Study Abroad: Luxury or Necessity?

Brian SchlottmannFeatured, News, Parent Info


In his article “Study abroad is necessity, not luxury” in USA Today, writer and television host Rick Steves presents a case that demonstrates the necessity for investment in study abroad programs.

His opens his article with:

Even in challenging economic times, making sure that study abroad is part of our college students’ education is a vital investment. If we want a new generation of leaders and innovators who can be effective in an ever more globalized world, sending our students overseas is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

He further states, “learning in a different culture and place allows us to see our own challenges in sharp contrast, and with more clarity, as we observe smart people in other lands dealing with similar issues.”

I have seen this to be true in our own program with Abante International Students. For example most individuals have specific patterns of developing interpersonal relationships that are so engrained within them, that they are not even aware of their existence. However, we have observed our students come to the realization that their relationship patterns do not always work within other cultures.

One Abante student relates:

“I’m from the heart of the south in the United States and it is common that when seeing someone in public we end our conversation with, ‘Lets get together soon!'”

But it’s not that way in Germany! When you say that here, they get a thoughtful look on their face and they starting asking when, where, what we will eat, and more!

They are much more literal with their choice of words!”

Abante Students & Int'l Classmates

Abante Students & Int’l Classmates

Simply being immersed within another culture and bias for an extended period of time allows our students to more clearly see their own.

Steves states, “employers crave graduates who are flexible, multilingual and comfortable in multicultural settings. Study abroad sharpens these skills and helps keep American workers competitive.” In an ever flattening world of international business, it is no surprise that skillful navigators of culture will be the ones to lead future successful organizations.

In a study of inbound college freshmen the American Council of Education reported that four out of five students entering college aspire to study abroad but only 5% ever see their dream become a reality. The top three reported roadblocks for students were:

  • Worried about cost
  • Don’t speak a foreign language well enough
  • Will take too much time from academic goals

Abante International removes all three roadblocks by offering a program that is less expensive than one year at many private colleges, providing infrastructure, training, and staff to help students with overcoming language barriers, and facilitating academics through Lee University while they travel.

Though Abante International is not solely a study-abroad program, it is an offering that provides the same experience and much more. In addition to preparing world-changers to Learn in a global community, we also focus on leadership (Lead) and faith development (Live).

To get in contact with an Abante International representative, contact us at anytime.