The benefits of studying abroad
According to the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), studying abroad is a defining moment in a young person’s life and impacts positively on a student’s career path, worldview, and personal development.
The overwhelming majority of students who have studied internationally will tell you that their self-confidence and maturity improved, not to mention their foreign language skills.
Studying abroad is particularly important in the hospitality industry, where your career will take you to different countries, and expose you to many different languages, cultures, and people.
International study allows you to interact with people from different cultures on a daily basis, and many come away with a diverse group of lifelong friends. The only real way to understand a culture is to live among its people.
And nowhere in the world are you more likely to interact with such a vibrant mix of diverse cultures as in South Africa. As a nation that’s always changing and moving forward, it’s an exciting place to be and to study.
In recent years, South Africa has emerged as a popular destination for international students. Because of international exchange rates, and a lower cost of living than most English speaking countries, South Africa offers an affordable top quality education.
In the hospitality industry particularly, South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and The International Hotel School’s (IHS) students are constantly offered the opportunity to interact and engage with people from all over the world during their practical experience.
Studying abroad is often the first step on your path to an international career. It opens doors to professional opportunities in other countries, and gives you perspective on cultural differences such as cuisine and social customs. Many people also say it helped them gain respect for other cultures, and a better understanding and appreciation of their own culture.
And in terms of professional opportunities, international experience on your resume or CV is a must in the hospitality industry – it gives you a head start. Employers will always favour candidates who have experience conversing in foreign languages and working with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
There’s nothing like waking up in a new country – it’s exhilarating. And every mundane task suddenly becomes ‘an experience’. Whether it’s grocery shopping, a bus ride, or listening to a band at a bar, everything is an adventure.
You’ll try new foods, visit new places and meet new people. And both at IHS and in South Africa, you’ll be amazed at how welcoming people are. South Africans are genuinely interested in other cultures – half the thrill of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 was in meeting so many foreign travellers!
And conquering the language barrier isn’t as tough as you might think in South Africa. In a country with 11 official languages, you’ll find only understanding if you stumble over words or pronunciations.
Most people who want to work in the hospitality industry are ultimately interested in travelling and working abroad. So why wait until your studies are over, when you could get your diploma through IHS in South Africa? You’ll have the competitive advantage over other graduates, not to mention the life experience. You’ll learn independence and self-sufficiency, as well as flexibility, an essential quality in the hospitality industry.
Studying abroad is definitely a step out of your comfort zone, but it’s also a step in the right directions to new opportunities and horizons. At the very least, you’ll get to explore a new country and its sights.
And with so much to offer in terms of travel and tourism – beaches, game reserves, mountains, and more – South Africa is a natural choice for pursuing your dream of an international career.
To find out more about studying at The International Hotel School, visit the website.