This figure includes students from other EU Member countries and outside the EU.
Of course, the pandemic significantly decreased the number of students going abroad. But now that the travel industry has recovered and flights have few to no restrictions, students are again looking at the benefits of traveling as part of their education.
If you’re a student who wants to travel abroad, continue reading to learn about some of the top benefits of participating in an exchange program.
Increase your employability
Studying abroad can help increase your employability, especially if you want to work at a big corporation with offices in different countries. Being able to work with teams across different cultures is a significant bonus for you to have.
Traveling and going on an exchange program also shows you embrace diversity, which is of growing importance for businesses.
Plus, you’ll need to improve your communication skills when you live in a country where they do not speak your first language. Employers love to see strong communication skills.
If you speak a second or third language, you’ll increase your employability even more. Many job openings these days request someone bilingual.
Finally, experience living in another country shows you are willing to take risks and accept challenges. You can also adapt to tricky situations or different environments. Adaptability is a vital employment skill, particularly when working in teams.
While these are just a few of the excellent qualities you build on an exchange program that employers look for, there are plenty more to explore.
Build a global network
While you will get to see the world and explore a new place when you study abroad, you will also have the opportunity to grow your network. Building relationships while young is beneficial for your professional and personal life.
Your global network could one day land you your dream job. You never know when someone in your circle will have a position open to fill that you’re just perfect for. Not to mention, if you want to live or work abroad when you’re older, you’ll already have connections from your study abroad days.
Global connections create exponentially more opportunities for you in the future, no matter what direction your life goes.
Your international network could also open up your life to spontaneous travel and unique memories that will last a lifetime.
Imagine receiving birthday messages for two days (and in various languages) while your friends around the world wish you in their respective time zones. This is precisely what happens when you have worldwide friends. How fun!
Learn to be independent
Going to university is the time when young adults learn about independence and responsibility. It can be scary to start living on your own, but it’s definitely exciting too.
When you participate in an exchange program, you take your independence to a whole new level. You have no option but to be self-sufficient as an expat. Even simple tasks like going to the grocery store will be unfamiliar as you navigate a new environment, people, language, and culture.
Learning to be independent aids your personal growth. But it can also prove helpful in your career. Your independence will increase your confidence, allowing you to take on more complicated assignments at work. Employers prefer employees who are confident in their abilities and skills.
Living in unfamiliar situations prepares you to handle just about anything thrown your way later in life.
How to financially prepare for your study exchange program
When studying abroad, you need to consider your finances. First, how will you pay for your tuition and living expenses if you learn at a school more expensive than your home institution? Sometimes getting the best education abroad can be costly.
Thus, you may need to create a budget and start saving money months or even years in advance if you want to participate in a study exchange. It’s best to learn how to save money before you start your bachelor's degree, so you can make your study abroad dreams come true when the time arrives.
But there’s a second financial aspect to consider that occurs once you begin your program. That is, how will you safely access your money while on your foreign exchange program?
Having a bunq account is how! It’s a secure digital bank with features like:
- Local IBANs and multiple currencies available
- 3D Secure payments
- A worldwide Mastercard that saves you 3% on non-euro payments
Sacred of getting your card stuck in an ATM machine, or pickpocketing? You can also opt for virtual cards, Apple Pay or Google Pay. Your money isn’t something you’ll have to stress about while on your exchange program.
The Easy Money subscription is the most popular for students. It will allow you to bank like a local across the European continent.
Ready to study abroad?
Undoubtedly, participating in a study exchange program comes with a long list of benefits. While we discussed some of them here, there are many more you can explore and experience for yourself.
To prepare yourself financially for the best international student experience when you study abroad, sign up for a bunq account now. With our fully mobile banking app, you can spend worry-free with up to sixteen different currencies.