5 Reasons Why You Should Really Spend a Semester Abroad as Biology Student
A semester abroad is always an enriching experience; whether to improve your foreign language skills, to become independent, or just to take a break from everyday student life at home. In this article we will show you why especially as a biology student you should consider a semester abroad.
1. Get to know the flora and fauna of another region / climate zone
To get to know and learn more about the flora and fauna of another region in this world is probably the best motivation for a biology student to spend a semester abroad. The destination of your semester abroad should definitely be determined by your personal interest in specific topics in the field of biology.
For example, if you are interested in corals, mangroves, or other marine ecosystems, you should definitely consider to spend a semester in a tropical country like Indonesia. Also everyone interested in plants and animals (especially fish) will definitely be able to learn and see something new in the tropics. Due to the weather conditions, a wide variety of plants bloom throughout the year, so it doesn’t matter whether you spend the winter or summer semester abroad.
2. Take specific subjects that are not offered at your home university
Regardless of where you study, in the first few semesters of your biology bachelor, you will usually have to take subjects such as genetics, zoology, cell biology, botany, microbiology and ecology. The further your studies progress, the more individually you can design your studies with elective courses. But often one’s interest goes beyond the offered elective modules. Since in other countries other elective modules are offered, a biology semester abroad offers you the perfect opportunity to top off your studies with lectures on your area of interest. You can take lectures that are not available at your home university and learn & experience more about a specific topic first hand.
During your semester abroad, you should not only focus on professional development, but you should also take advantage of all the opportunities you will get and do some networking. Get in touch with students from all over the world, professors of a specific area of expertise and local projects and organizations that you will visit during your semester abroad. Connect with as many people as possible, and who knows, maybe that's the first step to an internship or job abroad!
4. Cultural exchange and improvement of foreign language skills
During a semester abroad, you will get a unique chance to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are studying in. Over several months you can build friendships with the locals and learn more about their customs and traditions. Plus, doing so, you will also improve your foreign language skills. You will become more confident in speaking a language that is not your mother tongue.
5. Grow and develop your personality
In addition to all the advantages that a semester abroad offers for your professional future, it is above all very beneficial for your personal development. Get out of your comfort zone and face new challenges on a daily basis and you will see how you become a stronger, more self-confident and independent person with each day passing by!