Sending your children to another country to study for a semester can be a difficult decision. After all, who could take care of them as well as you? But there’s really no reason to fret these days thanks to programs like AmeriStudent that allow you to participate in a targeted selection process when choosing the host family that will house your child. This gives parents the power to decide on a living situation that is safe and comfortable for their children. And there are countless opportunities to be gained when students participate in foreign exchange programs. Here are just a few good reasons why every parent should encourage their children to study abroad.
1. Learn a new language through immersion.
Whether your kids study English in school or not, a study abroad program in America can offer them the full-immersion experience. While a lot can be learned in a classroom, picking up slang, accents, dialects, and contextual meanings of language can often occur only in a real-world setting with native speakers conversing naturally. Children that join foreign exchange programs will return with a much better grasp of the language they’re studying than they would gain through classroom study alone.
2. Make lifelong friends.
Kids that participate in foreign exchange programs not only have the chance to befriend the families that host them, but they can also make fast friends through the school they attend and any activities they join during their stay (clubs, sports, etc.). And the friendships they forge during their time on foreign soil can last for a lifetime, either through ongoing correspondence, future visits, or both.
3. Experience a different educational system.
The more your kids learn, the better prepared they will be to face the challenges associated with adult life. And entering a foreign academic system can expose them to new ways of thinking and problem solving. This will not only help them when they get to the collegiate level, but it will also develop the kind of knowledge and skills that can contribute to their careers, especially if they end up working for multi-national businesses.
4. Experience a new culture and country.
Expanding one’s horizons begins with understanding that no matter how different people are, we’re all virtually the same. Study abroad programs give children the perspective to look at human issues on a global scale, as well as adopt a measure of tolerance and acceptance for different cultures. This invaluable experience will stay with them and color the course of their entire lives.
5. Add to a resume.
These days, good grades just aren’t enough to ensure admission to top schools. And students looking to compete for acceptance and scholarships to their college or university of choice could tip the scales by adding a study abroad experience to their resumes. Employers may also find such experience valuable since it leads to workers that are culturally tolerant and prepared for the challenges of a diversified workforce. In short, foreign exchange programs can help students excel in every walk of life.