FACT: Studying abroad makes you smarter. So, how can studying in the international arena make people display enhanced creativity, flair and problem solve better than stay-at-home students? The first obvious trait working in favour for the international student is language immersion.

Language immersion is like being thrown in at the deep end and kept there. One can either sink or swim, but the human brain is a resourceful piece of grey matter and will work hard to solve challenging tasks. Studying abroad will also immerse students into the culture of another country.

Studies have been performed on over 200 students at a university in Illinois who had been abroad on study and those that have not. One such test was the Duncker’s Candle Problem. Amazingly 60 percent of the students who had lived abroad solved it, against just 42 percent of who had not.

Living and studying abroad allows for creativity to grow and ideas to flourish. This is excellent news for business. That is because the world of commerce, industry and manufacturing all thrive on creative teams promoting a new product or business module.

Overseas education will often force students to try and communicate with another in a language they do not understand. Somehow, some way there has to be a method where two people can communicate. Physical actions are forced upon us, such as gesturing or pointing. You may ask for a hotel in the local area, so tell the stranger you need to sleep by closing your eyes tilting your head into pillowed hands and even fake snore. A local will soon understand you need a room to bed down.

We know that living overseas and studying improves communication. If you have had to gesture to a stranger that you need a hotel room, it is likely you will learn the correct language to look for accommodation with some diligence. You may also try and learn what “right” and “left” mean in the language of your host nation.

After learning and studying in another country for a long time, it is possible to start communicating with some degree of success. As the second language improves, the cognitive skills within the brain will become more effective.

The outer layer of the cerebrum thickens as neurons grow and adapt. This is brain training and something that makes you smarter – all achieved by living and studying abroad.

Paul, A. M. (2014, April 29). How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter. Retrieved from or working in another country can make us better thinkers-more flexible, creative, and complex-if we’re willing to adapt and learn from other cultures.