The most obvious reason why students study abroad is to earn academic credit. You should consider the type of credit you will earn on your study abroad program. Will you earn credit towards your major or elective credit only? Will you receive grades or pass/fail credit only? You may study abroad to earn upper division credits in your major field or you may be overseas to earn some of your core or general education hours your freshman year.

Language acquisition : The world market place is shrinking rapidly, many companies require second languages. Foreign languages are not only valuable in the work force they are valuable in the real world.

Practical experience : Study abroad coupled with an international internship is an incredible way to gain some real world experience. Additionally you may find that only an international program can offer the real expertise you desire in your education. Australia is a great place to find a marine biology program, the engineering labs in Sweden may exceed your facilities at your home institution, and peace studies in Geneva would offer an insight that couldn’t be matched in Nebraska.

Resume building : International experience is ranked high among many employers as a critical asset for prospective employees. Study abroad shows that you are resourceful, adventurous, internationally minded, and diverse.

Experience of a lifetime : In a couple years you will forget the name of your literature professor in Grenoble or the name of your dorm in Beijing, but you’ll never forget the friends you made or the incredible experiences you shared.

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