Those who move to foreign lands have a stronger sense of self, recent studies from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) show. 

Lynn’s Center for Learning Abroad (CLA) has closely followed the benefits associated with traveling and expanded its program accordingly.  Whether sending outgoing or introverted folks across the world, they have seen how these journeys can transform individuals.

“I’ve had a strong sense of self since my youth, but studying abroad has definitely affected some of those ideas,” said Alex Gharabegian, a senior who studied abroad in London. “Going abroad and meeting new people made me rethink how I view the world and which values I hold close to my heart.”

Self enhancement and personal growth are the largest beneficial areas for most students who go abroad per the AAAS study. While traveling and being forced out of one’s own comfort zone, students may explore themselves in ways differing from their current lives in the U.S. In most cases, the journey overseas allows individuals to gain experience in unfamiliar environments, further clarifying their ultimate aspirations post-graduation. 

Traveling abroad gives students the chance to find themselves while also gaining a stronger grasp on another culture. For many, the ability to pause their everyday lives and take in their surroundings makes all the difference. 

“Studying abroad opens your mind to new ideas and helps you to perceive the world differently,” said Tate Bailey, study abroad advisor. “You make lasting friendships and lifelong connections along the way, and you get to see places that some people only dream of.”

Due to the wide variety of benefits associated with studying abroad, the experience truly can be unique for each individual.  These trips lend a helping hand to those from all backgrounds.

Not only does studying abroad allow individuals to know themselves better, but it also provides a fresh perspective on international life, as the study suggests.  Those interested in studying abroad may visit the CLA on the second floor of the Christine E. Lynn University Center for more information.

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