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Personal benefits of studying abroad

As every international student knows, studying abroad produces a plethora of benefits that
vary from academic progress by obtaining an American degree, to career advancement, due to international networking. But not enough students focus on the personal growth that can be achieved through living and learning in the US. Here are some personal advantages that can be gained from a studyabroad experience:

adult, audience, celebration

1. Independence. Living in an entirely new and foreign place away from your home country will foster a greater degree of independence. Even doing simple, everyday things like paying bills or going to the grocery store will provide you with an enhanced feeling of self-sufficiency because of the foreign language and unfamiliar culture that you are bound to encounter while running errands.

2. A new way of thinking. Leaving a familiar space forces you to step outside of your comfort zone. When you step beyond your inner circle and realize what else the world has to offer, you will find new experiences, encounter new ideas and ultimately gain a better understanding of the world around you. Studying abroad will also give you the opportunity to meet new and exciting people, who have had different life experiences than you, who can challenge your way of thinking and even give you a better insight into yourself.

3. Tolerance. Coming across people at university of other ethnicities, religions and cultures, those who you would not meet otherwise, will teach you how to get along and cooperate with all kinds of people. Understanding new people and where they come from will also shape you into a more understanding and tolerant person. This can enhance your personal relationships with friends and family back home, your future relationships and your workplace relationships with bosses, coworkers and employees.

When you graduate, it is essential to take everything that you have learned about yourself abroad and bring it wherever you might find yourself after graduation, whether it be back in your home country or a new city in the United States. These are critical and formative once in a lifetime experiences that should not be left behind.

For help and advice about studying abroad, visit

Soccer (Football) in America on the Rise With 2026 World Cup Bid

Fans of international soccer, or football as they probably call it, living in America have new cause for celebration. The United States, along with Canada and Mexico, just secured the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This landmark decision by FIFA comes just eight years after the governing body of international soccer chose Qatar over the United States to host the 2022 World Cup. It will be the first time the United States has hosted a World Cup since 1994, when most of the college-aged kids playing in the 2018 World Cup were not even born.

By Luca107 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (],
from Wikimedia Commons

The United States’ successful bid to host should positively impact not only the U.S. Men’s National Team, but soccer in America as a whole. Fans of the sport living in the U.S. can get excited to see the sport prosper long before the tournament even starts. If you are a soccer fan considering a move to the U.S., now is a great time to make the change. Soccer has been thriving recently on American college and university campuses and with America’s youth.

The plight of the U.S. based soccer fan has been well-documented over the years. From waking up at odd hours to watch your favorite club or country take the pitch, to being forced to watch lower-quality football be played in person, even to seeing the U.S. eliminated in the World Cup Qualifiers, it seems like soccer has never quite caught on in the States. International football fans, and U.S. born soccer junkies used to be forced to the fringes of sports culture in America. But, this has been slowly changing over the years. Fans hope that the World Cup, and the excitement surrounding it, will spark more interest in the beautiful game in America.

In 1988, the United States Soccer Federation promised to create a legitimate professional league as part of the deal for FIFA to host the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) officially launched in 1995 and in its first season in 1996, the league had just 10 teams. Back then, you would almost never see soccer team gear anywhere. People just were not exposed nor interested in the sport. Although MLS took a while to gain traction, the league now has 23 teams and has made huge strides toward competing both with the NFL, MLB, and NBA and with international soccer leagues. Now it is common to see soccer jerseys worn out, especially around university campuses. The sport is played recreationally by people of all ages throughout the United States, and professional games are broadcast on television all the time. This, along with the fact that soccer is the second most played sport (behind basketball) among kids ages 6-18 in America (Wall Street Journal, 2012), illustrates that there has never been a better time to be a soccer fan living in the United States.

As far as the MLS is concerned, U.S. born players such as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have become household names. But, arguably the biggest step in the growth of American soccer has been the arrival of international players in America. Notable megastars such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Kaka, and most recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic have made the transition from various international leagues to MLS. This has caused a sizeable spike in the sport’s popularity in America. Further evidence of soccer’s growth in America is the fact that in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, more tickets were sold in the U.S. than the host nation. One can only imagine how a World Cup hosted in America will impact the sport’s popularity.

If your burning passion towards soccer (football) has held you back from going to study in the land of American football, Baseball and Basketball, fear no more - there is a place for you in the US with the rising popularity of the sport.

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