Extracurricular activities: What are they and why are they important?
It’s not always about hitting the books at school. Learning experiences can take any form and at any time. Tradition has always pushed students to keep academic goals as number one priority. However, the addition of extracurricular activities leads towards development of positive personality traits. International students should make use of this opportunity. It encourages them to take up challenges outside of their academic responsibilities.
For those who may not already know, extracurricular activities can be nearly anything that falls outside the school curriculum or paid employment. Basically, it’s an activity you choose to do on your own time to perhaps strengthen an interest or develop a passion for. You can turn many of your interests into an extracurricular activity. Do you enjoy sports? Join a soccer team. Have an interest in reading comic books or travel? Join a club and share your experiences. Like to eat? Take part in a cooking class. If there isn’t already an opportunity, create one. You can be the leader for a brand new extracurricular activity others may find interest in and join.
World Education Service’s (WED) Kaitlin Ramby highlights four major advantages of extra-curricular activity integration:
- It’s easier to understand local cultures
- You create networking opportunities
- An opportunity to strengthen your resume
- Highlight your professional growth
While most activities take place on university campus, some activities take place off campus. One such example is University of Idaho’s semester in the wild. This activity puts student outside of their comfort zone to learn wilderness management and outdoor leadership amidst the beautiful Idaho wilderness.
Now to expand on the four benefits. Undertaking these type of activities assist international students to blend in with the local community. Moreover, these activities attract other international students, thereby making it a perfect opportunity to learn and connect with different cultures. In addition to this, a strong resume highlights progress in terms of achievements, skill-sets and traits. Finally, taking up leadership roles in the student committee, university clubs and residence halls will certainly spruce up an undergraduate resume. The successful completion of these roles will allow prospective employers to highlight the candidate’s employability traits.
A final note
While it’s important to get those A’s, never forget about taking time to develop another skill outside of academic responsibilities. Extracurricular activities, like intramural sports, competitions and arts classes, allow students to relax and identify new hobbies. Universities encourage participation in these activities as they want students to get the most of their learning experience. All in all, the pursuit of these activities will certainly lead to a fulfilling academic experience.
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