7 reasons to study abroad

Student smiling and holding textbook

Each year, students around the world pack their bags and travel to another country for their university studies. Studying abroad has plenty of benefits, particularly when you choose a prestigious university in the UK, but what are they?

7 reasons you should study abroad

1. New culture

One brilliant reason you should study abroad is that you gain the opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture. By studying abroad, you will experience things that are entirely different to your home country.

Living in a new place enables you to see the country’s natural wonders and iconic sights, try new foods, discover new traditions and more – there's so much to see and do.

2. See the world

Of course, while there is plenty to explore in your chosen study abroad destination, you will also have a great base for travelling. For example, travelling to France, Spain, Portugal, or Ireland is easy when studying in the UK, allowing you to enrich yourself even more.

Experiencing different parts of the world is a brilliant way to build your character and expand your mind.

Durham castle

3. Education

Many students look to study away from their own country to get an education of the highest possible quality. UK universities are particularly popular choices for international students due to their rigorous standards, excellent graduate career prospects, and consistent high world rankings.

Durham University is often picked as a study abroad destination for these reasons. Not only is the University ranked sixth in the UK by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, and 82nd in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2022, but Durham is also a member of the world-class Russell Group universities. This means that you will graduate having received an excellent education that will be recognised all around the world.

4. Develop your language skills

Another key reason to become an international student is that you will have the opportunity to learn a new language. At a UK university, you’ll be studying, speaking, writing, and being assessed in English. Alongside using the language during your studies, you will have to use it as you go about your daily life, like when you go shopping or talk to locals.

Being able to use another language, particularly one used as widely as English, can open up new opportunities in your career, and in your personal life.

Living in a country that natively speaks a different language to you is one of the best ways to develop your abilities.

At the Durham University International Study Centre, we offer an English Language Preparation programme, if you need a bit of extra help in improving your English language skills before starting your pathway programme.

5. Make new friends and find new interests

When you start your university studies, you’re going to meet so many new people. You’ll share common ground as they are in the same position as you – starting a brand new journey. The friendships you make at university can last a lifetime.

University is also a brilliant opportunity to discover new hobbies and interests. You could join a society or seek out things to do in your local area. By studying abroad you can find all kinds of opportunities that might not be available in your home country.

6. Career advantages

Alongside all the social and personal benefits studying abroad can bring you, it can also benefit you in your future career.

  • Communication skills - being able to communicate in English confidently can greatly improve your career prospects.
  • Global connections - you’ll make friends and acquaintances with people who live in the UK and abroad. Having a global professional network could be useful as your career progresses.
  • Project management - a key part of earning a degree is being able to manage lots of deadlines, and can involve organising multiple people, a skill usable throughout your career.
  • Confidence - studying abroad can really grow your confidence as you break out of your comfort zone, making you more employable.

Studying in the UK can be particularly helpful for your career. As a graduate from a UK university like Durham, you can start your career here using the Graduate Immigration Route. This post-study work visa enables you to stay in the UK for up to two years after completing your studies.

7. Become independent

You will face a unique set of challenges when you study abroad. Going to university is often the first time you will live alone and taking that step in another country can be tough. But navigating the challenges that come with newfound independence is an important part of your personal growth, and, in the end, can make you a more well-rounded adult.

Start your study abroad journey

To help ease themselves into life in the UK, students often choose to start their university journey with a pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

These programmes act as a first step towards studying at the prestigious Durham University, while you gain the confidence, academic knowledge, and English language abilities needed to succeed at the University. We also have a dedicated student support team to help you with any academic or personal concerns you have.

At the International Study Centre, you can study an undergraduate or postgraduate pathway programme in either business, science or the humanities. Once you successfully complete your programme with us, you can progress to the university.

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year is a three-term programme, taught at the International Study Centre. In this course, you will prepare to enter the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at Durham University using a blend of modules designed specifically for international students to improve their English language levels, and subject knowledge.

Pre-Masters Programme

The Pre-Masters Programme is available as either a two or three-term programme, depending on your English language level. Your course will be taught by experts and made up of specialist modules tailored to help you succeed in your Masters degree at Durham University.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to study abroad in the UK?

Before you choose to study abroad in the UK, you will need to think about the associated costs. Typically when studying abroad, you will need to pay tuition fees, accommodation costs, travel fees, as well as daily living costs.

Why do people study abroad?

There are many reasons people want to study abroad – but the most important is why do you want to study abroad? You may want to develop your language skills, explore a new culture or have an adventure. However, some people choose to study abroad because a certain country, university or higher education system are more suited to their study experience.

Why is studying abroad good?

Studying abroad is what you make it. There are plenty of benefits to studying abroad and nowadays there are even more opportunities to experience international education. Think about what you want from your study experience. Does a particular way of learning or specific facility appeal to you? Do you want to learn another language whilst studying your chosen subject? Studying abroad may also appeal to employers, as it shows a willingness to try new things.