“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
-Neale Donald Walsch
If you’re studying a language, you may be interested in studying abroad! Some degrees in World Languages & Cultures require a trip abroad, but others strongly encourage it. No matter what, we want to see you succeed in our culturally diverse world. Check out your options with WLC and ISU to see where you can go!
How can study abroad help you?
- Improve your language skills and interpersonal communication skills. In a global society, learning to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and clients is as important as ever. Second Language speakers have sharper reasoning skills, are more risk-averse, they possess greater interpersonal communication skills and problem-solving skills.
- Try something that’s not possible at ISU or in the U.S. Students traveling abroad have the opportunity to work in laboratories, undertake internships in business, engineering, agriculture or education, or work in community service learning projects abroad. Each of these meaningful experiences “on the job” sets you apart from others and can lead to a meaningful career.
- Challenge yourself! Studying abroad in another country can be difficult, but doing so in another language is even more challenging! Improve your Spanish, understand other cultures and become not only bilingual but bicultural!
- Get some perspective. Learn about traditions, ethics and morals, cultural differences, expectations, and socio-cultural points of view. These are excellent things to know not just for travel but for work abroad, too.
- Gain confidence and independence. Feel confident about traveling across the world, talking with people in different countries, and managing all sorts of situations.
- Make new connections and form lasting relationships. Meet people in your host country, new friends from ISU, connect with your professors—and keep these relationships long after graduation.
Get ahead in the job market
- Increase your paycheck and improve your employment opportunities. Did you know that students who study abroad generally increase their salary by more than 20%? And they generally have more job offers and better job opportunities. Your international experience will help you find a more fulfilling and better paid position!
- Improve your decision-making, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. Studying abroad improves self-confidence, the ability to resolve problems and helps you think critically about important problems. These skills in turn better prepare you for the classroom or on the job.
- Just risk it! Did you know that students who study abroad are better at confronting difficult or challenging situations and more likely to try and excel at new things, including working abroad or starting a business? What employer would not want that?
- Work abroad. Students who have spent a significant amount of time studying abroad are more likely to be chosen by their employer for both short-term and longer-term international assignments—even in countries whose language is different from the one the student learned!
- Business is not conducted only in English. Studies indicate that speaking a language other than English is absolutely critical in business.
The longer, the better.
Research shows that a longer experience abroad (6 weeks or more) is the best way to achieve the aforementioned goals. A longer program abroad provides ample time to improve your language proficiency, increase your vocabulary, perfect grammatical structure. A longer study abroad also will help you get a better and higher paying job, too!
Where will you go?
WLC is the proud home of a handful of fantastic study abroad programs! We send students to Spain, Germany, Italy, and France every year. Check out each of the programs below.
We may have the cheapest programs around, but maybe you want to go to Austria, Costa Rica or even Côte d’Ivoire. Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough faculty for that. That’s where ISU and its affiliate programs come in. Check out the ISU Abroad page below!
Not everyone wants to head abroad to study language. If you’re interested in going abroad to work on research, check out these ISU and affiliate programs specifically!
If you’re interested in doing an internship abroad head over to the internships page for WLC’s guidelines, links to your college’s page on internships, and even opportunities!
WLC alumni have plenty of first-hand experience living abroad. To get contact information for someone who’s been through what you’re thinking about tackling, write to email@example.com.