Studying Abroad Might Actually Make You Smarter


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According to Time magazine, new studies suggest that studying abroad isn’t just a good life experience — it might actually be making you smarter. Research led by William Maddux, a professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, discovered that there was a correlation between students who had “multicultural engagement,” and how “integratively complex” their thinking was.

In other words: students who had to learn about new cultures and adapt to new environments were better able to make connections between discordant ideas in a business environment. Maddux also found that multicultural engagement correlated with the number of job offers students received. Another researcher working at the University of Florida has simultaneously been writing about the relationship between studying abroad and being a better creative and flexible thinker.

There are clearly many advantages of studying abroad — it’s good for both your own enjoyment, as well as enhances your future career opportunities by giving you valuable cognitive skillsets. Are you thinking of checking out studying abroad programs? Here are a few study abroad tips you should keep in mind.

Plan Ahead, Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

If you put off choosing your ideal program and apply at the last minute, you may find out the hard way that you’re not going abroad next semester. Figure out what sort of program you’re interested in, and find out ahead of time what sort of materials you’ll need to apply. Most study abroad programs are application-based, and while acceptance is fairly easy if you’re already in school, it’s not a task to take lightly. Some of them will require information you won’t be able to get two hours before the deadline. Apply for several programs as well, so that you not only have a choice, but a backup in case of rejection.

Advantages of Studying Abroad for Longer Periods

Although summer and winter semester programs are popular, you’ll ultimately get the more value out of a program the more you’re immersed in your country of choice. Findings in several studies indicate that, while there is still significant personal development from four and six week programs, the majority of students learn and grow the most from programs of a longer duration. While it can seem like a long time to be away from home, the time goes by much quicker than most would imagine.

It’s Not Just for Undergrads

Did you already get through your first four years of college, and feel regret over never studying abroad? The door hasn’t closed yet. Many top business schools abroad have great study abroad programs for MBA students. International business degrees are considered valuable by many companies.

What are the advantages of studying abroad in your experience? Let us know in the comments. Find out more at this site.

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