Ten Reasons to Study Abroad

July 23, 2013
by Christina Martinez

Here at Rady, we want our undergraduate students to make the most of their time at UC San Diego. Yes, this means succeeding in the classroom. But there is more to the college experience than academics, which is why we highly encourage our undergrad students to study abroad.  Studying in another country can be a meaningful cultural and social experience, but is also an excellent means of furthering academic and professional development. That’s why 93% of returnees say that the cross-cultural skills they learned while studying abroad were professionally valuable.

Need some convincing? We’ve queried students and expert staff at UCSD’s Programs Abroad Office and have created a list of the…

Ten Reasons to Study Abroad

  1. Fulfill Major, Minor & GE requirements. That’s right; you can apply the classes you take abroad to your degree.  Before you go, your major, college, and minor departments will review the classes you plan to take to make sure you can receive credit.
  2. Gain an international perspective. Taking classes at another institution gives you the chance to explore topics not taught at UCSD or explore topics you’re familiar with from another perspective.
  3. Acquire new language skills. Fluency in another language is a highly valuable skill in today’s global marketplace.  But don’t worry; many programs also teach classes in English.
  4. Meet and network with new friends from all over the world. The key to success today, whether it be in landing your first job or opening a new door, is your connections with other people.
  5. Gain an edge in the job market. Only 4% of U.S. undergraduates study abroad, which means that doing so is a way to stand out as unique in an employer’s eyes.  Employers often view students who study abroad as independent and willing to embrace challenges and change.
  6. Gain an edge for graduate school admissions. Similarly to employers, graduate schools will value the global perspective and academic and life experience gained from studying abroad.
  7. Participate in an internship in another country. Some study abroad programs allow you to work as an intern abroad.  Internships are a great way to add to your resume and also the best way to gain first-hand knowledge of a potential career field.
  8. Financial aid & scholarships are available. UCSD students receive approximately $500,000 annually in study abroad scholarships. The Programs Abroad Office provides extensive information on funding and can assist you in applying for scholarships. Learn more about Financing Your Experience.
  9. Challenge yourself. Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting can be intimidating at first, but it's also exciting.  It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities and conquer new challenges.
  10. Travel! Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in another country’s culture that is much more difficult to come by once you start full-time work.  Living abroad also gives you to the opportunity to travel to other nearby countries.
How do I get started?
Follow these steps.

Christina Martinez is the Undergraduate Academic Advisor at the Rady School of Management. She is a UCSD alumna with a major in Literature/Writing.  When she isn’t advising students, you can find her with her nose in a book.