Forget France or Spain – there are even more far-flung places where you can study abroad that will enrich your education, enhance your global understanding and even further your career options.

While studying abroad in Europe may first come to mind, going to study abroad in Asia (like China, South Korea, Singapore or even Thailand!) will stand out on a college transcript and future job applications. Plus, it’s more accessible than you may think.

Don’t believe us? Here’s why you should study abroad in Asia:

1.  You can afford it

No really, you can.  One of the most common misconceptions about studying abroad is that it is always expensive. What some students don’t realize is that it is often possible to study abroad for a semester – travel expenses included – for less than what they would pay to study at their home institution. What’s more, the surprisingly affordable cost of living in some Asian countries makes destinations like China and Thailand great choices for the financially-minded.

Visiting the Great Wall with TEAN | Photo by Nathan Robertson, University of Oklahoma

2.  It will redefine your concept of A “comfort zone”

People are always telling you to get outside of your comfort zone, right? Studying abroad in Asia takes this principle to a whole new level in the best way possible. Foreign cultures, different languages, intriguing new foods, and exciting destinations will turn your world on its head – and what’s more exciting than that? Now is the time to see the world and open your mind to the wonders of foreign cultures. Challenge yourself – you’ll be better for it in the end.

Thailand students step out of their comfort zones during the TEAN Orientation

3. There is no better way to learn a language

When you study abroad in Asia, your classes will be taught in English…but what about the time that you spend outside of the classroom? One of the greatest benefits to studying abroad in an Asian country is the full-immersion language experience. Want to learn Mandarin – the most widely spoken language in the world – or brush up on your speaking skills in a native environment? You will have the opportunity to learn with our leading language parter UVA while in Shanghai. Thinking of picking up some Thai? Students at Chiang Mai University take language courses from native speaking instructors as part of their program.

4.  You’re going to want to land a great job some day

Someday soon, you’re going to have a degree in hand. A degree that says “Congratulations, you’re a college graduate. Now go out and land your dream job. Or any job, really – just please contribute to society.” Some of your peers might balk at this dose of reality. Not you, though. You’re going to be excited and confident as you submit your resume to employers because you spent a semester studying international business at one of China’s top universities. Or you got an insight into ancient Asian holistic health and wellness practices firsthand as part of your summer program in Thailand. Or you interned as a tech analyst in Seoul. Or you perfected your Mandarin during your semester in Shanghai, and you’re the perfect fit for the company’s new China division. You get the picture.

TEAN Thailand students meeting with local NGOs

5.  You’ll see more of the world for less $$

You have lots of decisions to make when it comes to choosing where to study abroad. One consideration that you should absolutely take into account while making these decisions is travel – how much of the world do you plan to see while you’re abroad? Asian countries are uniquely suited for student travel, as they provide access to many affordable destinations.  TEAN Asia program participants have traveled to a wide number of places including Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and more.While it’s relatively easy to hop on over to Europe, making the trek to Asia takes longer which is why staying for an entire summer or semester makes even more sense.

Photo from a trip to Cambodia by Grace Farley, College of Charleston who studied abroad in Singapore

So, are you ready to go??

Originally published September, 2013. Updated April, 2019.

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