WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF STUDYING ABROAD
People say university years are some of your life’s best and most inspiring ones. The experience is further enriched when you choose to study abroad. As of 2021, the number of international students worldwide has reached the 5 million mark. We can expect it to increase at a rate of 5 percent until 2030.
Are you among the hundreds of thousands of students thinking of international education? If yes, some study abroad tips and knowledge about the pros and cons of studying abroad might help!
PROS OF STUDYING ABROAD: WHAT DO THE STATISTICS SAY?
Leaving the home country to attend a university in another country is international student mobility. The student mobility rates are very high, and there must be a reason behind the same.
Some data can help us understand the perspectives of international students. We can also see why they think studying abroad is an excellent decision.
- A recent Institute for International Education of Students (IES) survey reveals that 95 percent of international students believe studying abroad made them more mature.
- The same survey also shows that 96 percent said studying overseas helped with self-confidence.
- The IES study also shows that three-quarters of the respondents feel that the study abroad experience helped them get skills for future careers. It helped with interpersonal and foreign language skills. Students also learned to adapt to newer environments.
- The IES study highlights that 87 percent of the responding students feel the study abroad experiences enriched their educational experiences.
- Half of the surveyed students participated in international workshops, internships, volunteerism, etc.
- The Erasmus Impact Study found that studying abroad improved the scope of successful employment. Around 74 percent of the respondents started a professional career after completing their course.
- The same survey also shows that young people who study overseas are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as opposed to those who do not study abroad.
- The Erasmus Impact Study also highlights employers’ perspectives on international education. It is positive. Around 64 percent of employers think that international experience is essential for recruitment.
- Moreover, 64 percent of the surveyed hirers also said that graduates with an international background often get greater professional responsibility.
- The last jaw-dropping statistic from the Erasmus Impact Study is that 1 out of 10 Erasmus students went on to start their own companies.
So, regarding statistics, studying overseas has an excellent reputation. So, if you want to pursue your international education dream, then one of the best study overseas tips is to plan. You can begin by reviewing finances. It will help you determine how affordable or otherwise studying abroad is for you.
It is noteworthy to remember that although statistics reveal much, they are not the Gospel truth. But numbers can reveal a half-baked reality. Thus, we must dig deeper to determine the pros and cons of studying abroad.
TOP FIVE PROS OF STUDYING ABROAD
You Learn Independence
The most significant benefit of studying abroad is that you learn independence. These two skills are indispensable at every turn of life. For example, when you move to a new country, away from the familiarity of a homely environment, you might feel uncomfortable. Such massive changes can overwhelm anyone.
Nevertheless, Remember that life begins when you get out of your comfort zone. An overseas education offers that opportunity. As a result, many study-abroad students feel the experience made them more mature. They returned home wiser and more thoughtful.
You Learn New Languages
Another merit of studying abroad is the opportunity to learn foreign languages. Unfortunately, learning a new language via textbooks is too theoretical. But international education helps you master different languages practically. Moreover, you learn through conversations and interactions with people who speak different languages.
Learning a new language strengthens your resume. It also supports cognitive development by increasing the grey matter and improving memory. Thus, one of the best study overseas tips anyone can offer is to partake in sociocultural activities. In addition, of course, it helps to gather as many brownie points as possible.
So, it is good to choose Europe if you want to polish your English language skills while benefiting from international learning.
You Receive the Highest Standards of Education
The top study-abroad destinations, such as the USA, the UK, etc., have institutions whose knowledge distribution procedures are the gold standard models. For instance, out of the 350 institutions in the United Kingdom that accept international students, 11 are on the list of QS top 100 universities worldwide.
The extensive focus on research and innovation means that you receive the best of the best in education. So, an invaluable study overseas tip is to check the global rankings of your chosen international universities. In addition, you can examine the rankings for the last decade or so.
Studying Abroad Makes You Self-Aware and Reflexive
One of the significant merits of studying abroad is that you become more self-aware. You also become more accepting of sociocultural differences. Moving to a new country for higher learning means you meet different people with diverse opinions. An IES Study reveals that 98 percent of respondents feel studying abroad helped them better understand their cultural values and biases.
We often see that the social diversity of corporate life often poses a hindrance for those not equipped to accept others and adjust to sociocultural diversity. However, international students have an edge in such contexts. A study abroad experience automatically makes people more adaptable. Students also feel comfortable around people of diverse vantage points.
Simply put, overseas education can help your career and make you a better person.
You Can Build an International Corporate Network
Studying abroad provides access to an extensive professional network. All your university friends from your institution become a valuable corporate network for the rest of your life. So, the chances of gainful employment increase manifold. Moreover, many top-tier companies also prefer hiring students with international experience.
Simply put, international students always have the edge over the rest regarding jobs and employment. One overseas study tip is choosing a favorable work-study program destination. For example, Australian Universities allow international students to work 40 hours every fortnight in all sectors. The work helps to fund their lifestyles.
THE MAJOR CONS OF STUDYING ABROAD
Everything has its pros and cons, and overseas education is no different. However, despite the seemingly endless benefits of studying abroad, it has its fair share of disadvantages. What are they? Let us find out!
You Will Feel Homesick
One demerit of studying abroad is that you will be away from your loved ones. As a result, you might feel disconnected from your family in the first few months.
The differences in time zones can make communication difficult. One study overseas tip you should follow is to connect with your family on social media. When other channels fail, social media is your best friend.
Studying Abroad is Expensive
The top study-abroad destinations, such as the USA, the UK, Australia, and Canada, are expensive. Apart from the high tuition fees, the high cost of living adds fuel to the fire.
Unfortunately, international students’ scholarships are insufficient to meet their survival needs. The burden ultimately falls upon the parents in the source country. The result may be financial hardships for some.
Applying to German public universities is the best study overseas tip for those looking for affordable options. Why? Many public institutions in Germany revoked tuition fees for international students in 2014. As a result, you only need a small administrative fee of around GBP 150 to 250 per semester.
An international debit card can help you navigate finances in a foreign country.
The third major demerit of studying abroad is the potential language barrier. The issue is not so pressing in English-speaking countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia. However, other popular study-abroad destinations, like Germany, France, Singapore, etc., may pose a language hindrance.
For example, French institutions offer specific courses to international students in English. To study these programs, students only have to clear TOEFL or IELTS. The outcome is that the student who visits France for higher learning in an English-oriented course does not know French.
Moreover, only two-thirds of French people speak English to some degree. Therefore, international students might find communication difficult. Such situations are also breeding grounds for alienation.
The same goes for German institutions and their courses, as well. Therefore, the study overseas tip to solve this problem is to start learning the basics of the principal language of your host country. The sooner you begin the learning process, the better it is for your study abroad journey.
So, there we have it, the pros and cons of studying abroad.