I have been here at Purdue for over three years and as an International student from New Delhi, India it has been an eye-opening experience. Here are some things you gain when you study abroad:
Studying anywhere other than the normal place you are habituated to operate in can be a mammoth task because it is challenging. However, studying beyond the borders of your own nation is another thing itself. You are exposed to a variety of thought processes, many of which are markedly different from your own. This compels you to think about an idea or a concept from a perspective like never before, particularly because your thoughts have been socialized to function that way. What if I were to tell you that not everyone across the world has 24 hours supply of water? Not everyone has the same definition of freedom as an American one and that the ideals individuals do not exist in countries like Bangladesh?
It might fill you with fear to think of it at first, challenging yes, but after a certain point it is going to be liberating because now you have two different lenses of viewing the same thing, you get comfortable with trying different kinds of foods, language, norms and ideas. Its this exposure that matters, this exposure that makes you more dynamic an individual
Studying abroad could generate a host of questions, questions you otherwise would never have raised about yourself. Honestly, the more the questions, the better. It lets you peel down the layers that make you up, shatter assumptions and redefine yourself. You better understand what you like, and you don't like and why? Maybe you are used to the spicy food that your mom makes at home, but your place of study (say Copenhagen) does not offer a spicy cuisine, so you accommodate to something savoury, the closest option available to what suits your taste buds and the next thing you know is that you actually like it. Now you know you like savoury food and why you like it (because it might be the closest thing available to something spicy), something you never would have known otherwise.
3. Money Management
Let's face it, one of the biggest reservations you face when you are studying abroad is cost. Not all of us have the same amount of financial resources to spend and even if we do not everyone has the will or guts to spend every time, especially if there is a transaction fee or currency exchange rate is involved, but this is exactly where you grow. Studying abroad, even for a semester can teach you when and where to control the flow of money, especially when you are on a tight budget, you learn when to buy that extra cup of coffee from Starbucks and when to not, a plus point? You know you can shop loads from Airport duty free because there is no tax, so might as well save up before you splurge.