What You Learn Outside of the Classroom When Studying Abroad

When studying abroad, the primary motivation may well be the opportunities that are presented outside of the classroom.

Of course, what you are paying for is a first-rate education, and the majority of that will have to be worked upon during your course. But it is not uncommon for graduates to value the lessons learned outside of the library throughout their life most of all.


One of the key reasons for students to travel abroad is to begin to learn or further develop a second or third language. Now obviously, by studying abroad, those people will improve their communication skills. But even if you already know the language of your destination country, your communication skills will still improve a great deal.

Language is defined by the needs of the people who use it. There are words and phrases that certain languages use that cannot be translated. What people require and the methods they use to describe it obviously vary a lot depending on the surrounding culture- the art, the rhetoric, the history and so on.

In addition, the very structure of a language may differ so much that not just the words, but the grammatical structure and historical customs of a place define how thoughts are put together. This is just one reason why learning a language can be both so difficult and rewarding.

Surrounding yourself with a group of people for whom language has different needs and requirements (even if it is the same language as yours) can open your mind to entirely different ideas and structures.

If that is difficult to understand, let us just blame the inherent restriction that language places on communication.


If you go to a new place you will simply learn new things.

But beyond learning about the culture and customs of your new home, you will as a consequence of your understanding be able to relate the things you have learned to what you already know- this can reframe your previous knowledge and reveal to you how much (or little) you understood before.

This really widens the scope of life and can reveal so many possibilities. It can allow you to appreciate certain things more, things you may have taken for granted previously. It can allow you to understand yourself better.

It is not easy to have a firm grip on who you are, and many people spend their whole lives trying to figure that out. By learning so much so early, you can really get an understanding on your aspirations, the person you are and who you could potentially become.


Understanding who you are is one thing; it is entirely another to be comfortable with that.

Embarking on any sort of course or degree will inevitably involve some coming to terms with who you are. The work, the emotional strain, the stress, it will weigh upon you. But it is all for the cause of improving who you are.

These things are fast-tracked when studying in another country. You may feel lost at times, a little homesick, a bit like you do not belong. But by knuckling down and working on not only your schoolwork but also on your personality: how you deal with challenges, how you fight against difficulties… You will become a far stronger person much faster.


One thing you may not perhaps realise that happens when you are at home is that people generally fill their lives with things of inconsequence. Not everyone, of course, but there is certainly a trend where people will allow their dreams and goals to become distracted by other vague, unnecessary things.

Everyone of course should make enough time for their family, career and aspirations, but so often a day can be filled instead with meaninglessness. For some, they may argue too long about politics, some may spend too much time on the internet and some focus on nothing, just whiling the time away.

And while that can be good for a short time, if you have set aspirations in mind, these little things can really set you back in your goals.

But when abroad (you may even notice this on your holidays), you make more time for other people, have a more structured day; you may even find your sleep schedule improves greatly just because you focus more on the now than on all the distracting nonsense.


Ultimately, you will learn what you appreciate most about where you came from. Now this may sound bad to some, but this is not to say that you will not enjoy where you plan on studying abroad.

You will just undoubtedly miss certain things about home and your new settings will simply just mean you come to appreciate those things even more.

Part of life is loss and coming to terms with that. Some who go away to study with no intention of returning will gather that burden and they will be better and more mature for it.

Others who plan on returning will be all the happier for going away as not only will they have learned and achieved all that is listed above, they get to do so while looking upon everything they have missed with newfound wonder and appreciation.

What a gift to yourself, to be able to be filled with such joy at something you have grown so accustomed to.