundled rate--airfare, lodging, meals, books, supplies and many other expenses are usually included in the final program cost. 

Depending on the program and the length of your trip, the price will vary. Many study abroad opportunities offer scholarships and financial assistance to qualifying applicants. For most programs, everything included in the bundled rate can be covered by scholarships and/or financial assistance. Although it's an investment, there are many opportunities with budget ranges to meet your needs.

Talk to a study abroad advisor if you need help finding a program within your budget.

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Flexible Learning Opportunities.

Customize your study abroad experience by choosing the duration, college credit and location that best suits your needs. You can even earn credit before starting at Stout if exploring Scotland sounds like an adventure you would be interested in taking. Jumpstart Scotland is a program for incoming freshman students that takes place over the summer before your first year at Stout.

UW-Stout offers exchange, direct enrollment, faculty-led and internship or co-op programs for WinTerm, summer, fall/spring semester or the academic year.

To learn more about how to make the most out of when, where and how long you would like to go exploring, check out the Study Abroad page

JUMPSTART: Scotland

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Students at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Students at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Earn College Credits. 

Not only are you going to explore a beautiful new place, but you are also going to be immersed in captivating courses that will count as college credits. Depending on the duration and type of program, you can take anywhere from one class to a full academic year. 

The college credits earned can be degree-based or go towards covering your general course credits, including Stout Core credits. Taking courses abroad can improve your GPA, help you get ahead in coursework or provide a learning experience you would not have been able to get anywhere else. 

If you are unsure what credits you need when looking for a study abroad program, connect with your academic adviser to help map out your degree plan.
 

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Create Job Opportunities & Make Connections.

Studying abroad introduces you to many different people from different backgrounds... classmates, professors, community members and more. The experience can help you grow and make connections that could excel your personal and professional future. Through these relationships, you can potentially meet an individual connected to a company that could lead to a job opportunity. 

Depending on the program, you can also have an internship, which will give you workforce experience and set you ahead of many who will be entering the applicant pool at the same time as you. 

According to ThoughtCo., “Study abroad students earn an average of $6,000 more annually, and they are more likely to be accepted into their first and second choice graduate programs.”

Puerta del Principe, Seville Spain
Puerta del Principe, Seville, Spain

Stand Out on Your Resume.

Companies look for and value candidates who have traveled abroad because they bring different viewpoints that can expand the company. Having study abroad on your resume also shows employers your interest in learning and exploring new cultures, which shows adaptability, a critical skill in the workplace. 

You can also use your study abroad experiences to help you answer a few questions during your interview, such as how have you worked in a diverse environment, or what was a challenge you faced when learning something new and how did you overcome it. 

Other key skills that can be gained from studying abroad, as the University of Hawaii outlines, are: global skills, enthusiasm, cultural awareness, problem-solving skills, self-sufficiency, advanced social skills, adaptability, fresh perspective, appreciation of diversity, and ability to take risks and use initiative.
 

Experience a New Culture. 

You will be immersed in “a whole new world,” (queue Aladdin) when you study abroad. There are so many different cultural experiences you will experience—food, art, music, language, religion, politics and even holidays. At first, it might come as a culture shock, but once you embrace the change, it will open your eyes to see how other societies live.

Eat the local food, participate in the local customs and celebrations and make the most out of being in a new place. Do your research before you head out to give yourself an idea of what you will be immersed in when you arrive. 

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Learn a New Language.

Each region of the world has an array of languages and accents. Studying abroad allows you to learn a new language in the origin country rather than in a classroom. No matter if you are looking to test your Spanish or appreciate the Scottish accent, there is a trip for you at UW-Stout. 

If you are going to travel to a different country where the native language is not English, take a course or two or use one of the many language apps to learn a bit of the language before you travel. 

Discover a New Side of Yourself.

Study abroad will offer you a newfound sense of independence and personal growth. No matter how you travel, solo, with a friend or family, you will learn things about yourself that you never knew before. Being in a new place and culture, surrounded by new people, will teach you to adapt and embrace the environment and leave your mark. Enjoy as much as you can, and when challenges arise, know that you can conquer them with a little drive and perseverance. 

We highly recommend you keep a travel diary and write down your experiences every day. It will forever be a keepsake, and you will be able to see how much you grew throughout your trip. 

Bergpark Wilhelmshohe Kassel, Germany
Students on the bridge in Bergpark Wilhelmshohe, Kassel, Germany

Build Friendships.

Not only will you discover a new side of yourself, but you will also grow to get to know others around you. There are many opportunities to meet and build new friendships. Between your classmates, housemates or someone you meet while exploring, you will be surrounded by strangers who have the potential to become lifelong friends. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to say hello and get the conversation started. 

Being in a new place is a lot to take in, but when you make a friend or two, it makes it more fun to get out and explore together. Connect with a study abroad adviser to know if other Stout students will be joining you on the trip, and make a friend or two before you leave.
 

Make Memories That Last a Lifetime.

Last but not least… make memories you will hold forever. You will never forget your study abroad trip. The friendships you make, the different landscapes you get to explore, the food you get to eat and the classes you get to take all will leave a mark on your life. You will be coming home having gained personal growth, knowledge and independence that you can only gain from world travel. 

According to Jacob Popek, a previous UW-Stout study abroad student, “Studying abroad was by far the best decision I made at UW-Stout. I hope as many students as possible take advantage."


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