What gives international students the competitive edge?

03 May 2017
An international student in the library

Benefits to studying abroad as an international student  

Why should you study abroad? Cultural immersion, language skills, invaluable experiences and excellent education are the usual responses. But the real benefit of being an international student is the competitive advantage it brings. Studying at Bellerbys is an attractive addition to CVs that helps graduates stand out from the crowd.

Language skills

International students are are often bilingual or multilingual.

They may come from a country that speaks a completely different language with an alphabet that does not remotely resemble the Latin alphabet. Yet they choose to move to a country to study in a language they have been learning for only five years or so, while competing with domestic students. Only those with a flair for languages can succeed. They also tend to have excellent writing skills, because they master the fundamental grammatical structures of a language that native speakers sometimes ignore. In a globalising world, superb language skills increases the employability of international students and this is one of the main reasons to study abroad.

Independence and self-motivation

Independence and self-motivation are highly desirable qualities, which gives International students a competitive edge.

Living alone in a foreign country is not easy. Homesickness can’t be cured by a short train or car journey when your family is four time zones away. International students learn to be independent which is a top advantage of studying abroad. They have to learn to take good care of themselves, make decisions, deal with unfamiliar situations on their own. International students are often highly self-motivated too. Without family nearby to keep a close eye on them they have absolute freedom, yet must build self discipline so as not stray from the path they have chosen. 


International students are flexible and adaptable. They are not fazed by sudden changes. When thrown into an unfamiliar environment, they flourish.

International students learn to adopt the positive aspects of the new culture while still retaining the integrity of their own. In addition to homesickness, one major hurdle that international students have to overcome is culture shock. Stark differences in ways of life and food can create anxiety and frustration. The strain of living without parental support in a foreign environment puts enormous pressure on international students. But the challenge of adapting to a whole new culture is is highly rewarding in the end because their adaptability gives international students a competitive edge.

Cosmopolitan citizens

Multilingual, multicultural with high levels of adaptability, international students are the new cosmopolitan citizens. 

The world is coming closer together. The advancement in technology allows ideas to spread and cultures to meet at a neck-break speed. Globalisation links countries and economies. Transnational companies are the norm. In this era, international students have a big advantage. They are not restrained by language or cultural barriers. They bring together cultures and ideas to create their own unique blend.

Being an international student

Being an international student brings all the advantages to rise to the top. However, it takes much more than just being able to afford to study abroad. Hard work and resilience are what counts.

Discover the benefits of a UK education or explore our UK colleges for international students.