Why is staying abroad during your studies worthwhile?

Why is staying abroad during your studies worthwhile?

Staying abroad offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, improve your language skills and gain valuable international experience. Whether for study, work or volunteering - living abroad broadens your personal horizons and promotes intercultural competence. Let yourself be inspired and discover the many opportunities that a stay abroad brings.

What are the advantages of staying abroad?

Staying abroad has many benefits that can be of great importance both professionally and personally. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Improve your language skills: By using a foreign language on a daily basis, you will quickly become more fluent and confident in communication.
  2. Cultural experience: You learn about a new culture first-hand, which broadens your horizons and strengthens your intercultural competence.
  3. Personal development : You will become more independent, self-confident and learn to find your way in new and often challenging situations.
  4. Career opportunities : International experience is valued by many employers and can give you an advantage on the job market.
  5. Networking: You make new contacts and build an international network that can benefit you professionally and personally.
  6. New perspectives: Looking at things from a different perspective can give you new ideas and solutions for personal and professional challenges.
  7. Adventure and fun: Life abroad is often a great adventure and can bring many unforgettable experiences and fun.

Staying abroad is therefore a worthwhile investment in your future that can open many doors.

What counts as staying abroad?

This table provides an overview of the common types of staying abroad and their respective special features.

Type of staying abroad Description
Study Attending a foreign university or college to acquire academic qualifications.
Internship Professional activity or training phase in a company or organization abroad.
Work Employment in a foreign company or international organization.
Volunteering Voluntary work in social, ecological or cultural projects abroad.
Au pair Staying with a host family to look after the children and help with household chores.
Language course Participation in a language course in a country where the target language is spoken.
School exchange School stay in another country to gain cultural and linguistic experience.
Work and Travel Combination of travel and odd jobs to finance the stay.
Research stay Scientific research at a foreign institution or in a special project.
Cultural exchange Participation in cultural exchange programs to promote international relations.
Project work Participation in international projects or programs, often in cooperation with local partners.

staying abroad during your studies? When is the right time to stay abroad?

The right time for staying abroad depends on your personal goals and your stage of life. Here are some options and when they might make sense:

During your studies:

  • Bachelor's degree: A semester abroad in the third or fourth semester is ideal. You have already completed basic courses and can take specialized courses abroad. An internship during the semester break is also a good opportunity to gain international work experience.
  • Master's degree: The third semester is often a good time to stay abroad, as you already have in-depth specialist knowledge and can deepen it abroad. A stay abroad can also provide valuable impetus for research and final theses.

As a pupil:

  • Student exchange: Ideally between the 9th and 11th grade. You are old enough to be independent, but there is enough time to continue on the same educational path when you return.
  • School completion programs: These often provide a structured framework and support, which is helpful for younger students.

Post high school diploma:

  • Gap Year: a year after A-levels for work and travel, volunteering or au-pairing. It's a great opportunity to see the world and develop personally before jumping into study or working life.
  • Language courses: Immediately after your Abi, you can attend language courses abroad to improve your language skills and prepare for study abroad.

In general:

  • Internships and volunteer work: these can be done during semester breaks, after your Bachelor's degree or before you start your Master's degree. Even after graduation, a stay abroad is a valuable experience to gain professional experience and get to know new cultures at the same time.

The right time therefore depends heavily on your personal and academic goals. Plan your stay abroad carefully to make the most of it.


Because we as a university believe that it is important to gain experience abroad during your studies and because we as Munich Business School are convinced that international skills are essential in the modern business world, we already offer staying abroad at over 60 partner universities worldwide in our degree programs, for example in our Bachelor's and Master's programs. This allows students to discover the world and acquire important intercultural skills during a semester abroad or an additional Internship Abroad.

Which staying abroad option is the right one?

The right stay abroad option depends on your personal goals, interests and circumstances.

Selection of Staying Abroad Options at a glance

The following graphic provides a brief overview of the main types of staying abroad that you can aspire to. The first step to deciding on the perfect option is to know all the options.

More detailed explanation: Which staying abroad option is the right one?

Here are some considerations that can help you find the right option:

Staying abroad for au pair work

  • For whom?: Young people looking for an experience abroad with a host family.
  • Goals: Improve language skills, cultural integration, childcare.
  • Examples: Living with a host family and childcare support.

Staying abroad for a language course

  • For whom?: People who want to learn a foreign language intensively.
  • Goals: Improve language skills, cultural exchange.
  • Examples: Language schools in countries where the target language is spoken.

Staying abroad for work and travel

  • For whom?: Young adults who want to combine traveling and working.
  • Goals: Adventure, financial independence while traveling, cultural experiences.
  • Examples: Casual jobs in various countries to finance travel.

