Many students wait until college to study abroad, but that’s not the first time they should start thinking about it. On the contrary, students should consider studying abroad long before college.
That’s why many teachers are introducing the idea of studying abroad to students in elementary school and high school.
This way, by the time they enter college, they are fully prepared to apply to study in another country.
Why Teachers Should Encourage Students to Study Abroad
In order to understand why teachers are instilling this dream in young students, you should first understand the importance of studying abroad. For example, one of the best reasons to study abroad in college is to learn a new language while also becoming familiar with a different culture.
Another good reason to study abroad is to push yourself out of your comfort zone, which should result in added independence. College is all about new experiences, and studying abroad during that time should be one of them. It might make you realize you want to travel more or even move to another country.
In addition, you’ll likely find that studying abroad benefits your job search after college. With an increasingly global economy, many employers are looking for employees who can relate to and communicate with people in other countries. This means your study abroad experience will give you an advantage as you apply for jobs.
All of these reasons to study abroad have made an impression on the Institute of International Education (IIE), which intends to double the amount of students in the US who study in other countries. As a result, the IIE is encouraging teachers to pledge to start pushing their elementary and high school students to study abroad in college.
Tactics Teachers Are Using
So how are high school and elementary school teachers encouraging their students to study abroad? One technique is to bring in guest speakers who have studied in different countries and can let the students know firsthand how it changed their perspectives.
Another way of persuading students to study abroad is to reduce the main concern they often face: the cost. This means making sure there is financial aid available for students who wish to travel outside the US, and of course ensuring they are aware of it. Students should also be aware of study abroad scholarships.
Of course, foreign language teachers likely have the easiest time persuading their students to go to other countries in college. Not only are the students presumably already fascinated with other cultures, studying abroad helps with language learning.
Have you studied abroad, or do you plan to? Did you ever try to prepare to study abroad when you were in elementary or high school?
How ULS Can Help
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