University is a fascinating period of your life. You’ll get to make decisions that will define your career path, you will experience more freedom than ever before, and you'll make completely new friendships that will last a lifetime. Why not expand on these amazing experiences and grow yourself a global network by exploring foreign shores. Below we have put together a list of 10 reasons why you should further your education internationally.
Understand Other Cultures
Having travelled overseas on holiday is great! However, you’re a tourist, and it's fleeting. Actually living in another country gives you an entirely new perspective and you will get a much richer experience. You will engrain yourself in the lifestyle and learn many cultural nuances. One of life's greatest lessons is to understand other cultures and respect their differences. By understanding that, "different" is not wrong, will help you grow into a global person.
There are soooo many different cooking styles all around the world, and you’ll find that dishes differ from the tantalisingly delicious to just plain weird, but hey that's half the fun! In the states, make sure to try out the delicious Maryland Blue Crab up north, or if you are feeling brave, head down south and tuck into some deep fried Alligator. International education allows you to take advantage of these experiences, so get out and let your taste buds run wild.
Boost Your CV
There is no better way to differentiate yourself than having an international degree. By exploring entirely new cultures and picking up skills unique to those countries, you will approach business problems in different ways than your peers and these skills will give you a leg up when applying for jobs.
Having exposure to different people will not only help you hone your interpersonal skills, but it will help grow yourself a global network. In an ever-changing world, digital connectivity is allowing business to cross borders faster than ever before. By studying internationally, you could be roommates with the next Fortune 500 CEO or simply make a great contact who will help you solve a business problem!
Leaving home and the comforts of having mom and dad can be scary, but it's a crucial step in your development. No one said being independent is easy, and if they do they are hampering your personal growth. Once you get over that 3-month hump, and the teary-eyed Skype calls back home, that little taste of freedom will change you forever! In fact, the chances are that you won’t want it any other way.
Give Back to Your Community
Studying in another country will expose you to many different processes and ways of life that will help you give back to your community. As a South African based company, there is no doubt we face many problems, however, instead of complaining, take the opportunity to see how other countries have solved these problems, experience them and bring them home. Yes, South Africa is unique, but it is also one of the most exciting economies in the world, with massive room for growth. By merely living abroad, it will provide you with a world-class education and experiences that will equip you to be an agent for change.
Discover Who You Are
Like most teens, you may feel a little lost after high school, relax, this is entirely normal. Studying overseas places you into a new environment and pushes you out of your comfort zone. By pushing yourself, emotionally, academically and socially, you will discover more about yourself in 1 year than you have in the previous 18. Getting an international education will help you to assess your relationships, explore your passions and find your calling.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Money makes the world go round right? Well, most of the time! In the USA, a students academic and athletic ability can make an International education a reality regardless of how much money you have. Three of Aspire Atlantic's employees studied in the USA and paid absolutely nothing to do so. Of course, this depends on where you study in the USA but in 2017 USA Colleges and Universities gave away over $3.2 billion in scholarship opportunities. Types of scholarships you can win are for sports, academics, cultural activities and even for just being an international student! What's cool is that colleges like Harvard and Princeton have Need-Based Financial Aid, which means if you can get in but can't afford to go, they will pay for you, and you don't have to pay a thing! Pretty cool right?
If the USA is your first choice when looking to study overseas, you won't be disappointed! Americans are known for being bigger and better when it comes to materialistic things, but the same holds true for their personalities! In general, they are extremely friendly and hospitable people, so don't let the news or Donald Trump fool you. Of course not everyone you meet is going to become your best friend; however, chances are that you will meet many lifelong friends along the way. We live in an age of Social media and Facetime! Keeping in touch with your international friends has never been easier.
Enjoy The Simple Life
Going to college anywhere in the world is not known for living in the lap of luxury. Being a student usually means living off a set allowance and working part-time to make ends meet. If you ask the founder of Aspire Atlantic, Tyler Hollingsworth, how he got by in college, he'll tell you he juggled being a full-time student, a scholarship soccer player and working shifts between class and practice at the Dean's Office. Working teaches you many things, like the value of what you have, and to work hard for the luxuries you want. Especially being an international student, you will generally have fewer possessions than the average and being away from home can make you miss familiar comforts. But soon, you will learn that living a minimalistic life will give you an entirely new appreciation for what you have and determination to achieve what you want.
University is generally the first time people move away from home. It is an amazing time with so much to look forward to! However, no one is going to wake you up on time or tell you to do your homework; it's up to you to make the most out of your experience. So get out there, learn about other cultures, grow your global network, find your passions, come back to your home country, and be an agent for good. Our chief aim at Aspire Atlantic is to inspire you to not only change your life but to change the world, and we know that there is a giant within everyone reading this blog. So good luck in college, we know you will do great things!
All blogs are written by former student-athletes. If you would like to learn more, please leave a comment below and the author will respond to your questions.