In today’s world, migrating to a different country for academics has become quite the norm. Not to say traveling to another country was unheard of in ancient days. The Nalanda university of medieval India taught sixty-four subjects. It attracted scholars from all over the world. So did the Egyptian, Greek, and Oriental universities.
And this trend continues today. Leading universities around the globe continue to attract students. While this presents a lot of advantages, it does come with a few downsides.
To give students a fair evaluation, below are 10 pros and cons of studying abroad:
Most foreign universities offer affordable educational programs for students coming from middle-class families. The tuition is usually half the cost of what the student will have to pay in their native country. For example, studying medicine in the US costs around $30,000 per year. But American students who will not let finances get in the way of them pursuing a medical career opt to study in Eastern Europe. The annual tuition there will cost them only $4000.
On the same note, for brighter students, even expensive countries like the US will often have scholarships for international students in place. While the cost will significantly vary depending on the student’s preferred university, it’s the leading reason why most students leave their countries to study abroad.
Con: Extra evaluation causing loss of time
After finishing a degree abroad, foreign-certified students are mandated to clear several qualifying exams. This can be a taxing and time-consuming process. So some students leverage custom writing on EssayPro as an easy out. This affords them the time to focus on practical aspects of their specialty and at the same time get recognition as equals to their native counterparts.
Pro: The horizon of possibilities widens
Studying overseas opens unlimited career prospects for students. Since every international university is trying its best to accommodate everyone and maintain a high reputation, international students are often exposed to leading industry tech and information. This gives them an edge when they finally step into the corporate world.
Furthermore, while studying abroad, students get to network with peers from different countries. Cultural diversity improves an understanding of humanity in general. It leads to the all-rounded development of etiquettes, class, and mannerisms. Working upon these soft skills is necessary to succeed in today’s world.
Finally, in an international community, students learn about different opportunities for their careers in different parts of the world. Thus they can make an informed decision from a variety of options.
Con: Culture shock and lack of belongingness
International students often socially struggle in a foreign country; they have to learn different cultures and norms. At the same time, they can’t fully embrace the local culture since they have to constantly move back and forth between their native country and host country. The absence of a fixed environment can have a negative psychological impact on some students.
Pro: Learning a new language by immersion
Although the studying language medium in most international universities is English, the locals often use the country’s native language. This is true for most European countries. As a result, international students can also learn important global languages like German, French, Russian, and or Spanish, among many others.
Foreign students are communicating with the locals consistently. This makes learning the local language an effortless task to achieve. It also helps students easily blend in with the locals. Besides, learning a new language also improves cognition.
Con: The foreign language can be limited
A language is only as valuable as its day-to-day applications in real life. The host country’s local language often has no usability in one’s native country. Specific languages like Mandarin, Arabic, or Japanese need several years of learning. And such languages are often onerous for an international student to learn quickly. The irony is that the students graduate even before becoming proficient in the language. In the end, it may prove to be an exercise in futility for managing a few years in foreign lands.
Pro: Getting to live an egalitarian life
Life abroad offers a new and often independent environment. International students get to live their lives on their own terms for the first time. They get to visit exotic festivals with friends of different nationalities, wear clothes of their choice, choose a religion of their choice, among other things.
Girls coming from patriarchal countries won’t face gender bias in academics abroad. And students coming from war-torn or otherwise violent states would get their liberty. Unity in diversity is what studying abroad offers.
Con: Completely missing traditional life
Sure, foreign universities have their diverse style of celebrations and frivolities. But nothing beats the real cultural atmosphere back home. The feeling of appearing an odd man out abroad will always contrast to a sense of belonging in native lands.
Pro: Getting acceptance is often easier
As a general rule, there is often high competition within local universities. Thus, seats for top programs like Medicine, Engineering, or IT are often limited. To qualify, students will have to come top of their class, but this is impossible for everyone.
Foreign international universities, in efforts to attract many international students, often lower the entry score. Thus, they serve as a safe haven for students determined to pursue a career they were denied in their own country.
Con: Education mismatch and inadequacy
The education in foreign universities seldom matches other countries’ curriculum. It hardly fits with a student’s native education program either. Specific syllabi are either irrelevant or inadequate to the international students. This can pose difficulties when the student finally returns to work in their native country.
Making the decision to study abroad is not easy. The above advantages and disadvantages will help you make an insightful decision. However, note that these pros and cons can vary depending upon several factors, particularly the university and country you choose.