Students could benefit from studying abroad


Instead of getting a Presto card, get a passport.

With Canada being one of the most culturally diverse nations, students can benefit from taking their school studies abroad.

“Canada and the GTA is becoming international,” said Sheridan’s International Student Centre manager Mike Emery. “Canadian students live in a multi-cultural society.”

There are many benefits for students studying abroad, from educational, professional and personal standpoints, Emery said.

Emery, who studied English and Literature, decided to pursue his current career after going to China.

Julie Benoit who will be learning for six months in Germany, Spain and China hopes to gain invaluable skills she can use while studying travel and tourism in college.

“I decided to study abroad to learn different languages for my future,” said the recent École Secondaire Catholique Champlain graduate from Sudbury.

But, eventually you’ll find yourself looking for a job.

Studies have shown having abroad experience on your resume will greatly increase your chance of obtaining a job.

“Abroad students bring a level of experience and a maturity to the job,” said human resources executive Annabelle Townsend.

She adds that time spent overseas attributes to the maturity that most employers are seeking.

It can also be a life-changing event for many.

“I feel that I have changed my personality. I am a lot more open, spontaneous, and free. You have to be,” said Miranda Brant, a U of T student who is studying at Lumière Université Lyon in France, via Skype.

“When I came to France, I was anonymous, nobody knew me and I didn’t know anyone. So I felt like I had the opportunity to reinvent myself. Back home, people consider me as the shy, timid one, who doesn’t take many risks, who doesn’t go out much, and who studies a lot. If only they could see me now.”

Though Brant has reinvented herself and loving every minute, she has faced some challenges.

“We are all going through the same thing here in France, so they are the only ones who can really relate to you,” said Brant.

Brant is living in a private residence with other international students, some Canadian.

Financing is a huge roadblock for many students who want to learn abroad.

Benoit has been expected to pay $18,000, which includes her study, insurance and meals.

A sum of that money goes to the three host families Benoit will be staying with.

Nowhere are flights included, which for Benoit will cost $2,000.

“I can’t afford it because being a student is expensive enough as it is,” said Charlotte Winokur a second year Makeup for Media and Creative arts student.

Winokur also pointed out she hasn’t seen any opportunities within the college.

“I encourage people to talk to their professors,” said Emery.

Many programs within the college offer abroad opportunities for their students, he said.

Organizations outside of Sheridan offer study abroad programs open to all students.

MEI international is one of many organizations that host abroad programs for students. They will be hosting an information session Jan. 24 at the Oakville Public Library.