The U.S is too vast and globally significant on its own for many Americans to pay enough attention to the outside world.  Residents of superpowers can develop national hubris that causes them to view other countries as inferior and unworthy of consideration.  There are many versions of a long-running joke that Americans think the planet consists of the U.S alone.

Unsurprisingly, a very small portion of Americans ends up studying for their bachelor’s degree outside the United States.  In this article, we came up with some compelling arguments in favor of studying abroad and why it can be a valuable experience with far-reaching benefits.

Global Perspective

When Americans speak of travel, they usually mean traveling between states.  It is well known that most U.S citizens don’t even have a valid passport.  This isolative lifestyle severely limits their global awareness.  Waking up at the same place every day and interacting with people just like you from a narrow social circle doesn’t really offer a lot of room for personal growth and development.

Leaving your comfort zone and opting to study abroad can help you evolve and give you a wider cultural perspective.  European international faculties are usually compounded with students from all around the world.  Meeting people with different cultural backgrounds, social habits, and values can help you grow and diversify as a person.


I was a foreign student myself, and I can tell you from personal experience that independence is not always the answer.  I often needed support and guidance with learning and personal matters.  Even today, I need help writing an essay or translating a text sometimes.

But overall, becoming self-reliant is the most valuable life skill you will ever learn.  Navigating an unknown city and solving your own problems thousands of miles away from your friends and family will make you more independent; teach you to navigate life and face its difficulties without the help of mommy and daddy.

Opportunity to Learn a New Language

Americans are notorious for never speaking a foreign language.  At a glance, why would they?  When the native language they already speak is the most internationally widespread and professionally useful one of them all.

On the other hand, learning a new language helps you immerse in and assimilate with a unique culture.  Learning to speak a foreign language among locals and practicing your writing skills is not just valuable for its direct application but for overall mental sharpness and growth.

Also, the rarity of foreign language speakers in the U.S will set you apart from others and give you a competitive advantage.

Get your Degree Sooner (and possibly cheaper)

Many students find the protracted process of receiving complete education discouraging.  They want to have a successful professional career and financial security as soon as possible to enjoy them in their youth.

There is a standard of four years of bachelor’s studies across American universities, but this is not necessarily the case worldwide.  Many European universities can hook you up with a bachelor’s degree in just three years.  That is one year closer to being settled in life.

Three-year bachelor’s degree process also makes taking a gap year more acceptable and less relatively wasteful.

Higher Quality Education

The U.S houses many, if not most of the leading Universities, which further lowers the need and incentive to study abroad.  But different countries and their learning facilities have competitive advantages over each other.  Germany, for example, is famous for its medical schools, seaside cities with naval industries have highly developed marine engineering academies, and so on.

Always take your career choice into account when picking a university, especially with highly specialized professions.

Bottom Line

Choosing a university is a pivotal milestone in life.  With such a weighty decision to make, taking an easy root or following others’ paths may not be your best choice.  Think about what’s best for you, and don’t be afraid to go out of your way and leave your comfort zone.  Studying abroad can have its growing pains, but it can serve as a healthy shock therapy that frees you of one-dimensional life and makes you into a more complete, multi-layered human being.

Andrew Mazur is a writer and a traveler.  He frequently enjoys work-related journeys and has spent years based in foreign countries at times.  He is an avid proponent of travel and uses his writing to talk about its role in mental health and personal growth.