Staying abroad for volunteer work

  • For whom?: People who want to get socially involved and gain cultural experience at the same time.
  • Goals: Helping others, personal development, cultural exchange.
  • Examples: Projects in the fields of education, environment, health.

Decision-making aids for your personal staying abroad

  • Set goals: What do you want to achieve? (e.g. professional qualifications, language skills, cultural exchange)
  • Determine duration: How long can you stay abroad? (Short, medium or long term)
  • Check your financial options: What financial resources are available to you?
  • Personal preferences: In which environment do you feel comfortable? (City, country, specific culture)
  • Future plans: How does the stay fit in with your long-term career or life goals?

By taking these factors into account, you can find the right stay abroad for you and make the most of the experience.

If you are looking for more information on individual options, then take a look at our guide pages on Internship Abroad, Language Trip and Semester Abroad.

To the Overview Page of the Guide

What options are there for the housing situation
when staying abroad?

Accommodation while staying abroad

Housing option Description Advantages Disadvantages
Student residence Residence halls specifically for international students Proximity to campus, easy access to university resources, contact with other students Less privacy, possibly strict rules
Host family Living with a local family Cultural exchange, language practice, family atmosphere Adapting to family rules, less independence
Own apartment/shared apartment Renting your own apartment or a room in a shared apartment High level of independence, privacy, freedom in everyday life Higher costs, more responsibility for household and contracts
Apartment/Serviced Apartments Fully furnished apartments with services Comfort and amenities, no stress of furnishing High costs, possibly less contact with locals
Youth hostels/hostels Inexpensive accommodation with shared rooms Inexpensive, good opportunity to meet other travelers Little privacy, often temporary and less stable
Hotels/pensions Short-term accommodation for arrivals or temporary stays Flexible and bookable at short notice, comfort and service High costs in the long term, less "at home" feeling
AirBnB/short-term rentals Private apartments or rooms for short-term rental Flexibility in booking duration, often cheaper than hotels Quality can vary, often not a long-term solution
Boarding schools Accommodation for students spending a school year abroad Structured environment, full board and supervision Little freedom, adaptation to school rules
Volunteer accommodation Special accommodation for volunteers in projects Community with other volunteers, often free or cheap Simple standard, shared rooms and facilities

While staying abroad, there are different housing options that can vary depending on the type of stay, the destination country and your personal preferences. These are some common options to help you make an informed decision.

What are the most popular destinations for staying abroad?

The most popular destinations for staying abroad vary depending on the type of stay and individual interests. Here are some of the most popular destinations for different types of staying abroad:

For student exchange

  • Canada: Safe environment and quality education.
  • USA : Typical high school experience and cultural diversity.
  • Australia : Friendly society and great climate.
  • New Zealand: Outdoor adventure and excellent education.
  • Germany: Language and cultural experiences in Europe.

For work

  • USA: Many career opportunities and international companies.
  • Germany: Strong labor market and many multinational corporations.
  • Australia : Good work-life balance and friendly immigration policy.
  • Canada : High quality of life and support for skilled workers.
  • United Arab Emirates : High salaries and tax benefits.

For volunteering

  • India: Many social projects and cultural diversity.
  • Nepal: Projects in education and environmental protection.
  • South Africa : Volunteering in social and ecological projects.
  • Peru: Support for indigenous communities and nature conservation.
  • Thailand : Work in orphanages and animal welfare projects.

These destinations are popular because they offer a mixture of good educational and employment opportunities, cultural wealth and attractive living conditions.

How does staying abroad work?

Staying abroad requires thorough planning and preparation. By taking the following steps, you can plan your stay abroad well and make the most of this unique experience.

Objectives Set clear goals Think about what you want to achieve by staying abroad (e.g. improve your language skills, gain professional experience, cultural exchange).
Research Programs and options Find out about different programs and options that match your goals (e.g. exchange programs, internships, volunteering).
Destinations Choose a country or region that matches your interests and goals.
Financing Cost calculation Create a financial plan that takes all costs into account (travel, accommodation, food, insurance, visa).
Sources of funding Check scholarships, funding programs and financing options.
Application Prepare documents Create or update your résumé, letter of motivation and relevant documents.
Observe application deadlines Pay attention to deadlines and requirements of programs and institutions.
Preparation Visa and documents Apply for a visa in good time and make sure your passport is valid.
Insurance Take out health, accident and liability insurance.
Vaccinations and health Find out about required vaccinations and preventive health measures.
Language skills Improve your language skills through language courses or self-study if necessary.
Accommodation and travel Find accommodation Organize your accommodation (host family, student residence, own apartment).
Book your flight Book your flight in good time and make sure you have a flexible cancellation policy.
Packing list Important documents Passport, visa, insurance documents, flight tickets, addresses and emergency contacts.
Clothing and personal items Pack according to the climate and duration of your stay.
Technical equipment Laptop, chargers, adapters.
Arrival First steps on site Register with the relevant institution or organization, find out about local conditions.
Networking Make contacts with other participants, locals and the local community.
Acclimatization Give yourself time to get used to the new environment and experience the culture.
Stay Pursue goals Work continuously on your goals and take the opportunity to learn as much as possible.
Feedback and reflection Get regular feedback and reflect on your experiences to make the most of your stay.
Return Final formalities Clarify all outstanding matters before your departure (rental contracts, bank accounts, deregistration).
Use your experience Integrate the experience and knowledge you have gained into your future life and career.

