Taking the plunge to join a summer abroad program in high school is a wonderful idea. Apart from opening your eyes to the world out there, there is a chance to develop various skills. There is a likelihood of learning a new language, culture, volunteering, work experience, new talents, and independent thinking. When back home, you can use these skills in various situations including these highlighted below.
Speak the new language
Beginning a conversation in a foreign language might not be so simple. However, when you meet people you suspect to speak that language, make an initiative to talk with them. These are likely to be very excited when you speak to them in their first language. If they are people you know, ask politely whether you can practice the language with them. The chances are high that they will welcome the idea. With time, you will find yourself getting better at the language. Speaking with a native speaker allows improving your proficiency and learning the nuances of the language.
Your choice of a foreign language is likely one you usually encounter in your social life or at the workplace. The ability to speak this language should come in handy in these circumstances. At the workplace, someone might come and struggle to get their message across. To avoid misunderstanding, offer to become an interpreter to save the day. Alternatively, it might be someone struggling to understand instructions in a foreign language. Step in and translate into the language they understand and you will surely make a great impression. You will always feel great helping others while practicing the new language.
Become an ambassador of the new culture
Cultural immersion is one of the most significant benefits of high school summer abroad programs . When back home, inspire other people to love the culture by becoming an ambassador. This might require trying as much as possible to talking about its goodness. Additionally, attend or participate in cultural galas and other functions to highlight to others the beauty of being bilingual.
Learn about other cultures too
Spending time abroad allows acknowledging that new cultures are super interesting and awesome. Therefore, never fail to use opportunities that might encourage learning about other cultures. Look out for events and other opportunities focusing on learning about other cultures and embrace them. Your effort to learn other cultures will come in handy in your professional career. It portrays your potential to work effectively in a multicultural environment.
Include your experiences in the resume
In today’s highly competitively job market, employers look for exceptional talent. Taking the plunge to study abroad in high school gives your resume more value to make you stand out. Include activities like the work experience gained and volunteering activities you did. With most employers looking for applicants with work experience, your work experience abroad will increase your chances of being hired.
Additionally, your knowledge of a second language and culture is a great asset. Corporations today are becoming globalized and hire staff from virtually anywhere. Only people with bilingual and multicultural skills can work effectively in such an environment. Human resource managers will find your knowledge of a second language a great solution to achieving the company’s objectives.
Help Your Community
Volunteering abroad is a wonderful way to improve the lives of other people in the world. This is quite a challenge and requires having exceptional discipline. When you get back, look for local volunteering opportunities at school, a local church, or at work as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program. This will allow keeping up with the spirit of helping others.
Make Independent Decisions
When abroad during a summer school exchange program, your parent or guardian is not there to decide for you. You learn to get along in a new environment without anyone’s assistance. This might require budgeting how you spend, the next step to take, and how to get along with new people in an unfamiliar environment. This comes with having an open mind and being receptive to other people’s opinions.
When you get back home, demonstrate your newfound independence. Take charge of your life and begin to decide for yourself. You can only consult the parent or guardian when stuck. While abroad, you have an opportunity to reflect on what you want to be in the future. Back home, stand your ground, and go for what you believe is best for you. This is a turning point in your career and making the decision yourself limits the chances of regretting your decision.
After pushing past your comfort zone while abroad, when back home, keep going and make the most of your new skills. Keep practicing your new language with native speakers and never hesitate to learn about other cultures. Portray your new sense of independence by deciding what you want to be in the future.