Have you considered studying abroad, but are not sure whether it's worth your time? If you ask anybody who has, he or she will most certainly tell you that it is a life-changing experience and one of the most rewarding things he or she has ever done. Perhaps you're not certain what benefits you can reap from an extended stay in a foreign country. Here are 15 excellent reasons why you should take the plunge

You should go to study abroad while you are young, energetic and ready for adventure! You might be in a dilemma about whether this is the perfect time to go or if you should wait a few years, perhaps till after you graduate? Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’ll have all this extra freedom after a year or even a couple of months. The same pressures that are keeping you home now will still loom over you after you graduate — what if you decide you want to go to grad school, or you find a great job? It’s best to take this opportunity to see the world before you get tied down. Plus, as a student, you’ll get many advantages that others don’t. There are plenty of programs and universities just waiting to sign you up. So, start planning ASAP!

While abroad, you can take degree and diploma courses you would never have had the opportunity to take here. In addition, study abroad gives your language skills such a boost that it is normally quite easy to add a minor in a language or even a second major without having to take many more additional courses after your return.

The purpose of taking a course is not only to learn more knowledge and skills but also to be awarded qualifications that are recognized and highly regarded internationally. While a student who attends an accredited college or university is well on his or her way to receiving a quality education, students should remember that a college or university's accreditation does automatically guarantee the courses are monitored, assessed, and evaluated for standards and quality of teaching.

Do you remember the excitement you felt starting school, when no-one knew each other? Well, everyone studying abroad is starting from scratch all over again (but this time with the comforting knowledge that your school friends are still waiting for you back home). Finding common interests with someone who grew up a world away from you is wild, and it doesn't end there! While abroad, you will meet not only locals where you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself. Depending on your program, you could find yourself eating dishes with new friends from different countries. Think of this process as preemptive international networking—the possibilities are endless!

More than ever before, we live in a globalized society, so it’s important to develop an inclusive worldview. Whether you’re studying science, engineering, business or arts, being able to think from a multi-national perspective will help you face modern challenges and come up with creative solutions. As you learn to view the world through different lenses, you’ll also learn new things about your own country and culture.

For several years, you’ll be living among locals, riding public transit, and eating national and international cuisines. The foreign becomes familiar and, sooner or later, you’ll find yourself a second home. Moving to another country is a lot of work after study. You need to find a job and a place to live, figure out your bills and complete pages on pages of paperwork before you even set foot on foreign soil. With study abroad, you get to reap all the benefits of living in another country (including superficial bragging rights), via pre-designed programs based in a familiar academic structure. Figuring out how to study abroad is easy — the toughest part is choosing what to pack and what to leave behind

Maybe your classes are taught in English, maybe not. Either way, you’re sure to pick up some of the native language. In fact, studies have shown that immersion is the #1 way to learn a new language. So, there is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis and are seeing and hearing it in the proper cultural context. Language learning happens most quickly under these circumstances. Of course, being bilingual is also a marketable skill.....

Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, appearance, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that he/she views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally can come to truly understand where other cultures are coming from. Because study abroad expands your worldview. Students who study abroad return home with an informed and much less biased perspective toward other cultures and peoples.

Study abroad is likely to be very different from anything that you are used to doing as a student. You may become familiar with an entirely new academic system and you will have the chance to take courses not offered on your home campus. It's also a great opportunity to break out of the monotony of the routine you follow semester after semester.

Studying abroad says a lot about you on your resume. Not only does it highlight an interest in other cultures, and perhaps a second language, but also your ability to adapt to a new environment. Studying abroad shows courage and an openness to different ideas. Some programs even offer internships, which means you could show employers how you succeeded in a professional environment abroad. Even by taking classes in another country, you’re promising to bring new perspectives to the company or workplace. The same holds true for graduate school applications as well.

Employers believe a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience living and studying in a foreign country, negotiating another culture, and acquiring another language will set you apart from the majority of other job applicants.

You’re in a new country, with only a suitcase and backpack. The cell service is spotty at best, and no-one knows who you are. The program staff are around to help you, but you’re more or less on your own. Feel that? It’s independence. Embrace that freedom, because your study abroad experience is up to you to write, and you’ll learn so much about yourself along the way.

Weekends and academic breaks allow you to venture out and explore your surroundings - both your immediate and more distant surroundings. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have the opportunity to visit. Some more structured programs even have field trips planned in or around the curriculum.

Each country has its own approach to education. This means that, depending on your program, the classes you take abroad could be very different to what you’re used to. Do a little research on education in your host country so you’re not caught off guard, but make sure to embrace the differences once you’re there and take advantage of the university’s particular strengths or resources during your stay.

Study abroad will give you enough stories to last a lifetime. Make sure to save some mementoes, like train tickets and photographs, and keep a record of your adventures, because you might not realize how incredible your study period was until you’re home.