What is the right length for staying abroad?

The ideal length for staying abroad depends on your goals, commitments and the type of program. Here are some guidelines on the minimum and maximum length of time you can travel:

At least:

  • Short stays (1-3 weeks): These are ideal for language courses, workshops, conferences or short volunteer projects. They offer a quick introduction to a new culture without long commitments.
  • Internships or short programs (4-8 weeks): These offer a deeper immersion into professional practice or special projects and are often feasible during semester breaks.


  • Semester abroad (3-6 months): A semester abroad is ideal for students. It offers enough time to immerse yourself in the culture, learn the language and make academic or professional progress.
  • Student exchange (3-12 months): Depending on the program, an exchange year or semester can be ideal for high school students to develop culturally and linguistically.


  • Year abroad (6-12 months): A full year abroad is ideal for programs such as au pair, work and travel or longer study or research stays. It provides enough time to fully immerse yourself in the culture and gain in-depth experience.
  • Long-term stays (12+ months): For some programs, such as a full course of study, long-term work assignments or permanent volunteer projects, a stay of over a year may be appropriate. However, these stays require thorough planning and often a stronger integration into the new environment.

The right length therefore depends on your goals and opportunities. Think about how deeply you want to immerse yourself in the culture and what obligations you have at home. This will help you find the right duration for your stay abroad.

How much does
staying abroad cost?

Staying abroad costs

Travel costs Flights Costs can vary greatly depending on the destination. A return flight can cost between 200 and 2000 euros.
Local transportation Public transport, rental car, etc.
Accommodation Rent Can vary greatly (e.g. 300-1000 euros per month). Student residences are often cheaper than own apartments.
Utilities Electricity, water, internet, etc.
Living costs Food On average 150-300 euros per month, depending on the country and your eating habits.
Eating out May incur additional costs.
Insurance Health insurance 30-100 euros per month.
Accident and liability insurance Another 10-30 euros per month.
Visa and administrative fees Visa fees Can be between 50 and 500 euros.
Application fees For universities or programs.
Tuition fees (if applicable) Universities Depending on the country and university, fees can vary greatly (0-20,000 euros per year).
Leisure and travel Activities Costs for excursions, travel within the country, entrance fees.

The cost of staying abroad can vary greatly depending on factors such as duration, destination, type of stay (study, work, volunteering, etc.) and your lifestyle. These are the most important cost factors and considerations when deciding whether you should work abroad.

Example calculation for a six-month stay in Europe (e.g. Spain):

  • Flights: 300 euros
  • Accommodation : 500 euros/month = 3000 euros
  • Cost of living : 250 euros/month = 1500 euros
  • Insurance : 60 euros/month = 360 euros
  • Visa: 100 Euro
  • Leisure and travel: 500 Euro
  • Total costs: 7760 Euro

Working while staying abroad

A job abroad can significantly reduce costs and offers additional benefits:

  1. Earnings : Can vary depending on the country and job, typically between 800 and 2500 euros per month.
  2. Benefits: Funding for living expenses and opportunity to save money.
  3. Work experience : International work experience can provide valuable professional and personal skills.
  4. Network: Building an international professional network.
  5. Work visa: Often easier to get if you have a job to show for it.
  6. Financial situation: If you can afford the costs without problems, a stay without a job is a relaxed option.
  7. Career goals: Work experience abroad can improve your career opportunities.
  8. Time management: Working can affect your schedule, leaving less free time for traveling and exploring.
  9. Interests: If your main goal is cultural exchange and education, a stay without work might be better.

The choice between staying abroad and working abroad depends on your financial means, career goals and personal preferences. Working abroad can provide financial relief and valuable experience, while a stay without work allows for more free time and flexibility.

Last tips & tricks for staying abroad

Here are some valuable tips and tricks to make your stay abroad successful and enjoyable. With these tips and tricks, you'll be well-prepared to get the most out of your stay abroad. Good luck and have an unforgettable time!

