Education outside of one’s country of origin helps get a foot in the door of the labor market. And companies highly value that their future employees study abroad. Banco Santander is one of them, with ProUni scholarships in the lead

Young people are increasingly study abroad. Leaving your home country, learning about new cultures, other ways of life and acquiring different knowledge…. this is possible thanks to a change of social mindset, the wide offer of student grants, and the ease of transportation and communication.

Four reasons to make the leap

Although some might get vertigo at first, most young people who have had the experience of studying outside their country have come back claiming that it was one of the best decisions of their life. Here are some reasons:

  1. Learning a new language. Spending some time in a country with a different language that you have to study ensures your learning. In addition, the relationship with other students in that country provides enormous value. Therefore, one of the most in-demand destinations is the United Kingdom because of the English language; Germany, as it is one of the strongest economies in the world; and France, with an essential language in European institutions.
  2. Going to a great university. Very important on a Studying for a year or pursuing a master’s degree at a prestigious university offers huge job opportunities. In many cases, some of these institutions offer scholarships of excellence that allow students to have the experience.
  3. Establish new contacts. The experience offers the opportunity to meet other students with the same interests and from all over the world. In this respect, it will be academically valuable, but above all, personally.
  4. Work abroad. Studying abroad is almost obligatory if, in the future, you want to have a job in another country. An understanding of the way a given country works is essential.

Reasons to decide

Studying abroad makes the mind open and expands the horizons of those who elect to do so. This is repeatedly affirmed by all students who have had the experience. Going abroad makes any prejudices, if previously held, disappear, helps people mature and cope with new situations, and can be seen as a real personal challenge.

Companies value very highly that their employees have gone abroad, have gotten to know new cultures, and avoided a sedentary life. For example, Alice Assis, a Brazilian student who studied Political Science at the University of Salamanca thanks to ProUni, a scholarship funded by Banco Santander in collaboration with the Brazilian Ministry of Education. In four years, Alice learned Spanish and graduated. Although, of course, it is essential, the young woman made a mark in her personal life. “When you leave your country, you’re out of your comfort zone, you learn a lot about others and learn to accept that there are different ways of thinking and behaving. That makes you grow as an individual. It has given me a much broader vision thanks to having gotten to know people from different countries and teachers of various nationalities. Experience abroad makes you look at the differences in another way, learning to accept and get to know one another,” she says.

The best countries

Language is a big factor to consider, although it is not the only one.

  • Level of its If academia is the priority, attention should be paid to the education system of the country and its training schedule.
  • Purchasing power. Living in countries like Sweden or Finland is expensive. It is not the same as going to those places to work, since the salary is proportional to the standard of living, than it is as a student. By contrast, countries like Poland or Slovenia are cheaper.
  • The weather, daylight hours… are elements to consider based on one’s preferences. Or, on the other hand, the location of the country if, once there, travel to other nearby places is desired.
  • Social relations. Although you’ll meet many people in any country, there are some that are home to excellent university cities, i.e. those that, in addition to offering a great level of education, stand out for their leisure and the number of activities which they offer. Among them, Granada, Barcelona, Salamanca, London, Berlin, Bordeaux, Bologna…

Ways of studying abroad

There are many programs and scholarships that make going abroad easier. It is very important to pay attention to the agreements between universities for the accreditation of courses. Moreover, of course, financial aid is essential.

  • Erasmus +. Is the star program and the most well-known. With more than 30 years of history, it promotes the exchange of students between Member States of the European Union. Along with its aid, there is that provided by different entities like the Santander Erasmus Scholarships program, which grants more than 2,000 scholarships, up to 3,200 euros. One of the recipients was David Barrera, Industrial Engineering student, who spent a year in “This scholarship opened a huge number of possibilities for me: new contacts, friends and cultures very different from mine, new experiences… and it helped me a lot when it came to getting into the job market with opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had.”
  • For those recent graduates who want to do an internship in other countries.
  • The selection process is very demanding. It funds those students manage to reach excellence to study a master’s degree in the United States.
  • Santander Ibero-American Scholarships. Grants more than 1,000 scholarships to study at universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Portugal.

Should I go home?

Many of those who have the experience of studying abroad decide to stay and not return to their countries. A scholarship often opens the doors to finding a job based on how students move around. And, if you haven’t been lucky, some return years later, when they’re even more prepared.

Although, of course, there are students that take advantage of their stay abroad, make the most of it and return home to put into practice everything they have learned. Alice, for example, is doing an internship at a Brazilian research center and argues that she wants to work “for Brazil”, her country.

“Today, I really want to continue getting to know every part of the world, because this has allowed me to get to know myself. The academic knowledge I have acquired has allowed me to have a broader and more critical view of society.” I dream of enacting public policies in Brazil that develop international education as a form of prosper,” she says