In a perfect world, we would all spend time overseas. Almost anyone who has studied abroad will tell you that it is a life-changing experience, one of the most rewarding things that she has ever done. Why? What are the benefits of living in a foreign country?
First, study abroad is the best way to learn a foreign language. You can study English grammar and vocabulary in Tokyo, of course, but it is almost impossible to become truly skilled in a foreign language without using it in real-world settings.
Second, university students are still young and not yet tied down by a job and a family of your own. This might be the only chance you ever get to travel abroad for an extended period of time.
Third, thanks to study abroad, you get to know another society first-hand. Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, and habits. They involve deep beliefs and values that influence one’s way of life and the way one views the world. And the best way to experience a foreign culture is to live it through daily interactions.
Fourth, study abroad gives you an opportunity to form valuable contacts, to meet people you can share interests with and learn new ideas from. In Boston, you will meet not only Americans, but other international students, and that includes your fellow Showa students. In addition to providing rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important for networking in the future.
Fifth, in Boston, you will study old subjects from a new perspective, you can take courses that are not offered on the home campus, and, most important, you will be exposed to a completely different style of education. And that will help you back in Tokyo. Research shows that college students who study abroad have better grades and graduate at higher rates than students who never study abroad.
Sixth, living abroad will give you skills that you would never develop sitting in a classroom in Japan. Being immersed in a different society, you will also encounter challenges that are completely unfamiliar to you, and you will learn to adapt. Students who return from abroad report that they have developed a greater sense of independence and self-confidence.
Seventh, a semester in Boston will look great on your résumé. Employers are increasingly looking for workers who have cross-cultural skills. Just by going to Boston, you will have proved to potential employers that you are motivated, independent, and willing to embrace challenges.
Eighth, in today’s interconnected world, we all need to act as global citizens. To be successful as an individual and to fulfill your responsibilities to your fellow human beings around the world, you must become skilled at interacting in multiple cultures and capable of analyzing issues from a global perspective. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to build such skills.
Finally, living overseas taps your curiosity, your resourcefulness, your passion. It forces you to grow. You will discover new interests and new perspectives on real-world issues, yourselves, and Japan. Living abroad stimulates people to reconsider their beliefs and values.
Let Showa Boston help you seize these opportunities. That is why we are here.