Experience has shown AECAE’s member organisations that school failure among Spanish students is greatly reduced when they study abroad, as overseas education systems tend to be more practical in nature and less theory-based. Factors that also help in this respect are increased motivation and the greater sense of responsibility and independence that come with leaving one’s everyday surroundings. It is for that reason that even demotivated students can achieve academic success outside Spain.
Spending a school year abroad is an excellent opportunity for youngsters to grow and develop, in every sense.
Students who immerse themselves in other cultures obtain better qualifications and become more flexible and open-minded, attributes that will undoubtedly help them to be more successful in today’s business world, a world in which many companies are multinationals who set great store by mobility. When it comes to recruiting new employees or promoting existing personnel, companies look for candidates who are fully fluent in English at the very least. There is no escaping the fact that professionals who speak several languages are more highly valued and better paid.
Studying for a year outside Spain helps youngsters acquire skills that make it easier for them to access higher and specialised education and to go on from there to the world of work. It also gives them a clear competitive advantage during the course of their professional careers. Along with the obvious benefit of mastering a second language, living in a foreign country allows students to develop a series of skills, such as the ability to integrate and to learn in changing environments, to open their minds to cultural differences, and to hone their ability to make responsible decisions, use their initiative and be creative.
In this increasingly globalised world, the ability to speak foreign languages fluently is, as we see on a daily basis, not just desirable but essential in most professions, from teaching to tourism and from technical occupations to politics.