The benefits of travelling as a student
Date: November 25, 2019
Why travelling is good for you!
We are obviously BIG fans of student travel and experiencing new countries, because it does so much more than just making your Instagram account look good. Travelling is one of the best things you can do in life to gain lots of new skills and experience that will be really useful long after your trip is over.
So, if you’re thinking of studying abroad, either at a summer program or for university, here are our top reasons why it’s a great idea:
Learning a new language
Immersion learning is one of the most successful ways to expand your knowledge of a language. Being in a new country where people don’t speak your native language really does force you to use your skills to pick things up quickly.
There are so many benefits to being bilingual. From a student's point of view, it looks great on your university application and even more importantly, looking further ahead, on your resume or CV when you’re applying for a job.
So, what better way to learn than by getting out into the world to back up your classroom learning by speaking to the locals. Learning to easily ask for that amazing gelato or pizza in the local town is good motivation, right?
Get out of your comfort zone
Travelling to a new country forces you to get outside your comfort zone and use your initiative to learn how to live in a place where you don’t automatically know how everything runs and works.
Everything from the currency, new street signs and traffic signals, to different customs, shops, sounds and smells will force you to use your initiative to adapt to life in new surroundings.
It’s great for developing your adaptability skills in preparation for leaving school and moving away from home, and it might even mean that you consider applying to different universities or colleges that are further away than you would have considered before (sorry parents).
The world is an amazing and diverse place, but if you stay in your home town or country all the time, the chances are that the number of different cultures you come into contact with will be relatively limited. Travelling gives you the opportunity to meet so many different people and experience the different lifestyles that exist around the world.
When people from different nationalities come together they learn about each other's cultures, religions, education, politics and general thinking. It breaks down social barriers and helps us to learn that despite our differences, we’re actually all the same.
From a different perspective, it might also give you the chance to reconnect with your own heritage and background if you’ve grown up in foreign countries or moved around a lot.
Travelling, especially alone, might seem daunting but it’s one of the best ways to make new friends! Taking part in something like a summer school program means that everyone will be in the same situation and you’ll have ready-made companions to experience the adventure with.
Your new friends from around the world will also mean that you have even more reasons to travel and visit them!
A new perspective on the world
Everything you have learned about the world in school or from documentaries will come into a much sharper perspective when you actually visit a place in real life. The traditions and cultures of a country become so much more real when you are standing on the same soil and interacting with people.
Even when you go home your experiences abroad will change the way you look at the world. Stories on the news or in documentaries become personal because they are about countries you loved or made new friends in. Or when you meet someone new from a place you have been you immediately have a common bond.
A big part of growing up is learning to be independent, but when you’re still living at home that can be hard to do. Either because it’s easy to fall back on family to help you or maybe because, for lots of different reasons, it’s hard to get the freedom.
This program helped my daughter into a mature, confident young lady and this past summer we were shocked how more self-assured and mature my son (14) became. This year my daughter (16) is attending a boarding school and we believe attending ISSOS made this transition so much easier
Danielle (mother, USA)
As much as we adore books, there’s still only so much you can learn from them before you have to get out and experience things for yourself. Reading about what New York City is like can never compare to actually standing in the middle of Times Square or walking through Central Park.
And at the very least, nothing teaches you about what is truly essential in life quicker than trying to wrestle 30kg of luggage off of the carousel by yourself does - travel light everyone!
Confidence and responsibility
You’ve travelled on your own and you made new friends. You survived finding your way through an airport, you saw new places, tried eating new foods (learned which ones you can’t live without, and the ones that you’ll happily never eat again), and you’ve hopefully not lost your passport! If you can do all of that, you can do anything.
So if all of that sounds like something you’d like to experience for yourself, why not consider a summer program as your first step to travelling on your own.
Our summer school programs
Every year ISSOS welcomes 13 - 18 year olds from over 80 nationalities to our summer school campuses at the world-class universities of St Andrews, Cambridge and Yale. We have been in business since 2006 and in that time we have grown from one session with 51 students, to 3 campuses and 4 sessions with over 600 students each summer.
We provide a balanced summer program where students from all over the world come together for the summer experience of a lifetime. Students choose one academic and one elective subject that they will focus on for the 3-week session: Find out more