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Why Study Abroad

The opportunity to study abroad can be a once in a lifetime experience! It’s a chance to live and study in another country for a set period of time that is longer than a typical tourist visit. This opens up opportunities to make new friendships, learn the local culture, and be exposed to new ways of thinking. At Webster, study abroad is part of our institutional mission to prepare global citizens for the unique challenges of the 21st century, in a world that is exceedingly inter-connected and where cross-cultural skills are essential. Webster aims to make study abroad accessible to all its students through international campus programs, exchange and international partnerships, and faculty-led programs. Our goal is to offer transformative study abroad experiences to every Webster student. Many students view their time abroad as extremely impactful, with the benefits of the experience affecting them for years after. Click here to read more about your first steps.

Benefits of Study Abroad  
 
Earn Credit 
When you study abroad, you maintain your student status and earn credit to help meet graduation requirements. With advance planning, you can map out your degree at Webster to include a study abroad experience. There are course options for major, minor, Global Citizenship and elective credit at the undergraduate level, as well as many offerings for graduate students. 

Personal Growth 
Students report that studying abroad changed their view of not only the world around them, but of themselves as well. They grew more independent, adaptable, self-reliant, and more able to handle complex and ambiguous situations through challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zone. 

Develop Professional Skills 
Studying abroad has been proven to have an overall positive impact on the development of 21st century job skills that employers seek, such as intercultural awareness, teamwork, open-mindedness, independence, ability to work with people from different cultures and creativity. It can expand career possibilities and have long-term impact on career progression and promotion. For some further reading on this, please look at the following resources:  
“Study Abroad Matters: Linking Higher Education to the Contemporary Workforce through International Experience” by IIE
“Skills Acquired During Study Abroad linked to US Leadership Positions” by The Pie News  
"How Study Abroad Contributes to Career Readiness: 8 Studies" by IIE 
“Study Abroad and Career Development” by Martin Tillman (AIFS)  
 
Make New Friendships 
Study abroad can help you get out of your comfort zone and meet new people from around the world. You may make new friends with classmates from your home campus and develop connections with local and international students at your host campus. The experience of living in another country and traveling really bonds you to these new groups. Most students leave their time abroad with friendships that last a lifetime.  

See the World & Develop a New Worldview  
Study abroad can help you to explore the world and visit new countries and cultures. Through this opportunity, you may develop a new sense of your own nationality and an appreciation for different cultures and ways of doing things. Most students leave their study abroad experience more globally minded. They can see world events, work practices, politics, etc. through new lenses that are cross-cultural in scope.  
 
Language Learning  
Studying in another country can be a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign language. It provides an opportunity to practice the host language daily, while enrolled in language courses to reinforce the accelerated process. Study abroad can help you become proficient in a new language or develop fluency in a language that you have been studying for years. Webster has various programs with different levels of immersion to fit your needs.  

Webster’s Global Mission  
Webster’s mission statement includes supporting students in the pursuit of academic excellence, equality, and global citizenship. Study abroad is one way to follow an academically challenging path and develop skills to become more globally minded. Attending a Webster program helps to forward the institution’s mission and is highly supported by the Webster community.   

Study Abroad Myths 
While study abroad has a range of positive outcomes and benefits, there are also several myths that should be address as students consider study abroad.  

Myth: Study abroad is costly. 
Fact: Webster charges home campus tuition for all of its programs. All financial aid applies and there are additional study abroad scholarships available, such as the Webster World Traveler Program (free airfare). The office of Study Abroad can help students review their program costs and pursue Webster and external scholarship opportunities. Planning ahead is key!  

Myth: You have to speak a second language. 
Fact: Most of Webster’s programs offer instruction in English. There are a few programs with language requirements and all coursework in the local language, but the majority have courses in English. For example, all of Webster’s international campuses have coursework in English with some opportunities to take foreign language courses as well.  

Myth: Study abroad will delay graduation.  
Fact: Many students who study abroad graduate in 4 years, and some even graduate early! With advance planning, working with your academic and study abroad advisor, you should be able to include study abroad in your degree plan. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see some students study abroad more than once and still graduate on time.  

Myth: Students in my major cannot go abroad 
Fact: Webster has a range of programs with various academic offerings. If your major is not offered abroad, you can focus on Global Citizenship, minor or elective courses.