Art by Caitlin Roark
With NSO ending and the fall semester about to begin, the topic of studying abroad is circling the campus again. The Return, a Pepperdine event that welcomes students back from their abroad programs, is just around the corner, so new and old students alike will get a glimpse into the lives of those who have spent a semester or more in another country.
Students should definitely take advantage of the study abroad opportunities Pepperdine has to offer. Even if a student can’t go during the year, summer programs are worth the cost and time so one can live in another country. Living and learning in another country pushes students to grow and mature in ways they wouldn’t be able to otherwise, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council in their article “The Benefits of Studying Abroad,” published Jan. 21 by MBA.com. Pepperdine’s programs allow students to experience abroad for themselves.
Pepperdine makes going abroad much easier than most universities since the international campuses are an extension of the Malibu campus. Attending one of these campuses allows students to immerse themselves in a new culture without being alone in an unfamiliar place. Professors from Seaver College accompany students to their international destinations. The abroad administration helps lessen the culture shock that the students feel by easing students into their new environment from the comfort of Pepperdine-owned locations.
With 370 international students and only 54 percent of students coming from California, many students who attend Seaver College are already studying abroad, whether they are coming from different states or different countries. These college years are an important time for self-discovery and growth, and in an increasingly global world, it is important to gain a global perspective. Not only can going abroad widen students’ horizons, it exposes them to other viewpoints they might not have otherwise encountered.
Students who go abroad also become more confident in themselves from the experience. Their time abroad “attributed … to increased maturity,” according to statistics compiled by the University of California Merced this year. Traveling to another country, far from family and familiarity, forces students to be more independent and make their own decisions.
Studying abroad also sets a job candidate apart from others in the field. In an increasingly international world, those who have taken the time to live in and understand another culture are more desirable in the job market. “Students who choose to study abroad will benefit from doing so with the foreknowledge of its significant potential to play a key role in strengthening their resumé and influencing their career path,” according to the American Institute for Foreign Study in its report, “AIFS study abroad outcomes: a view from our alumni 1990-2010,” published in 2013.
Pepperdine even has special programs that are designed for specific majors and fields of study. Summer programs such as Australia’s Film program and the Asia Business Tour provide valuable experience and allow students to make international connections. Internships are also available through the International Programs Office, so students can understand their intended career and how it operates internationally.
Whether a student decides to stay in Malibu for their sophomore year or study abroad, they will have a great educational experience. However, Pepperdine students have unique opportunities to study in six different continents over the course of the fall, spring and summer at university-owned locations. This Thursday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., go down to Alumni Park and check out the booths at The Return. Listen to the students and their stories and experiences. Whether its Shanghai, Florence, London, Heidelberg, Buenos Aires, Lausanne, DC, or the many summer destinations, each location offers an amazing adventure that is just waiting to be uncovered. Don’t let it pass by!
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