Discover the world: our top 5 reasons to study abroad

Discover the world: our top 5 reasons to study abroad

Image: Aline Locher

Studying abroad offers students unique opportunities for academic enrichment, career development, language learning, cultural immersion, and personal growth. This blog post explores what we believe are the top five reasons why studying abroad is a game changer for our students!

1. Academic enrichment

Getting to know another culture means rediscovering your own field of study from a new perspective. Studying abroad provides access to a diverse range of courses, teaching methods, and research opportunities that may not be available at the University of Bern. From specialised courses to different approaches to learning, students broaden their intellectual horizons by studying at another university. In addition, teaching styles and the relationships between students and staff are often different (more formal or informal) from what students are used to.

“The courses were very interactive and the communication with the professors was personal. The long teaching hours came as quite a shock. Three-hour blocks with only a ten-minute break in the middle were not uncommon.”

Feisal, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2. Professional development

The experience of studying abroad enhances students’ professional profiles and makes them more attractive to employers. Exposure to different cultures and communication styles equips our students with essential skills such as adaptability and intercultural competence, which are highly valued in the job market.

“You learn a lot, not only during your time at university, but also for your life in general.”

Jorgos, National Autonomous University of Mexico

3. Language skills

Living for an extended period in a foreign language environment accelerates language acquisition. Outside the classroom, students interact with native speakers on a daily basis. From ordering food in local restaurants to navigating the world’s metropolises, students develop linguistic fluency and intercultural competence.

“For me, it is not only about the experience of studying at a different university in a different language, but also about the fact that it gave me a “change of scenery” for a semester.”

Cerise, Université Laval, Canada

4. Cultural immersion

Experiencing a new culture while living in it is very different from a holiday. An extended stay abroad exposes students to different views and ways of interacting with others. This cultural immersion fosters empathy, tolerance, and self-awareness as students navigate unfamiliar social landscapes. It is also an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery as new surroundings help new learning experiences. Many students make new friendships that last a lifetime.

“Not only is Singapore a very impressive place, but I have also grown very fond of the friends I have made during my stay.”

Salina, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

5. Leaving your comfort zone behind

Studying abroad is a journey of discovery and challenge: From exploring new and unfamiliar places to overcoming language barriers, every experience abroad is a learning opportunity and helps students to become more resilient when faced with difficulties. It is a chance to face fears, to seize opportunities, and to develop self-confidence by dealing with issues without the safety net of family and friends.

Completing a student exchange has one great advantage: Home and guest universities support students during this adventure and provide help with visa applications, finding accommodation, etc. Having the support from professional services staff takes away many headaches and makes a potentially intimidating trip to a foreign country much easier.

“All in all, my semester abroad in Seoul was one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend such an exchange to anyone who is up for an adventure.”

Naima, Seoul National University, South Korea

In conclusion, we believe that studying abroad is a transformative experience that offers students a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, learning, and exploration. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Image: Aline Locher, one of the winners of our photo competition for outgoing exchange students called “The World through your Lens!”
Text: Caspar Bienek

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