How studying abroad grooms creatives, empaths, and leaders
International studies have always been considered an extraordinary endeavor–something that not anyone can do. Those who are lucky enough to experience studying in a foreign land have always known the benefits of this life-changing activity.
Studies show that beyond beefing up one’s credentials, international studies actually contribute to making the world a better place by equipping thousands of individuals with rich and unique experiences they can share to the world.
Meanwhile, on a macro level, higher education institutions (HEIs) that accept foreign students contribute to the economy of a certain country. Despite the rigid immigration policies of some countries, many HEIs in first-world countries are banking on international education due to its contribution to a nation’s economy.
Be it large-scale or on an individual level, studying abroad indeed has benefits, and here are some of the reasons why.
Enhances creativity and intelligence
Probably one of the most exciting parts of international education is the opportunity to travel. Some research has shown that this activity can develop a more creative brain.
As an individual is immersed in new and unfamiliar experiences abroad, the brain’s neural pathways encounter never-before-seen sensations, sounds, tastes, smells, and language. This positively impacts the brain’s neuroplasticity and has the potential to give the mind a boost, hence cultivating intelligence and creativity.
Develops empathy and faith in humanity
The mere opportunity to travel enables learners of the world to open their eyes to the different issues, cultures, and ways of living in other parts of the world. This can stir some form of global consciousness and can restore faith in humanity as foreign students can witness acts of kindness in other parts of the world.
It is no wonder why in an article published on The Atlantic, Mark Twain is quoted as saying that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
Global consciousness is also part of the mission and vision of the organization called Teens of Color Abroad. Among its thrusts is to address the racial and economic disparity in international education by making the opportunity to study abroad available to more students of color.
Hones leadership skills
As learners of the world are pushed to become more independent and become natural problem solvers, it can also hone valuable leadership skills. In a study by Creator Fund, Europe’s first venture capital fund, it was found that international students are highly entrepreneurial and are more likely to be leaders and founders of startups.
Furthermore, the careful planning that traveling abroad entails encourages learners of the world to be great at managing time and finances, two of the key traits of a leader.
The list can go on, but one thing is for sure — as long as there are learners of the world who are courageous enough to move out of their comfort zone, ready to understand other cultures, and push themselves to broaden their knowledge, humanity can expect creative and empathetic leaders who can make the earth a better place.