Why study abroad? Improve your problem solving skills!

When you study abroad you live day-to-day in a new environment. Even if you find yourself in a country where the predominately used language is one you know, it can still be challenging to navigate a new society.

As a student studying abroad, you will likely find yourself in a difficult situation or two. These situations could be anything from taking public transportation to class to effectively navigating campus. Problems WILL arise, but how you deal with them while abroad matters greatly. A study abroad experience is a great opportunity for you to improve your problem solving skills!

Perhaps a professor has asked the class to meet at a specific subway station by a certain time on the weekend. Maybe you’ve never taken public transportation anywhere aside from campus and your residence, but now you are thrust in a situation where you have to figure out how to make it to a new location on your own. Figuring out how to get where you need to go in this new environment is problem solving!

Another possible problem to solve abroad could be figuring out how to get the textbooks you need for your classes. Not every school has its own campus bookstore, and online ordering can be difficult. Figuring out ways to gain access to course textbooks and resources is an essential problem-solving skill for any student. You may have to create an online shopping account at a local retailer, or coordinate a trip to a bookstore in town to get what you need.

No matter what challenges you face, you can overcome them. When you get back from your study abroad program, make sure you add ‘problem solving skills’ to your resume!

By Raven Showalter
Raven Showalter Assistant Director of Global Engagement