If you’re in high school and curious about the fascinating stories your friends or classmates tell you about their vacations or experiences studying abroad, then remember: you can do it, too! It may seem that your daily life is busy enough with school, hobbies, and even working a part-time job. Still, you should consider travelling as an opportunity to learn about the world and yourself.
When you are young, you’re on the road of self-discovery, and taking advantage of study programs in Ontario or abroad is great preparation for your post-secondary education and career. Besides creating great memories and learning about the world, let’s take a look at 8 ways travelling while in high school can help you prepare for your post-secondary education.
Build your self-confidence
Travelling solo to another country might seem scary at first, but if you’re going to study abroad, this gives you a chance to be on your own and build your self-confidence. For instance, many students who graduate from high school may feel a sense of confusion as to what courses to take in college or university.
By taking a gap year to travel and study abroad, or to even do a summer course abroad, your education is no longer coming from just books, but from real-world experiences. By going through your set of real-world experiences, you boost your self-confidence naturally because you can say to yourself, “I experienced that on my own, and learned a valuable lesson.”
Sharpen your learning skills
Travelling anywhere always keeps you on your toes. Even if you take a weekend trip to another province or city, you’ll be curious about your surroundings, and your awareness is heightened. Indeed, travelling abroad is a great investment to sharpen your learning skills and improve your academic performance in post-secondary education because of all the new things you will enjoy learning about.
Having exposure to the real-life issues that others experience daily helps you become more compassionate towards others. It also makes you compassionate towards yourself. For example, if you’ve been hard on yourself for little things like not getting straight A’s or looking a certain way, when you see what other people go through in different countries, it allows you to prioritize what is important in your life and be less self-critical.
International travel provides you with an advantage in the professional world by allowing you to expand your global network of references and contacts, and make new friends. Meeting other people in different countries with similar educational, self-growth, and career goals is like killing two birds with one stone, as you’ll be travelling the world and adding valuable contacts to your network at the same time while making international friendships.
Travelling with a group of like-minded individuals that you have never met has similar benefits. Global Summers Academy programs have students from many different cities, provinces, and even countries.
Step outside of your comfort zone
Most high school students live a pretty set lifestyle that involves a steady routine. Travelling is quite the opposite of this lifestyle, and takes you out of your comfort zone. In your daily routines, you can predict what you’ll say or what you’ll do with the people you encounter. However, when you travel or study abroad, you’re no longer in your natural environment, and you’ll face unfamiliar situations where you’ll have to force yourself to learn how to adapt.
At first, it can be scary and uncomfortable. However, when you learn to navigate through unfamiliar territory, you become smarter and more adaptable to different surroundings.
Living in one city or one country all your life, you only have a certain awareness of your own culture. When you travel outside of your country and study abroad, however, that awareness of how other people live in different cultures forces you to see the world differently. For instance, what we value in North America may not be as valued in Asia, Europe, or South America. Having new experiences in a different country or culture challenges you to open your mind and gain a new perspective on life.
Develop cultural sensitivity
Before travelling or studying abroad, think about how many times you may have stereotyped people from different countries and cultures. As you travel or stay in a different culture, those stereotypes are challenged when your experiences don’t conform to your presumptions. This is the process of becoming culturally sensitive. Challenging your preconceived ideas and values can bring cultural awareness and help you understand other people on a broader scale while comprehending the international issues that many countries face.
Embrace self-growth and independence
While away from home, you can embrace being independent. You won’t have your safety net such as your parents, teachers, and friends. It might be scary at first, but being independent shows you that you are capable of accomplishing things on your own without help. Succeeding in making your own decisions while travelling leads to self-growth and self-development. Without help from your parents and friends, making independent decisions can impact your educational and career goals for the better.
Now that you know the great benefits of travelling while in high school, here’s a recap:
- Build self-confidence. Travelling and studying abroad gives you real-life experiences that naturally boost your self-confidence.
- Sharpen learning skills. Travelling abroad is a great investment in sharpening your learning skills.
- Develop compassion. Seeing what others experience in different cultures allows you to be less critical of yourself and practice compassion with others and yourself.
- Networking. Travelling and studying abroad allows you to add different contacts and references to your global network.
- Step outside of your comfort zone. Travelling or studying abroad forces you out of your comfort zone. You will face unfamiliar situations where you’ll have to learn to adapt to different surroundings.
- Gain perspective. When you travel or study abroad, you’re forced to question your preconceived ideas and gain a different perspective because you see the world differently.
- Develop cultural sensitivity. Challenging your preconceived ideas about certain cultures while travelling or studying abroad broadens your cultural sensitivity, and helps you understand their values and issues they may face.
- Embrace self-growth and independence. Travelling or studying abroad allows you to be independent because you won’t have your parents or friends with you for help. Being independent opens opportunities for self-growth, and improves decision-making when it comes to your career and educational goals.
At Global Summers Academy, we are a team of educators and travel providers who specialize in student travel. We have worked with international students from all around the world, and have witnessed firsthand the benefits international study can do for students before entering college. To learn more about our study abroad programs in Ontario, call us at 1-844-357-2621 or contact us here.