Motivations for studying abroad vary, but students almost universally describe their study-abroad experiences as life-changing. It will likely be the most memorable and valuable summer, semester or year of your time at university.
As an individual, you will develop self-reliance as you learn to find your way around a new culture, a new university, a subway system, a different bureaucracy. You will recognize skills and strengths in yourself that you may not have known you had.
You will certainly grow academically. You will be able to take many courses and learn about many things that are not available here at U of M. As a Canadian student in another country, you will be surrounded by students and professors with different views of the world. You will be challenged to go beyond your familiar comfort zone and gain an international view of yourself and your own culture.
You will develop foreign language proficiency in an immersion setting at a pace much more rapid than is possible in the classroom. Perhaps you will want to know from a local what their parents thought of Stalin, or simply where the best student restaurant is in town. Through daily interaction, your knowledge of both the language and the culture will deepen. As your time abroad passes, you will blend old ideas with the new, and develop more sophisticated attitudes and beliefs. You will become an international citizen with skills in effective intercultural communication. You will be able to apply these skills in day-to-day situations at work and in school. The value of the study-abroad experience is widely recognized. It will give you an edge in employment opportunities both locally and internationally, and will be an asset to future graduate studies, as well.
Finally, the experience is an adventure. You will meet many new people, take advantage of student budget travel opportunities to visit fascinating places, try new foods, and go to a professional soccer game or an opera for the first time.
In a world of expanding global communication, and in today’s competitive job market, you simply cannot afford to miss out on study abroad opportunities!