The Benefits of Peer Support: Importance of Community for Students Abroad

May 02, 2023
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Studying abroad is a transformative and stimulating experience that encourages students to explore new horizons, embrace diversity and expand their worldviews. While the excitement and adventure of exploring a new culture can be exhilarating, the challenges of adapting to a new and unfamiliar environment can also be daunting. It is perfectly normal for students to feel vulnerable, uncertain or even lonely and it is crucial to have a safe place to turn to.  

Community is a fundamental aspect of human life that provides a sense of safety and belonging - the same holds true when studying abroad. Having a supportive network of like-minded individuals providing wise and empathetic guidance is essential for a student's personal growth and well-being.  

Let’s learn more about how having a community can make all the difference in study abroad experiences. 


The Benefits of Peer Support for Students Abroad

The challenges and opportunities that come with living and studying abroad foster personal growth and development. Embracing and appreciating those challenges and opportunities is an active process that requires open-mindedness and respect but also self-discovery and self-reflection. Having a community of like-minded individuals who have gone or are going through similar experiences can positively impact this stimulating but hard process. 


1. A community is a safe place.

A community is a safe place where students can come together to support and empower one another, as they explore, learn and grow in their new environment. Within the community, they can freely express themselves, ask questions, share their experiences and perspectives, and find the guidance and support they need to thrive. It helps students feel more connected, grounded and supported throughout their journey.


2. One of the most significant benefits of having a community is the opportunity to share stories.

When students share their experiences, they realize that they are not alone in their struggles and feel understood and validated. Hearing other points of view can also broaden their horizons, challenge their assumptions and help them develop a deeper understanding of the world and themselves. 


3. Being part of a community can help students raise awareness of different cultures and perspectives.

By connecting with people from different backgrounds and discussing cultural differences, students can develop empathy, respect and understanding toward different ways of living and thinking. 


4. Practical advice is another benefit of having a network of peers.

When abroad, students may encounter challenges in adjusting to the new country such as finding affordable housing, accessing healthcare, improving language skills or navigating the transportation system. The community helps students share tips and resources that can help make their everyday life easier. 


5. Emotional support from peers is also essential when studying abroad. 

Whether students are dealing with homesickness, academic stress or cultural misunderstandings, within the community they can always find the welcoming and wise type of support that comes from someone who understands what they are going through. 


Did You Know? 

As part of our commitment to equipping our members with the resources they need to make the most of their time abroad, we launched the CulturaGo Community. This new platform feature is free to access once you enroll in a CulturaGo course, and it is designed to help our members connect, share insights and support one another while honing their intercultural skills. 

Interested in providing your students with relevant cultural preparation & a community of peers to support them before, during and after the experience abroad? Get in touch or book a demo call


Thank you for visiting the CulturaGo blog! Please find below available resources from CulturaGo.

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