3 Things Foreign Exchange Programs Will Teach You About Yourself

August 10, 2017

If you’re uncertain about foreign exchange programs and how they can benefit you, here are a few reasons why participating in a foreign exchange program will help you meet your academic goals to become an independent, well-rounded individual.

The prospect of studying in a different, unfamiliar country is certainly exciting, but you may feel some trepidation about spending a semester or year in an environment wholly unknown to you. While foreign exchange programs can seem daunting at first glance, if you want to get the most out of your college experience, an international education will help you learn valuable lessons about successfully navigating a strange and sometimes frightening world.

1. You’ll feel more at ease with your capabilities

Studying abroad doesn’t just happen – there is a lot of preparation involved before admittance into an international host institution. The foreign exchange program application process can teach you diligence, flexibility and self-reliance.

Here are a few hurdles you’ll have to clear before being accepted into a foreign exchange program:

Foreign language and academic requirements. Foreign exchange programs have certain requirements for acceptance since space is limited. If you do not meet the member institution standard, your odds of acceptance will be limited.

Strict deadlines. Foreign exchange programs operate on strict deadlines. You’ll have to have your application in order well before the deadline so as to ensure your odds of placement are high at your top schools. ISEP Exchange has two priority deadlines, one on September 1 and the other on February 15.

When you apply for foreign exchange programs, you are opening the door to your academic, professional and personal future. Merely gaining acceptance into a program demonstrates your vigilance and ability to navigate complex administrative channels.

2. You’ll uncover new levels of bravery

Adapting to a new culture can be scary, but your success in interacting with new people, languages and customs will help you meet hundreds of different challenges later on. Taking the plunge and engaging with new people in a different language, exploring different regions and even trying unfamiliar foods will help you overcome your unease during job interviews or other difficult social or professional situations.

3. You’ll abandon your prejudices

Mark Twain once said, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” This is just as true today as it was in the 19th century – even if we believe social media has made us all more “global.”

You might consider yourself a fairly sophisticated person, but there is a chance that you possess inaccurate preconceptions about certain countries and cultures. Even if your impressions are essentially positive, you’ll be surprised to discover how much other communities have to teach you about life, success and happiness. Living amongst people in a foreign culture will help you recognize and overcome any biases you might not have even known you’d had.

Foreign exchange programs are extremely valuable investments. Not only do they offer professional and social advantages, the opportunities for personal fulfillment are incalculable.

ISEP Exchange offers abundant opportunities for international education in a variety of environments. Whether you want to immerse yourself in language studies, learn about the history and customs of a particular region, or broaden your cultural horizons, ISEP provides students with the tools and resources to help them meet their academic and personal goals. Visit our ISEP Exchange page for more details on how to apply and search for programs.

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