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You are contemplating beginning the journey of becoming an engineer, or perhaps you are already on route. No doubt, it will be a daunting task, and it will not be easy. Along the way, you will discover that the road to success is not straight, and you likely will not end up where you planned. However, many engineers did it before, and many will do it after. You can do it too. The journey begins at school, and choosing the right one can seem a little difficult at first. However, choosing to study abroad could be the best choice you can make; Here are 10 reasons why
1. Break the 'Antisocial' Engineering Stereotype
Engineers are often mistaken for dorm dwellers who never see the likes of day. While occasionally immersing from the hollow depths of books and arduous nights of study, engineers are often outgoing, high achievers. However, due to the intense workload, engineers are often misrepresented as antisocial and shy. However, this is not true. Engineers are often occupied with studies and so stick to a close knit of people- this is where the stereotype is derived. It is the lack of time that hinders social ability, not the personality.
Traveling and studying abroad helps to alleviate the stereotype firstly by allowing you to engage with others to better understand the new area you are studying in. When in a foreign place, everything is unfamiliar, so you will need to go out and meet people in order to know where everything is. It gives you a chance to get out and introduce yourself to people you may not have otherwise- instead of residing by your old friends. Also, being around new people will allow you to study with new colleagues and introduce yourself to new people. Although you will not get around the intense workload, you will be able to get around the stereotype and in the process make great new friends- potentially globally!
2. Increase your Network
Getting a degree is the first step towards success, but that is merely a fraction of the journey. You will discover a piece of paper will not land you a job. However, putting yourself out there and making new contacts could help you. Talking to new people abroad can help you discover contacts that could make you end up working a great position. Not only this, but employers understand traveling abroad requires greater communication skills. Therefore, employers often give preference to those that have traveled or studied abroad due to the life experience gained that could be useful in the workforce.
3. Learn a New Language
As discussed, communication is arguably the most important factor in finding a job. Being able to communicate in a new language not only allows you to find a job in a different country- thereby increasing the job opportunities- but it also shows your employer you can communicate in different ways. Speaking in different languages requires thinking with a different mindset to understand a different culture and a different way of life. Therefore, being able to speak a new language could become an indispensable attribute that can help you find the job of your dreams.
4. Solidify your Aspirations
While you may think you have a plan, it is entirely susceptible to change and alteration. It is highly unlikely that you will not end up where you originally planned by the means you planned it to work out. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Studying abroad could introduce you to a greater variety of degrees better suited to your interests that you may not have realized as an option before. You are investing a lot of money into your future. You must be absolutely certain the degree you choose is right for you. Fortunately, your studies will often be interchangeable with many different options in many different fields even after you choose a degree. In general, the first year of engineering is generic and will not specialize, allowing you to interchange accordingly. Studying abroad may present different degree options enabling you to explore what would otherwise not be available to you.
5. Achieve a Stronger Resume
It is no doubt that your resume will need to be strong in order for you to be even considered for a job. You will be competing with many other people, potentially even hundreds of others that want the same position. Therefore, you will need to set yourself apart. After all your traveling, gaining new communication skills, having a broader perspective of the world, and having new contacts will all greatly assist your persona. Studying abroad will make your resume stand out, and you will have a much greater chance of achieving success.
Without a doubt, you will face challenges wherever you go. However, choosing to study abroad could prove to give you a greater chance to reach your goal- whatever that may be. While sticking around can make you successful, studying abroad will allow you to achieve a greater network and make some fantastic friends along the way. Regardless of what you choose, over your journey you will hit some bumps and rough patches along the way- the journey will in no way be direct. However, by the time your final year passes there will be no feeling greater than the gratitude and self-achievement you will feel when you finally get handed your degree. After all, you’re an engineer, and you deserve it.
Written by Maverick Baker