Planning and preparation Plan early Start planning your stay at least six months in advance to allow enough time for visas, scholarships and other preparations.
Inform yourself thoroughly Research your destination country, the culture, the cost of living and the security situation to avoid surprises.
Create a to-do list A detailed list helps you to keep track of all the necessary steps and documents.
Finances Budget planning Create a realistic budget and consider all possible expenses, including unexpected costs.
Emergency reserve Keep a financial reserve ready for emergencies.
International bank card Find out about bank cards that are accepted worldwide and have low fees.
Documents and formalities Copy documents Make copies of all important documents (passport, visa, insurance) and save them online.
Travel insurance Take out comprehensive travel insurance that offers health, accident and liability cover.
Emergency contacts Keep a list of important contact details (embassy, hospitals, local contacts) to hand.
Health Vaccinations Get vaccinated in good time and find out about necessary and recommended vaccinations for your destination country.
Travel first-aid kit Pack a small first-aid kit with the most important medicines and first-aid items.
Communication Telephone and internet Find out about local SIM cards and internet options. A local SIM card can save costs.
Language skills Learn basic phrases in the local language. This shows respect and helps in many situations.
Culture and integration Openness and respect Be open to new experiences and respect the local culture and customs.
Local contacts Make contact with locals to learn more about the culture and settle in more quickly.
Overcome culture shock Be aware that culture shock is normal. Give yourself time to get used to the new environment.
Everyday tips Packing Pack light and take only the essentials. Think about the climate and cultural characteristics of your destination country.
Travel light Try to take only the essentials and pack for different weather conditions.
Safety Find out about safe and unsafe areas and behave accordingly. Pay particular attention to your valuables.
Social media and blogs Share experiences Keep a blog or use social media to document your experiences and share them with others.
Research Read travel blogs and testimonials from others who have already been to your destination.
Flexibility and adaptability Stay flexible Be prepared to adjust plans and deal with unexpected situations.
Stay positive Keep a positive attitude, even if not everything goes according to plan.
Return Reflect After your return, reflect on your experience and what you have learned from it.
Maintain your network Keep in touch with the people you met abroad.

résumé with staying abroad: What are the benefits of staying abroad for the future?

Staying abroad can bring you numerous professional and personal benefits and significantly enhance your résumé. For example, it shows potential employers that you are flexible, adventurous and open-minded - qualities that are in high demand in today's globalized world. Here are some of the key benefits:

Personal advantages

Staying abroad can offer you the following personal benefits on your résumé:

Cultural sensitivity

  • Tolerance and understanding: You become more open and tolerant towards other cultures and ways of life.
  • New perspectives: You develop a deeper understanding of global connections and different ways of life.

Flexibility and adaptability

  • Problem solving skills: You become more practiced at finding creative solutions to unexpected problems.
  • Adaptability: You learn to adapt quickly to new environments and situations.

Lifelong learning

  • New skills: You acquire new skills and knowledge that promote your professional and personal growth.
  • Continuous development: You develop a lifelong willingness to learn and curiosity.

Practical advantages

Staying abroad can offer you the following practical benefits on your résumé:

Career boost

  • Attractiveness for employers : Employers value candidates with international experience as they are often seen as flexible, adventurous and cosmopolitan.
  • Career springboard : Staying abroad can be the decisive factor in moving up in a global company or leading international projects.

Better job opportunities

  • Global work environment : International experience and language skills are essential in many industries.
  • Expanded job options: You have access to a wider job market and can search for jobs worldwide.

Examples of integration in the résumé

  • Education: Mention your staying abroad under the heading "Education", especially if you studied at a foreign university.
  • Work experience: If you had an internship or a job abroad, list this experience under "Work experience".
  • Skills: List acquired language skills and intercultural competencies under "Skills" or "Additional qualifications".
  • Projects: If you have participated in projects or volunteer work abroad, list these under a separate heading "Projects" or "Volunteering".


What do you need for a longer stay abroad?

You need to plan and prepare carefully for a longer stay abroad. This includes a valid passport, the appropriate visa, comprehensive health insurance, financial resources, a scholarship or job if necessary, accommodation, necessary vaccinations and language skills. You should also find out about cultural differences and the cost of living in your destination country.

What are the benefits of staying abroad?

Staying abroad broadens your horizons, improves your language skills, strengthens your intercultural competence and personal development. It can increase your career opportunities, open up new perspectives and provide you with valuable international contacts.

What counts as staying abroad?

Staying abroad includes any longer period abroad, such as a study, internship, work, volunteer work, student exchange, au pair stay, language course or work and travel.

What to do after staying abroad?

After staying abroad, you reflect on your experiences, make new contacts, update your résumé and use the skills you have gained in your everyday life and career.

How much does staying abroad cost?

The cost of staying abroad varies greatly depending on the destination country, duration, type of program and your lifestyle, but can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of euros.

Interested in a study program? Request our information material now!

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