Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad

Education is one of the most important tools to determine an individual’s quality of life. Therefore, it is no surprise that parents go above and beyond for their children to have the best educational experience. Every year, thousands of students make the decision of studying abroad to pursue further studies. It can be for a number of reasons. So let us look at the pros and cons of studying abroad.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

International or foreign students are students that decide to take up a part of their education from another country. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that in 2017, there were around 5.3 million international students outbound for the purpose of education in various countries. Top countries where most international students enroll for their education include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, and Australia among others.

Studying abroad roughly translates to pursuing one’s education in a country other than one’s own. It could be at any level of education. The main reasons for moving to another country for education include quality education and a better standard of living and environment.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad

ADVANTAGES OF STUDYING ABROAD

Quality Education

One of the main reasons that students move away from home to study is for a better quality of education. Oftentimes, the standard of the education system in one’s hometown or country may be subpar at best. A better learning experience is a good incentive for students to study abroad. Every student dreams of studying at the Ivy League universities like Harvard University, Columbia University, or Dartmouth College. These are colleges synonymous with excellence and that is what most students studying abroad look for. Studying abroad ensures new learning experiences, better educational facilities, and an atmosphere for personal growth. So, a student is motivated to move to another country due to these factors.

Better Career Opportunities

Students are constantly on the lookout for the best colleges and universities to study and to be exposed to quality education with the main aim of getting better career opportunities. Studying abroad affords a higher chance for students to be placed in high-paying jobs in comparison to their hometown education. This is because of the practical knowledge that one gains from top universities abroad. Additionally, it is a bonus on your résumé because it shows your interviewer or future employer that you are well-traveled, independent, and open to new things. Similarly, it can be a huge advantage for students who aspire to become entrepreneurs in the future. Investors look for a great idea and assurance of quality from business ideas and a quality education can help gain that attention

Networking

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to network and make personal as well as professional contacts. Networking is the exchange of ideas and information among people who have similar interests or have the same profession. This is a great tool to expand your professional life and can also help you with job opportunities in the field you’re interested in. When one goes abroad to study, you interact with other international students from around the world. Hence, it is a great window to make friends and professional acquaintances for your future. 

Personal Development

Studying abroad usually means students have to live away from their homes. It takes the students out of their comfort zones and makes them more independent. One has to be self-reliant and self-efficient. Many students studying abroad also take up part-time jobs to cover some part of the expenses of their education. This not only gives them practical work experience but allows them to adapt to diverse situations. Hence, studying abroad paves the way for a student’s personal development and confidence.

Experience Different Cultures

Another advantage of studying abroad is that students get to experience different cultures. Enrolling into international universities and colleges means there are students from diverse communities coming together for the purpose of education. This exposes students to different perspectives and ways of life. It is a great way of learning about different cultures, countries, traditions. One even gets to learn the local language and immerse themselves in the way of that country. Therefore, international education helps in changing our mindset and opinions for the better.

DISADVANTAGES OF STUDYING ABROAD

Expensive

The biggest disadvantage of thinking about studying abroad is that it is quite expensive. International students always have to pay a higher tuition fee in comparison to local students. Most students, therefore, have to opt for academic scholarships or grants from foundations. Some even take up student loans to facilitate their education. Studying abroad does not only mean education costs but also the accommodation and living expenses. These are considerably higher outside of your own country. So, this option is only for people who can afford an expensive education.

Cultural Barriers

Though it is a good opportunity to explore new avenues, studying abroad can also create language and cultural barriers. Initially, there are chances of a culture shock because different countries have their way of life. Differences in opinions about religion, ethics, gender, and differences in communication are some of the issues that could crop up. This can be further very challenging for students who are just starting out. Therefore, one should properly research everything about the city, university, and the people you will be interacting with for future reference.

Risky

Studying abroad can be a very risky affair. For instance, sometimes students opt for courses that they think they want to pursue. But during the term of the said courses, some might lose interest or they may not wish to continue their course for any other personal issue. As a result, there is a possibility that the individual and their families lose money, time, and efforts. Getting an education from another country is a huge investment that does not often give back the adequate returns. It also has too many expectations attached to it. Therefore, there is an added pressure to perform exceptionally which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad

University Credits Not Valid Everywhere

Each university or college has its own rules and accreditation. There is a possibility that it is not accepted universally. In other words, students from these universities might be disadvantaged if after graduation they realize that it is not accepted in a place that they wish to work or live in the future.

Strict Policies

International students are subjected to very strict scrutiny from the moment they decide to study abroad. Students have to undergo a strenuous process to acquire a student visa. Each country has strict policies for migrated students. So, it is very difficult for these students to acquire a work visa in the same country after graduation if they wish to stay put or if they manage to secure a job there. Moreover, local students are always given preferential treatment over foreign students.

To sum up, there are several beneficial aspects of studying abroad. It can be a huge opportunity if one can navigate through the hurdles it poses. One should thoroughly research or take assistance from a guidance counselor before making a final decision. 

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Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

Quality Education

Expensive

Better Career Opportunities

Cultural Barriers
Networking

Risky

Personal Development

University Credits Not Valid Everywhere

Experience Different Cultures

Strict Policies