About a year ago when I decided to study abroad in Germany, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy or cheap, I also knew it would help me in the long run but I had a hard time identifying exactly how. Now that I’m back in Seattle I’ve begun to see how it affected me. Thanks to Course Hero, I have a fancy infographic with the results of a survey to help illustrate my experience!
Two of the main reasons that I decided to study abroad was to learn more about how wearable computers can be used to change the way we communicate and to better understand the technological differences between the US and Germany. For some reason I had grand illusions that Europe and especially Germany was more technologically advanced than a lot of other countries including the US. What I found was a large digital divide between regions, age groups and social classes much like we have here in the US.
Studying abroad notably affected and broadened my career goals although it didn’t cause me to want to live or work in another country. In fact it caused me to realize how lucky I am to be in Seattle. On the other hand though, studying in Germany was fascinating because of the way higher education is structured. Graduate students are paid to work full-time on their research projects instead of competing for various scholarships.
Now that I’m back in the job market I’m testing out just how important studying abroad is to employers, but so far it seems to line up with the numbers below. One thing that kind of surprised me while I was away was how many small business ideas kept popping up. Everything from bicycle tube vending machines to competing bars with self-serve touch-screen taps.
Credit: Course Hero
If you’re still not convinced that studying abroad is worth your money, check out this TEDx talk from November with Rick Steves. While he isn’t necessarily advocating for studying abroad, his point is that spending time away from home will likely broaden your perspective and enrich your life. While I’m by no means the world traveler he is, I would have to agree; “fear is for people who don’t get out very much.”
If you’ve studied abroad or are thinking about it please let us know your thoughts below in the comments.