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Why study abroad?

Spending time abroad is an amazing experience that will help you grow and learn about another country and culture as well as about yourself.

Studying abroad supports the development of academic, professional and life skills that set you up for future success in an increasingly globalised age. Increased flexibility and openness to difference can help you become a better learner, more confident job seeker, and more successful employee who can take on challenges that require you to leave your comfort zone

Students who Study Abroad tend to be self-motivated, independent, and willing to embrace challenges.  Spending time in a different culture helps you develop the ability to see situations from different points of view and manage a range of challenges. By going through the process of preparing to study abroad then adjusting to a new way of doing things, you’ll develop and demonstrate time management, organisational and intercultural communication skills important in future academic pursuits and in the workplace.


St Mary’s students who have studied abroad report that one benefit is being able to talk about the experience during interviews for jobs and internships. With less than 2% of students in the UK studying abroad, you will certainly stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive advantage.

A number of reports and research show correlation between students who have studied abroad and employment post-graduation. A study conducted by the UK Higher Education International Unit’s Go International programme found six months after graduation:

  • A lower proportion of graduates who had been mobile were unemployed.
  • A higher proportion of graduates who had been mobile were in more senior roles.
  • The average salary for graduates who had been mobile was higher if they were working in the UK.
  • A higher proportion of graduates who had been mobile were employed in sectors relating to 'Professional, scientific and technical activities'; 'Information and communication'; 'Education'; 'Manufacturing'; and 'Financial and insurance activities'.
  • A higher proportion of graduates who had been mobile were working abroad.

Read the full report

Academic benefits

Studying abroad brings a new perspective to your learning and the opportunity to study modules and topics that help you gain a fresh outlook to your studies. Learning about your subject from a different point of view can add depth to future projects and coursework.

According to the report by the UK Higher Education International Unit of the graduating cohort of 2012/13, a higher proportion of students who studied abroad achieved a First or a 2:1 than their peers who did not study abroad. Whilst it’s difficult to prove that this is solely down to the Study Abroad experience it highlights an interesting trend.

Read the full report

Personal benefits

The impact of studying abroad is felt in greater self-confidence, independence, responsibility, open-mindedness and resilience. It increases intercultural competence, which is the ability to operate successfully in cultures and contexts that are fundamentally different from one’s own. Students who have studied abroad will tell you that they gained many new friends, met people from all over the world, and began establishing networks and networking skills that may open up future opportunities.

The Study Abroad experience allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture in order to become a truly global citizen. You’ll have the chance to travel and see more of your host country and possibly visit other places in the region.

After your Study Abroad experience

St Mary’s supports you while you’re away as well as when you return to the UK. We encourage you to reflect on your time abroad and share your experiences with other students. We offer employability workshops to help you feature your international experience in cover letters and CVs, as well as articulate your newly-acquired skills in interviews.

Opportunities are also available for returned Study Abroad participants to promote outward mobility and welcome international students to St Mary’s!