On the outside, it may seem extraordinarily strange that some individuals choose to journey hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles to study abroad when they could just easily register for a similar course in their home country. But on the inside, there are many valid reasons why individuals may choose to cross borders in the pursuit of a degree, diploma or certificate programme that is readily available at home.
In the 21st century, many students are convinced that it is seldom enough to graduate from any learning institution. Rather, students want to study in internationally recognized institutions, which offer better opportunities and exposure towards preparing them for future career undertakings. However, there exists a myriad of challenges and problems associated with studying abroad. This paper purposes to look at the pros and cons of studying abroad.
As already mentioned, the advantages of studying abroad are many. First, international institutions offer a wide variety of courses, some of which may not be available at home. The wide variety gives the students an upper hand in selecting courses that are tailored to meet their preferences and the needs of the market.
Indeed, many students from less developed countries choose to study abroad since many of the courses offered at home have become irrelevant to the needs and requirements of the job market. In this respective, students who study abroad are assured of having a competitive advantage over their counterparts who wish to study at home since they will have a chance to select courses that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the job market.
Second, the exposure one gets while studying abroad goes a long way to assist individuals in the social and work life later on in life. By studying abroad, students get to experience and feel life in a foreign country that may be practicing different values and way of living from their home countries.
The knowledge and experience received from interacting with individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural orientations make an individual develop balanced perceptions regarding other people.
This is especially important in the job market as multinational corporations, the main employers, are always on the lookout for dynamic employees who can fit in any ethnic or cultural group. What’s more, the experience received from interacting with diverse cultures while studying abroad assist individuals to gain a well-informed perspective of how the world works.
Studying abroad also comes with many opportunities that may be hard to find in home countries. Students are offered the opportunity to learn new and exiting languages while studying in modern institutions equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, contemporary library services and best computer facilities one could think of. This may be a tall order to request from local institutions of learning.
These opportunities assure the students of excelling in life due to the simple yet weighty reason for studying in accredited learning institutions. It is imperative to note that knowledge of different kinds of languages is an important asset in the job market.
Students in countries such as the UK, Japan, and the US have the opportunity to work during the course of their study. Such an opportunity may be severely limited in many other countries where graduates struggle to find cleaning jobs — as such, studying abroad may also come with a good prospect of finding a job.
There exist several disadvantages of studying abroad. One of the most challenging disadvantages relates to culture shock. Some students find it extremely hard to adopt or get assimilated to the cultures of foreign countries. As such, their stay in such countries is full of difficulties.
For instance, some forms of foodstuffs that are viewed as delicacies in foreign counties may be a taboo to eat in local countries. Some religious and cultural dogmas also worsen the problem of culture shock. Culture shock is a leading cause of suicide among students studying abroad.
Apart from culture shock, many students suffer from acute spasms of homesickness while studying abroad. This actively serves to deter them from achieving their long-held dreams since many are unable to cope or adjust to the fast pace of life in foreign countries. Difficulties in communication have also been mentioned as a disadvantage in studying abroad.
Students will be inarguably faced with the problem of contact if they cannot speak the official language of the host country. What’s more, studying abroad is thought to be a very expensive affair due to high tuition fees and other charges related to air travel and upkeep. As such, it is seen as beyond the reach of many students who would otherwise want to study abroad.
All in all, there exist many more pros and cons of studying abroad. However, the bottom line is that students wishing to study abroad must prepare themselves thoroughly before jumping into the next plane to take them abroad. As discussed in the essay, studying abroad brings immense opportunities that may be unachievable locally.
However, some of the consequences of studying abroad may be potentially fatal if adequate preparation is not factored in. Students wishing to study abroad must, therefore, do their best to collect information relating to a broad spectrum of issues practiced in host countries. There are established agencies that can assist the students in knowing a thing or two about countries they may wish to visit for study purposes.