What would you bring back?

To consider the non-academic benefits of an education is both pleasant and practical, and a recent item in Inside Higher Ed informs that consideration: “Study Abroad Positively Impacts Personality, Study Says.” That study found that study-abroad students improved various aspects of their personalities, including “openness” and “emotional stability.”

This article made me wonder if, too, study-abroad personality development could be partly due to persevering through being in uncomfortable situations and surroundings – encountering a language barrier, for instance.

Of course this is speculation on my part, but perhaps the inherently humbling experience of being a foreigner breeds maturity by way of humility. I believe humility is a beautiful thing, and (study abroad or not) a valuable trait to a student’s character development. Translate that, if you like, to the need to be reminded “you’re not special” – or at least, “though certainly you may be a unique and valuable human being, you’re only one person in a long string of people and one student in a long string of intelligent and worthy students – and you have much to learn from others (their successes, their mistakes, their knowledge to pass along) in the past and present.”

Image via / Seemann

Also on this blog:
Can’t Study Abroad? 5 Ways to Nonetheless Feed the Travel Bug