If you are in college and are considering a 'study abroad experience,' you might be wondering about all the different options and how they might fit to your future. Many students that study abroad consider that semester away to be the best semester of their college experience. Study abroad gives you a chance to understand the world from a different perspective and is a valuable experience that can come handy for recruiting.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider studying abroad in East Asia, especially.
1. Experience rich culture and languages
East Asia region includes countries such as China, Japan, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and South Korea among others. What do these areas have in common? This dynamic region has a vast population and is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
It is an exciting area with a diverse culture and history for students to consider. You will need to take a look at each country individually and see how your personality and academic objectives fit into them (though the ability to visit neighboring countries during your time abroad is an added bonus). For example, in some countries there might be a better infrastructure and opportunities for traveling and more educational options in your field of study. So picking a particular country is an individual preference. A major consideration on whether or not you select this region or one of the countries is the language spoken there and how comfortable you are if you do not speak the language. Today many programs are taught in English, but there are advantages to programs that will immerse you in the local language. The Koreans, for example are a proud people with many different education and cultural institutes where you can enjoy once in a lifetime experience and build a better understanding of the country and culture. At first, you might find it difficult to get along with the Koreans because of the language barrier.
Thanks to the internet, you can now start to learn a new language in a few months. There are many online programs that are affordable. For example, if you are considering South Korea, you might first find it difficult to interact with people due to the language barrier. But by learning the Korean language online, you can feel more confident about communicating with local people and this in turn will make your time abroad more culturally enriching and valuable.
2. Prepare for the world market
China and many of the countries in Southeast Asia are home to many of the fastest-growing economies. This in turn, provides you with a greater opportunity to understand and participate in a global market. With the first-hand knowledge that you gather from the region, you can apply these learnings to better understand the world economy and current events.
3. Increase your chances of a better-paying job
One of the major benefits of considering a study abroad program, is that it looks good on your resume. It shows that you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone to learn new things. Also knowing about other cultures, peoples and histories gives you a better understanding of the world and how to work collaboratively in diverse environments. These are important skills that many employers look for. Studying in Japan, China and South Korea can open many doors to employers who have a presence in these areas and will make you stand out among other applicants. Employers are always looking at an applicant’s soft skill set when hiring. How do they rate on adaptability, emotional intelligence and working well with others? Study abroad is an opportunity to sharpen those skills.
The East Asian region is particularly strong in some fields such as engineering, business, manufacturing/operations, the sciences, and languages. These countries provide opportunities to experience advanced infrastructure and firms developing leading technologies, especially in Internet, AI and software, while living there.
4. It's affordable
Studying abroad is one of those things that many graduates wish they had done. Many students think that study abroad can be prohibitively expensive and are too quick to dismiss this as an option. However, upon considering them carefully, you might find that there are many affordable options when it comes to food, places to stay, transportation and other costs. Also, some of the programs might be less expensive than their comparable options in other regions such as Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. By considering a more affordable option in East Asia, students are closer to fulfilling their dream of studying abroad and having a once in a lifetime experience.
In summary, East Asia can provide you with a great alternative for studying abroad where there are quality schools offering a great education with fun and unique cultural experiences. This will give you the chance to improve your skill sets and open the door to more career opportunities. While at first it might be more difficult to communicate due to language barriers, there are many benefits in considering this region for your study abroad including a lower cost of living and strong educational options.