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The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad
Many students love the prospect of studying abroad, especially in the U.S., due to its sound education system. However, there are some pros and cons to studying abroad that you need to consider before you make a definite choice.
The Pros of Studying Abroad
The following are the advantages of studying abroad:
Building New Relationships
One of the many benefits of studying abroad is making new friends. You’ve got to meet new people from different parts of the world with diverse backgrounds and cultures, and even people from your own country. Sometimes, such a friendship can blossom into a long-lasting relationship and even lead to marriage.
Exposure to New Opportunities
Overseas studies will expose you to a lot of new and exciting opportunities. You may be able to choose more classes outside of your initial selection, thereby broadening your horizons.
Sometimes, such a selection may be related to the foreign country where you’re studying and aimed at exposing you to its rich cultural heritage. You could also network and make new connections to facilitate your internship and employment.
You’ll be able to learn a new language if you’re studying abroad. Learning a foreign language will help you mingle and relate well with people, especially with your coursemates and lecturers.
You can also find little favors from your foreign friends and locals if you speak their language. Acquiring a new language can also boost your chances of securing a job and help you do better in your job.
Some countries have a terrible education system, which has been reduced to a cesspit of corruption. The education system is largely underfunded, and the certificates issued are worth no more than the value of a piece of tissue paper.
Students bribe lecturers and trade sex for grades. Strikes are a regular feature, and schools are rarely in session. So, the prospects of a better future for their kids can force parents to send their children to study abroad.
The rate of unemployment is high in some countries. To make matters worse, millions of half-baked graduates are churned into the labor market each year. Sometimes, there are jobs, but these graduates aren’t a good fit for such positions because they lack the necessary skills.
At other times, there are vacancies, but there’s a lot of competition. In such cases, someone with a foreign degree can have the edge over others because they have the requisite skills and training.
Here are some disadvantages to studying abroad:
It may be a fantastic opportunity to study abroad, but you may still miss out on opportunities to meet with your own family and friends at home. You’ll feel like returning home to reunite with your loved ones someday.
The urge to return home may even be greater if you’re married or in a relationship. Even your constant communication with your partner may be unable to assuage such a feeling of homesickness.
While it can be fun to meet new people, you can experience culture shock while studying overseas. You may confuse your new environment and find it difficult to mix with others. However, you can easily overcome this experience with time.
Language can be a huge barrier if you’re studying abroad. This can affect your coursework and the way you relate to other people. It can also make it easy for you to be abused, attacked, robbed, or swindled. You can’t underestimate the kind of emotional, physical, and psychological pain such an action can have on you.
Studying abroad can be quite expensive. The cost of processing your visa and other travel documents, flights, housing, living expenses, and tuition can quickly add up and weigh on your finances if you don’t have a sponsor.
Even if you have a sponsor, they may be forced to abandon you midway if the expenses become too much and unbearable or if they have lost a job. Sometimes, you’re forced to leave your education if a sponsor dies and there’s no one else who can take up the challenge.
Abandonment is closely related to the issue of cost. There are cases where home governments have abandoned the training of their nationals abroad because they’re unable to meet their financial obligations.
Sometimes, such abandonments are politically motivated. At other times, they’re caused by a lack of funds. Family members can also abandon you if your education drains up their life’s savings and they struggle to make ends meet.
The pros and cons of studying abroad: The Bottom Line
Studying abroad is an opportunity some people are looking forward to, and it can be such a fun and rewarding experience. While studying abroad has many benefits, the downsides can quickly overshadow the upsides and discourage you from acquiring a foreign degree.
However, you may be able to get help with obtaining a student visa or changing your visa status if you love the prospect of studying in the U.S. or you’re studying and working there already.
By: Richard Herman