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A survey on students who are studying abroad

A survey of 1,588 UK undergraduates lead by the UK Higher Education International Unit and the British Council, found that 70 per cent of participants who had studied, worked or volunteered abroad felt they had become more committed to their degree course afterwards as a result.

According to the research, students who travel abroad as part of their university degree course believe they gain significant benefits similar to those who travel overseas for a gap year.

More than half of respondents felt international experience would help them secure a job after graduating and approximately two-thirds said it would get them a better degree classification.

Other students reported that they received an improvement in independence, inter-cultural understanding and confidence. However, the study found “modest” differences between the students who went abroad for a semester and those for a year.

Additionally, students were not deterred to travel when the trip was for less than a 12 months. Those who studied overseas for only a few weeks perceived less academic benefits but “strong” personal development similar to those who were abroad for longer.

Head of the international unit’s outward student mobility programme, Anne Marie Graham, stated that institutions needed to provide “different types of opportunity to engage as many types of students as possible”.

“There are always students who want to take a year abroad but some will be unable to, so we need to think about what we can offer them,” she added.

 

Advice for studying abroad

  • Students who are interested in studying in another country should research all aspects thoroughly before applying and leaving the UK to ensure they are fully prepared for what lies ahead and take into account how much will it cost to study abroad.
  • Students who are studying abroad may feel strong cultural differences in many areas of their temporary student life, from the academic to the social side. However, even international institutions may have different technical and administrative protocols that are not expected. Enthusiasm will be deflated with form-filling, waiting and getting all admin information correct to start your term.
  • Social situations may be hard to become accustomed to during your time overseas, but students who put the effort in will receive big benefits.
  • Lastly, students who are studying abroad are there to enjoy it, study, gather experiences and to have a good time, so therefore, ensure it is for you.