Perhaps you already know that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Benjamin Franklin). But does that apply to studying abroad? Is it hard, especially during the ongoing pandemic? Let’s dive into the exciting depths of international higher education.

Studying abroad: numbers don’t lie

While studying abroad may seem frightening, do not forget that you are not alone. International studies are still quite popular among students. In fact, a survey conducted by Cialfo shows that despite the pandemic, 60% of the students, from all over the world, who were surveyed and wanted to study abroad are still planning on doing so.

This is not surprising because international higher education comes with numerous benefits. It’s not only about obtaining a diploma from a prestigious institution and increasing your career prospects. It’s about acquiring precious soft skills and establishing social connections for life. Data reported by the Institute for International Education of Students (IES) reveals that 95% of students who studied abroad felt more mature and self-confident. Moreover, 98% of respondents admitted their experiences helped them explore their own world values and cultural biases, which is crucial in our global world.

To study abroad or not to study abroad during the pandemic

While studying abroad offers a plethora of personal and career benefits, we can’t pretend that taking the leap isn’t hard. Pursuing education overseas comes with different challenges, no matter which destination you choose. From funding your studies to making new friends, it is understandable if there’s a psychological battle between your anxiety and your comfort zone. The pandemic has further imposed new challenges, such as online programmes, social distancing, and safety concerns. As a result, universities abroad are facing a decline in international applicants. This trend is particularly concerning in the UK and the US – homes to some of the most prestigious academic institutions globally – where political tensions and work restrictions add fuel to the fire.

However, despite these reservations, studying abroad remains one of the best decisions you can make. As mentioned above, the benefits of pursuing a degree abroad are countless. For example, 84% of students who studied abroad felt that their experience helped them level up their skills and tolerance and improved their chances of finding a job upon graduation. Taking a leap toward learning a new language and creating new experiences can help you build not only your professional network but friendships for life. Last but not least, studying abroad can benefit you on an individual level and teach you some everyday responsibilities. Yes, it’s time to learn how to do your own laundry!

Is studying abroad for me?

So, is studying abroad hard? Sometimes it can be. The application process can be intimidating, the tuition fees can be too high, homesickness can be overwhelming, you might have to deal with cultural shock for a while, you might face stricter Covid-19 restrictions... But hey, these are not reasons to miss out on international higher education. The hardship of studying abroad is more than worth it! After all, international higher education can broaden your horizon, help you discover yourself in new settings, allow you to become competitive in today’s global workplace, and teach you how to adapt to new environments. Even if you decide to study abroad only in the short term, this still provides an unimaginable degree of individual and educational enrichment. And picture all the beautiful places you’ll get to see!

So, is it for you? With an abundance of university courses to choose from, global institutions with high rankings and reported high student satisfaction, and EdTech tools to help educators and students adapt to the pandemic, there is one thing to do: book that ticket and GO!