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Why Study Abroad?

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3 Yale Students in the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain

Many experiences at Yale can have a significant impact on you academically and personally. As you consider how to make the most of your time here, we encourage you to do something that may initially seem counter-intuitive: leave. Study abroad!

Yale's Mission Statement declares the commitment to improving the world and educating aspiring leaders worldwide. We invite you to participate in the mission through your own study abroad experience.

Question:Why Not?

The most common reasons why students choose not to study abroad are:

  • Financial concerns
  • Uncertainty about staying on track academically 
  • Fear of missing out/being away from family and friends 

If you consider any of these reasons to be a barrier, meet with a study abroad adviser to discuss finding the right study abroad opportunity for you or connect with other Yalies to learn about their experiences.


The benefits of studying abroad are innumerable and are often tied to the goals each student sets personally. Below is a sampling of common benefits for Yale students who study abroad.   

  • Earn credit towards graduation
  • Use financial aid/scholarships 
  • Enhance foreign language and/or intercultural communication skills
  • Gain new cultural insights 
  • Foster your intellectual growth
  • Strengthen your candidacy for internships, fellowships, and beyond


Students gain valuable skills and competencies—along with the benefits—from studying abroad.

Yale students who study abroad demonstrate an increase in: 

  • Resilience
  • Independence
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Persistence
  • Ability to Collaborate
  • Broader Perspective
  • Patience
  • Confidence
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Desire to Build upon the Experience
  • Sense of Community

Notably, Yale students who study abroad show a decrease in:

  • Fear of Making Mistakes

Point:Learn More

Quote:Now that I'm back on campus, I feel more engaged, happy and reflective than I did during any of my previous five semesters at Yale! Going abroad helped me gain perspective on my values. – Emmet Hedin, Pierson College, Class of 2017