The World is Your Classroom
Why Study Abroad?
The College of Arts and Sciences encourages students in all of its undergraduate majors to study abroad. Study abroad is a crucial part of a well-rounded undergraduate education; take it from some important figures:
“The benefits of study abroad are almost endless. First of all, it's going to make you much more marketable here in the United States, because more and more companies are realizing that they need people with experiences around the world, who can speak different languages, who can transition easily into other cultures and people who bring to their jobs a sensibility and a sensitivity for other people. It will also make you more compassionate. We could always use more compassionate, young leaders out there in the world, people who are willing to step outside their comfort zones and be open to wiping away misconceptions. Especially for U.S. students, it's very hard to stay in your comfort zone when you're living in another country. When you're struggling with a language, new foods, learning directions, being forced to make friends and do things that you wouldn't normally do, that's going to set you up for a lifetime of value. It's going to make you a better parent. It's going to make you a better human being.” - First Lady Michelle Obama
[I]t is important for American students to learn other languages, experience foreign cultures, and develop a broad understanding of global issues." - Colin Powell
To Become a "Global Citizen" in Today's Interconnected World
Now, more than ever, our world is interconnected. To be successful—personally, intellectually, and professionally—you must become a "global citizen," skilled at interacting in and between multiple cultures and capable of analyzing issues on a global level.
As Colin Powell's statement above suggests, getting an international education—in other words, studying abroad—is one of the best ways for students to build global competence.
The experience can help you:
Develop new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.
Study abroad lets you study a variety of subjects in more depth and from different cultural perspectives. Outside the classroom, your personal education is enhanced through daily interactions in the foreign culture with host families or housemates and others in the community.
Achieve proficiency in a foreign language.
While you can learn grammar and vocabulary at UNO, it is impossible to become truly proficient in a foreign language without using it in a real-world setting. A non-English-speaking country is the ultimate "language classroom."
Experience personal growth.
Study abroad is a challenging adventure, academically and personally. Students who return from abroad consistently report that they developed a greater sense of independence and confidence in their capabilities.
Develop valuable career skills.
Students who study abroad often develop career skills that make them especially marketable, including:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Independence and self confidence
- Teamwork and communication
- Motivation and leadership
- Flexibility and adaptability
- An expanded world view and multicultural perspective
To Take Part in a Life-Changing Experience
With proper planning and preparation, the study abroad experience can truly be life-changing. Nationwide, students who have studied abroad consistently count their international experience as one of the best parts of their college careers. They report that they not only advanced academically but also acquired a renewed sense of intellectual energy and focus, as well as a more sophisticated view of the world around them.
In all, for those students who undertake the challenge, living and studying abroad is one of the most exciting and enriching opportunities available at UNO.