Studying abroad is a tough decision: leave everyone behind and dive into the unknown – that is what really happens. Despite the challenges, more and more students are opting for international study options, and this is why:
You could surprise yourself
Living in a foreign country is one of the ultimate tests for a young adult: you are basically alone (but not on your own) in a land you don`t know and you have to figure out how to live, learn and have fun in a very unfamiliar environment. Maybe even simple, everyday things will prove to be difficult at first and your new found independence can turn out to be a double edged sword. For example, you have to learn personal finance really quickly, else you will be living on bread and water at the end of the month. And while you are in this process of tackling new situations, you will develop new skills very quickly and ultimately discover how capable you really are. Capable of empathy and building relationships with people from other cultures, capable of managing your money, capable of making decisions on your own and capable of solving problems – just to mention a few.
All the life skills you accumulate during your study abroad experience are as valuable as the academic knowledge you gain, and often you will find you are a very different and a more confident person when you return home.
It will look good in your CV
It is no secret, that employers loooove graduates with an international study background. These youngsters tend to be more flexible, collaborative and better team players due to their experience in a foreign environment. They are also quick to adapt and build rapport with partners and peers and these “soft skills” are deemed necessary for success in a global workforce. Their view of the world is more global, and perhaps they have even learned different, sometimes better ways of doing things, which employers can benefit from. It is statistically proven that graduates who have studied abroad have a higher starting salary than those that have not.
Here is an example: as an international student in Hungary, you will meet lots of Hungarian students, but also several students from countries all over the world. During your stay you will experience good times and challenging times together, and the bond you form, the friendships you build, can last throughout your lives. Imagine how cool it is to have an Argentinian pal, a Hungarian friend, a Lebanese buddy, a British mate, a French connection and so on. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking contacts later on in life.
See the world
By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs, history and activities. Some things you will find interesting, others crazy, but still, you will get an insight into a different way of life that no tourist experience can ever match.
The added benefit of countries such as Hungary is their central location within a region. For example, if you want to travel to other European countries from Hungary, it won`t take you more than 2-3 hours maximum via a cheap fair airline and voilá, you are in the UK, Germany, France or even Sweden.
Travel is easy, relatively affordable, and if you are keen on exploring, you can visit several countries neighbouring or around your host country, while experiencing new terrains, natural wonders, museums, cultures and landmarks.
Could be cheaper
For sure, no matter where you study, your goal is always going to be to get the highest possible quality of education. Becoming an international student can greatly broaden your study options, but you also have to consider the financial implications. If you do your “due diligence”, you might find that there are several scholarship opportunities out there that can greatly alleviate your family`s financial burden. However, if you decide you would rather pay your own way and you are on a budget, countries like Hungary with a lower cost of living and high quality, affordable education could save you lots of money.
A different viewpoint
Arriving to a foreign university can give you a new prospective on how things are done in your field of interest. If you are a Masters or PhD student, you may even find groundbreaking work being done in that particular science, which can give you a fresh perspective in your studies. Perhaps you will also find better resources, technology or internationally renown experts sharing their knowledge with you. Opportunities are endless.
Last, but not least
After returning from studying abroad you’ll view South Africa with fresh eyes and have a deeper appreciation of what it really means to be home. You will also notice things that can be better and discover areas where you can put your knowledge and experience to good use. Maybe you have seen clever ways of solving certain problems, or experienced solutions that could make a difference in your community.
Everything helps. Small things help. You can help.