Five Lasting Benefits of Study Abroad
For many college students, the appeal of studying abroad is obvious: a chance to soak up the musical (and broader) culture of a brand-new area. (Students who head to Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain, also relish the chance to get in a little beach time during Boston winters.)
But does the joy of study abroad produce lasting results? Is the experience worth it beyond a few great photos and weekend trips to exotic locales?
For those wondering what the long-term payoff of study abroad could be, here are five ways a semester at Berklee’s Valencia campus can produce lasting positive results for students:
1. Study abroad experiences boost academic success.
It’s true: Berklee students who participate in study abroad report being highly engaged in the classes they take in Valencia due to the smaller class sizes and focused environment that allows them to dig more deeply into the subjects they love.
"I came away with a lot of experience," says student Jaedon Bonifield, who took several technology classes. "The live-sound class introduced me to a whole other part of engineering that I never knew about before. And we took what we learned in our recording and mixing class, and turned it into an actual EP that we released outside of school."
2. Living and studying abroad expands students’ views of the world.
Students who live and study in other countries gain a greater cultural perspective, often simply by absorbing and interacting with their new surroundings. “I wanted a change of pace from my regular routine, and I got it,” says student Melissa Wasserman. “[Study abroad] pushed me to go out of my comfort zone, whether it was through performing or traveling or meeting new people. It really broadened my whole Berklee experience.”
3. Employers are interested in graduates who have studied abroad.
More than half of company executives and 47 percent of hiring managers say they would be more likely to hire a recent graduate that has studied abroad, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Berklee Online student Johnny O’Hagan credits his Berklee Valencia experience with helping him land a great job as an assistant sound engineer just two weeks after he arrived back home in San Diego.
4. Study abroad fosters new and valuable connections.
“I did a little performing [in Boston] but it wasn’t until I got to Valencia that I met all my band members,” says Nathalie Hernandez B.M. ‘18. “And we got to collaborate with a ton of [Berklee] master’s students there. Everyone was so genuinely supportive of each other.”
5. Valencia itself—and Berklee's campus—offers a unique way to study and live.
“I loved it there,” says student Greg Valencia. “The teachers for the music technology program are just top-notch: teachers who work with Rihanna and Ariana Grande on their sessions. It’s so much more laid-back than Boston, but still energetic. And the weather’s beautiful."
To learn more about Berklee Valencia or apply, visit valencia.berklee.edu.