Is studying abroad a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change your future or just a waste of time and money?
“Studying abroad—also known as overseas education—is a common term that indicates going to a foreign country to receive an education.” In 3 Benefits of Studying Abroad, we learned that studying overseas is an appealing option for many students. However, there are reasons that make this type of education not suitable for everyone. What are those factors? Are there solutions for these problems?
1. Culture Shock & Homesickness
Although experiencing notable changes in the surrounding is one positive side of moving to another country, unfamiliar tributes of the foreign place can reverse international students. This situation can be described as Culture Shock—a feeling of confusion and anxiety that someone may feel when they live in or visit another country (Oxford Dictionary).
Homesickness is one form of Culture Shock. It is the feeling of missing out on events in your hometown, delicious meals that your mother used to cook, or your friends and relatives at home, for example. Being all by yourself can make you feel isolated, especially when you first arrive.
Other notable reasons lead to culture shock, increasing stress, and disorientation:
- The unrealistic expectation of overseas education based on sterotypes rather than actual research.
- Unable to make friends and blend in the class because of insecurities or differences.
- Struggle to enhance culture and language acquisition.
To deal with culture shock, you have to be very patient. Thanks to technological advancements, you can still keep in touch with your loved ones through video calls and texting. Remember that you can reach out to others for help, especially those in your shoes. You can find a community of international students and hear their advice on settling down in a new place.
2. Cultural & Language Barriers
Learning the ins and outs of a brand new culture is never an easy task. To immerse in the environment, you have to understand the social etiquette to avoid offending native citizens and bringing trouble for yourself. It is better to acknowledge that traditions in the new country can contrast your belief and what you are familiar with at home.
Lack of culture and language knowledge can exacerbate negative emotions if they persist for a long time, thus preventing you from socializing and even worsening your learning experience. This will eventually cause a shortfall in academic performance and self-confidence.
A language is a vital tool for thriving in an international setting. Besides English, which is internationally spoken, people in some countries such as China, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam might speak in the mother tongue for everyday conversations and lectures; therefore, you should research carefully and take years to practice using the language.
Acquiring a degree of intermediate level is recommended for you to understand what is going on around you when you study abroad. Not everyone is gifted with linguistic intelligence, but If you think of spending the next three to four years in a new country, you should take time to improve your language usage before going overseas.
3. Studying Abroad is Demanding
The first apparent reason is financial demand: expensive tuition fees, costly flights and residence, and higher prices for even some daily goods.
According to the International Institute of Education, the average cost of overseas education is around $18,000 per semester or $36,000 per full academic year. That is the tuition fee alone. If a student has thought about going abroad, they must think about the enormous cost before even dreaming.
In addition, Studying Abroad is also mentally demanding. Without determination, discipline, and self-reliance, the journey to study overseas will be highly tough.
There are some students with a lack of self-discipline, but they still risk studying abroad with the thinking that learning in a high-quality school means absolute more guarantee for their future. Even though great schools can bring that to you, I think this mindset would create students’ struggles to excel in class and actual evaluation tests.
If the desire to study overseas does not come from your self-motivation to gain knowledge, you are more likely to re-take the courses, which will be even more time-wasting and cost-ineffective.
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3 Benefits Of Studying Abroad
Studying abroad—also known as overseas education—is a common term that indicates going to a foreign country to receive an education. Students usually go overseas to obtain K12 programs undergraduate or post-graduate degrees. Why do so many students aspire to study in a different nation? What makes studying abroad appealing to students?
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