It would be wise to say that many people have considered studying abroad, as something they want to try out at least once, in their lives. It is not surprising, as studying abroad is a great experience that would multiply one’s knowledge, and support self-confidence.
Personally, I believe that knowledge is power, and that is exactly why I think that studying abroad is a very interesting and attention worthy idea. Of course, studying abroad has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is also an unbelievable experience, that will definitely bring joy and pleasure while interacting with the representatives of a new culture and experiencing new things.
One way of looking at studying abroad is that it is a serious advantage that one will obviously benefit from. Depending on the actual time a person is being abroad, these advantages may be personal or academic. For example, some of the academic benefits may include such necessary things as improving language skills at any age. Since living in the environment, where everyone is speaking a language you are willing to learn will, most likely, result in you learning it to the fullest or at least dramatically improving the skills of your own. Another thing is when you get a chance to visit a foreign country at an early age. Being middle or a high school student, you will interact with many foreign children, which will improve your communication skills and influence your ability to understand and tolerate differences that may appear between cultures and people.
Moreover, studying abroad at an older age is a great opportunity to get a valuable degree in a field that is not available in your country or at least to get to know and learn many things in the classes that are not offered in your university, and transfer the credits without delaying the graduation date.
People at any age who take part in studying abroad become easily adjusted to unfamiliar circumstances and environments, which is a great skill that helps them in their lives.
For many students, studying abroad is a life changing experience that would not be gained if they were not brave enough to face all the possible difficulties on their way to a successful period of studies, in the country of their dreams. The educational exchange programs for high school children, or for university students, increase self-confidence, teach how to appreciate other cultures and people of different nations, and how to solve problems maturely and creatively.
Also, it is hard not to mention the all-time favorite part about studying abroad – getting to know the cultures from the inside, getting the taste of national cuisines, or a glimpse on traditions and customs. Why not trying to study abroad if there is a whole new world that is about to open in front of you?
Though, despite all the positive sides of studying abroad there might be some difficulties that can easily prevent one from reaching his or her goal of receiving education in another country. For example, one of the disadvantages of studying abroad is its cost. Almost none of the exchange programs cover your fees and living expenses, and living abroad can get pretty expensive. If you are used to spending quite substantial amounts of money at home, you may want to reconsider your habit, as in another country this may not be as possible, due to the differences in the exchange rates. Depending on the country and the way you live, you might spend both way too much or too little, and even save up to buy something memorable from the country of your studies. If you are lucky enough you will be getting a monthly allowance from the program you have used to get to the country of your studies, or maybe a school or a university stipend. Though, before signing up for any of the studying abroad programs you should be told about all the rules and policies that will influence your life in the country you will choose for your studies. Make sure that you ask all the questions you have because later there will be no time to discuss the budget matters. Plan everything out and maybe even the most expensive country of all will not be too harsh for you regarding the money. Money management is everything while studying abroad.
Another problem that lots of students encounter while studying abroad and which is clearly a disadvantage is the differences in the rules and acceptable behaviors. If you are free to do anything at home or in your own school or university, while studying abroad you will not have all rights to do whatever you want. There are certain rules each student abroad has to undergo to remain safe and sound. Of course, when it gets to just hanging out with your friends it is fine, but you will most likely not be able to be in a close relationship that involves sexual intercourse since it is usually specified in most of the study contracts for at least high school children. Also, there should be no drug or alcohol use spotted. It does not seem like a problem at first, but once you get used to the life you have in the country of your temporary studying, your opinion might change, especially if anything mentioned above were a part of your life back home. The new country will most likely be nothing like your own, and that is why you have to be careful.
Another major disadvantage that students name after returning back home, is getting close with people, you might not ever see again. Usually people go to another country to study abroad for at least half a year, which is more than enough time for getting close with somebody, making friends, and not wanting to go back. That is why you have to be ready for everything, and even for the goodbyes with your new but precious friends. Nevertheless, returning home does not necessarily mean never encountering those people again. The world is pretty small, so there will probably be a chance for you to see your friends from another country!
The last disadvantage is being far away from your family. No matter how strongly one can deny it, everyone misses their families. Due to this reason, studying in another country, even for a short period of time, can be hard and painful, but it should not be the reason to panic! There are many ways to communicate with your family, for example, the Internet and, moreover, time goes by fast, so you will reunite back with your family soon after!
All in all, studying abroad is a great experience that almost everyone will benefit from because of its original purpose. If you want to enrich and widen your worldview, meet many new people and get to know different cultures – receiving education in another country is exactly what you need. Though, before moving abroad, please remember that this is a very responsible step that will change your life forever, so think twice, consider all pros and cons, and then move towards your dream!