Why study abroad?

Studying abroad allows you to explore your academic degree from a completely different perspective while gaining invaluable skills that will enhance your future employability and personal development.

Enriched academic experience 

The year abroad is designed to give you the opportunity to explore your degree from a completely new perspective and build on your learning experience by taking modules outside of your degree too.

See our Study Abroad options page for more information on our traditional as well as Horizon year abroad and how they are assessed.

Students wearing green gowns stand for a photo on steps


Enhance your employability

More and more employers are seeking out ‘global graduates’, culturally aware and experienced employees who can work effectively in an increasingly global workplace. Studying abroad will equip you with those key skills employers value, such as intercultural awareness, communication skills and knowledge of other countries which will give you the confidence to engage with clients or colleagues across the globe and from different cultures.

By completing the year abroad, your degree will be changed to recognise your international experience which will make you stand out in the job market.

Read more about the benefits of studying abroad and enhancing your employability skills:

Gain invaluable personal experience

Studying abroad allows you to become more self-confident by pushing you out of your comfort zone, giving you the opportunity to adapt to a new country and ways of life, and encouraging you find creative solutions to new challenges.

It is a wonderful opportunity through which you will gain an understanding of a different culture while discovering more about yourself and developing invaluable life skills, which will make you grow as a person.

Read this article written by QS Top Universities giving you 25 reasons why you should study abroad or find out more about our students’ experiences abroad on our LeedsUniAbroad blog.

Two people stand with their arms outstretched on top of rocks overlooking a forest and water


Hugo Rogers, Leeds Study Abroad student at York University : " During my year abroad in Toronto I immersed myself in a new culture and built lasting friendships with people from all over the world. Frequent trips allowed us to explore the surrounding countryside, including Niagara Falls and Algonquin national park (seen in the previous image) and experience American cities such as New York and Chicago. Although moving to another continent on my own was daunting at first, it has taught me many life lessons and filled me with the confidence to step outside my comfort zone in the future. It has been both a rewarding and remarkable year and I will never forget walking through the snowy streets of New York at Christmas time."                 

Experience a different culture

One of the biggest advantages of studying abroad for many international students is the chance to become immersed in a totally different environment. This enriching experience will enable you to see and do things you wouldn’t expect, and meet people who have grown up in a different culture. For instance, while living abroad you’ll be able to try new foods, hear traditional music, have a go at local activities and explore everything else your host culture has to offer. It’s also fascinating to learn to see your own culture through the eyes of somebody else’s – you can learn a lot about yourself and your home country this way!

Learn a new language

One huge benefit of studying abroad is the chance to learn a new language. Learning a language can be a real challenge, but there is nothing quite like living somewhere where that language is spoken natively. It really helps! You can find out how to demonstrate and improve your language skills prior to departure on our Languages webpage.

Develop career opportunities

Of course, the main reason for getting a degree in the first place is to improve your career prospects. In a globalised, well-connected world, employers increasingly value graduates with international experience and education. Studying abroad helps you to learn new languages, appreciate other cultures, overcome challenges of living in another country and gain a greater understanding of the world. These are all things that modern businesses look for when hiring, and such traits will only become more important in the future. Find out more about the career benefits of having international experience and read about how former Leeds student Evan kickstarted their global career following their year abroad here on our LeedsUniAbroad blog.

Make new friends

No matter where you go to university, you’re sure to meet lots of new people and make new friends who are all in the same position as you. When you study abroad, you have a unique opportunity to make friends with people from all kinds of different cultures, and learn about other countries and customs. Many lifelong friendships start at university, and you’ll be able to live, learn and travel together during your studies. It can also be hugely beneficial to know people in different countries around the world – especially after you graduate!

Travel internationally

As well as experiencing the culture of your study destination, you will also be able to travel to other nearby countries. For example, if you go to a European university, you can easily catch flights across the continent to see Paris, Rome, Barcelona and many more fascinating places. Studying abroad is therefore a unique opportunity to see more of the world, which is itself a hugely rewarding educational experience. There is no doubt that seeing other parts of the world will greatly affect your character and worldview, and help you prepare for life in a global world.

Gain true independence

It’s often said that going to university is when you become truly independent from your parents and family. This is especially true when you go to university in another country!

Bringing us full circle, becoming independent is itself a challenge. But living and studying in another country will help shape you into an independent and adventurous adult, ready to succeed in your future career.