Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad
As much as people can attribute their successes or failures to various factors, education is a significant aspect of an individual’s life. Therefore, the choice made in the mode and place of study is critical. The choice made often factors individual needs, goals and aspirations; thus, it reflects on the future that an individual intends to create through these choices. Institutions of higher learning are considered as the cradle to professionalism; hence, the choice as to which institution of higher learning an individual should attend bears on their overall career goals and self actualization objectives. In light of this, studying abroad has been characterized as one of the most fruitful modes of study; however, some arguments to the contrary have been brought forward on the subject. Therefore, it is necessary to weigh the arguments presented for and against studying abroad in order to arrive at a more informed conclusion on the suitability of this choice.
MariaAbroad in the article “Advantages of studying abroad” argues that college characterizes the most opportune time to go abroad (MariaAbroad). A student is provided with a variety of programs to choose from; meanwhile, cultural immersions familiarize the student with varying adapting techniques which are invaluable when it comes to organizing oneself in job postings abroad. Studying abroad create an adaptive individual, who is open to different perspectives and can tailor the diverse cultural and social norms to their advantage; significantly, when assigned to work in foreign countries. The article observes that studying abroad should be considered as a gateway to acquiring a competitive advantage in the job market. While the qualification attained abroad may be similar with that of the individuals who studies at home, there is a significant difference given the environment in which the given qualification was acquired. Therefore, individuals who acquired their qualifications abroad are given preference, more so in foreign assignments given their pro-activity, flexibility, adaptivity, while functioning optimally in uncharted environments.
However, in the article “disadvantages of studying abroad” Marie observes that there exists a language and cultural barrier to those who seek education abroad. Given that the student has no previous knowledge of the language or social-cultural attitudes of the designate college abroad, there is significant difficulty in blending in with other students (MariaAbroad). Therefore, life becomes increasing difficult. Meanwhile, creating new associations like friends is tasking given the language barrier; this leads to an individual feeling left out and yearning for familiar environment like home. In spite of the hard work put into learning the new language and social-cultural norms of the foreign environment, the feeling of being alone persists until such a time a student can integrate themselves wholly into the new environment.
While adapting to the new environment is critical to a student’s life abroad, Marie observes that the way of life is not always the same and significant differences should be expected. A student’s life at home may have been characterized by higher standards of living only to find different lifestyle abroad. Therefore, expectations of maintaining the same lifestyle or a better one should be realistic. The reality of life abroad may be contrary to the student’s expectations making life extremely difficult. Meanwhile, living costs can critically high depending on the locale of the institution or the course selected (MariaAbroad). In some instances, where the designate foreign country has a policy prohibiting foreign students from working, a student may need to have large amounts of money in hand for their survival. In light of this, affordability becomes difficult given the preconditions required before a student can be admitted or can comfortably assimilate to life abroad.
The article, “Advantages of studying abroad” observes that studying abroad has a positive impact on an individual’s personal experiences while contributing to the creation of diversified professional skills and experiences (MariaAbroad). This aspect is critical when on employment; an individual is deployed to a foreign country. At this juncture, the experiences and ability to adapt to new environments acquired, while at college becomes a significant asset in this respect. The exposure to varied cultural experiences creates an open minded and understanding, professional dispensation, which enables an individual to work in any given country in the world. This aspect is characterized by the student’s exposure to foreign languages; thereby, creating a multilingual profession capable of communicating aptly with other people in the assigned foreign country.
However, as student abroad, the designate higher education institution may not recognize a student’s credits. Therefore, a student is required to enroll in a bridging course or attend classes for an extra prescribed period. This aspect can be inconveniencing and costly to a student. This results to extended dependence on guardians or parents who may not be able to afford the extra costs. Meanwhile, once personal relationships are created abroad, foreign students have a hard time ending these relationships and faced with a dilemma on what is the most appropriate course of action (MariaAbroad). On the one hand, family members and friends at home are constantly asking when the student would return home, on the other hand, friends made abroad such as boyfriends or girlfriends may not be willing to let go; therefore, making the process of leaving to be difficult and painful.
While, studying abroad has been found to have significant benefits to a student’s personal and professional future, the period in which education abroad transpires has critical challenges. If these challenges are not allowed to encumber a student’s transition into the foreign environment, the impacts are significantly beneficial to the student. However, these may overwhelm a student leading to a socially dysfunctional person. As much as studying abroad is challenging, the opportunity to do so should be viewed as a contributing factor to an individual’s professional and personal achievement.