Benefits of Studying Abroad

The importance of an international education cannot be understated. Students who participate in study abroad programs gain exposure to foreign cultures in a way that cannot be accomplished in a classroom or on vacation. These acquired skills and new perspectives make students more competitive in future career searches. Students can improve foreign language skills, gain intercultural competency skills, and develop confidence and independence. Choosing a study abroad program that allows students to complete courses relevant to the student's major allows them to not only experience personal growth, but professional growth as well. 

Educational Benefits for Students

  • Earn direct credit and grades towards their Penn State Degrees
  • Gain an international perspective on their major area of study
  • Discover a new academic interest through taking cultural and general education requirements

Professional Benefits

  • Students develop a variety of soft skills that are highly coveted by employers while studying abroad:
    • Adaptability
    • Cross-cultural awareness
    • Independence and self-sufficiency
    • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
  • International experience gained while studying abroad sets students apart from 90% of their peers in the job market
  • In a longitudinal study conducted by IES Abroad – a Penn State partner – IES found the following about the impact of study abroad on their alumni:
    • On average earn 25% higher starting salaries
    • 97% have obtained work within 12 months of graduation (compared to 49% of those who do not study abroad)
    • 76% said they acquired valuable skills that impacted their career path

Personal Benefits

  • University is a time for exploration, it’s a time for students to explore new ideas and challenge themselves. Studying abroad is a chance for students to learn and develop their own identities not just as citizens of the U. S. but as citizens of the work. 
  • Part of the process of developing global citizenship is gaining an understanding of the world, people, and cultures that differs from their own. 
  • College is the time when students are slowly gaining independence, forming their own ideas about society, and laying the foundation to build a future for themselves. Studying abroad offers students a different perspective and an opportunity to learn more about their future goals.