Considering study abroad but not sure if it’s right for you? Although the thought of leaving the comfort of your home campus may be daunting, study abroad offers unique opportunities for growth, as well as the chance to establish a new community you may never have imagined. You’ll experience the language, food, music, and habits of another culture while learning about yourself in the process.
In honor of International Education Week, here are just a few reasons to study abroad – and not just anywhere, but with us in Perugia!
1. Learn Italian by living with it.
While it is a bustling university city, Perugia simply doesn’t have the same amount of English speakers as Florence or Rome – and that’s one of the many things that makes it great! While studying here, you’ll absorb not only the grammar and vocabulary of the Italian language, but experience and use it as the constantly-evolving entity it is. As Umbra professor and linguist Marco Bagli puts it, “Language is a window on the culture of the people that speak that language. Learning a new language may lead the speaker to consider the world in another perspective, and to name things differently.” That’s something you can’t get from Duolingo!
2. Make friends you would never otherwise meet.
We’re talking about local Italian university students, of course – but also teachers, young children, and professionals in fields as varied as fishery, social work, and wine-making. During class and through extracurricular activities, you’ll come in contact with locals from all walks of life and of all ages, allowing for a more complete and nuanced picture of Italian society.
3. Challenge yourself and become more independent.
Yes, you can push yourself academically while abroad with service-learning projects, internships, and research opportunities, but why stop there? When traversing new cities and countries, you’re bound to experience some unexpected trials. A simple day trip can turn into an adventure that forces you to problem solve, improvise, be patient, think creatively, and test out your language skills. These are invaluable opportunities for personal growth (and usually make the best stories when you get home!).
4. Make yourself more employable.
Employers love to see study abroad on a resume. Research from the University of California showed that 97% of college students who studied abroad were employed within 12 months of graduation, compared to only 49% of those who didn’t. Job applicants with study abroad experience are seen as more flexible, adaptive, and prepared to work in increasingly common multicultural teams.