Studying abroad is usually a defining moment in a young person’s life and continues to impact the participant’s life for years after the experience, according to a survey of 3,400 alumni of study-abroad programs between 1950 and 1999 run by the International Education of Students (IES). 

Big surprise? Probably not. 

But it is interesting to note that in what areas participants in study-abroad programs said they experienced the biggest impact. No. 1 was in personal development (self-confidence, maturity and worldview), followed closely by intercultural development (understanding one’s own cultural biases, or making friends from other cultures). Slightly less of an impact was on an individual’s academic commitment. Coming in dead last was the experience’s relation to the participants’ ultimate career paths. 

The study was described as the first large-scale survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on a student’s personal, professional and academic life. IES says it is a national academic consortium with over 155 member colleges that has provided students with study-abroad experiences for more than five decades.

In What Ways Did Study Abroad Benefit?

Personal Development 

Source: International Education of Students

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