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The global classroom

For some, studying abroad is a life-changing experience – for others it’s also an extra edge when applying for a job.

Drew Binsky is busy when I catch him on the phone, Washington, DC’s bustling traffic singing in the background. The 26-year-old American started his day by shooting a video for his travel blog and is now on the way to meet up with some of his online followers. He’s living his dream and it all started six years ago studying abroad for five months in Prague, Czech Republic.
“Studying abroad changed my life,” is one of the first things he tells me. The phrase often sounds like a cliché, but rings true in his case.

Since his first time overseas he has visited 133 countries and traveling has become his full-time job.
“I was nervous and excited. It was my first time going overseas and I didn’t know anybody,” Binsky says.

He chose Prague for its central location in Europe, making weekend visits to other countries easy. On top of that, a friend of his told him the city was cheap and had great nightlife.
“It enhanced my personality. The life-changing part of it was making me more open to meeting other people, cuisines, cultures and experiences. All very valuable lessons when you’re 20 years old,” Binsky says.

And if you’re lucky, while hopefully having the time of your life, studying abroad may also end up giving you an edge when entering the job market.
“Some studies show that applicants who have studied abroad get a leg-up and in some cases a higher starting salary,” says Cecilie Bech Lindgren, advisor at the Danish organization EDU, which helps students go abroad.

For Scandinavian students, the benefits of writing and practicing another language on a daily basis is also immense.
“You learn English in a different way when you speak it 24/7 and write academic pieces. It gives you a unique profile,” Lindgren adds.
She also recommends starting the process in good time and researching the school and country.
“We’ve had students who were surprised Melbourne isn’t warm all year round,” Lindgren says.

Drew Binsky has one final piece of advice if you’re still struggling to make up your mind.
“Just go! You won’t have any regrets. And if you do, call me and I’ll tell you, you’re wrong,” he says, laughing.

 

Last edited: July 27, 2018

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