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Advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad

Studying in foreign countries is a big decision that brings along a number of benefits, but it is not without its challenges. This is why one needs to thoroughly analyze the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad before making the final call.

Advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad

The pros and cons can differ from one student to another, but there are some things that can always be assessed objectively. Firstly, one needs to meet the requirements for enrollment into a school abroad. This primarily means – great grades; if possible, accompanied by extraordinary talents that can lead not only to enrollment, but also to a scholarship. 

Greatest advantages of studying abroad

What is the advantage that international students receive if they choose to attend American schools? Firstly, going abroad is a big step that brings new experiences and different perspectives on life. Education abroad lets one acquire knowledge that considerably expands the scope of future career options. 

The acquired knowledge opens up the possibility of working at successful companies that are always in search of talented young experts. Also, education in the USA opens the door to many international companies that highly value diplomas from American schools.

Different approach to education

The main reason why students choose studying in another country is a different approach to education. Even if lectures are in English, the educational system in the student’s country of origin is certainly different from the American one, from the curriculum, through the learning techniques, to the way the teachers conduct their lessons. Many find this difference in approach beneficial, and even achieve better results than they used to at home. 

Learn a new language

Going to another country brings along a great challenge – learning to speak a different language. Although many people abroad speak English, lessons are usually given in the local language and opportunities to practice are limited. Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for learning a new language or advancing one’s knowledge of an already familiar language. Spending a part of life in the country where the language is spoken is indispensable when it comes to developing fluency through active use. 

Even when it is not the primary goal, learning a language is necessary if the students want to fully experience their new environment. The entire experience of living abroad is more colorful when you understand the locals and the world around you in general. This is even more important if you would like to remain there after graduation. In that case, the mastery of the local language makes it much easier to land a well-paying job. For some, studying abroad can be a part of a long-term plan that includes settling and working there after graduation.

Personal development

Education in another country is an excellent way to advance yourself, and maybe even discover your own traits that you have not been aware of. Encountering different lifestyles and solutions to everyday challenges will help you build character and habits crucial for success in life. 

In a situation where you need to rely on yourself, you will fully realize the importance of self-discipline and dedication to the goal you have set for yourself. Although you will meet friends who will help you along the way and learn from top teachers, at the end of the day, it is all up to you and your own personal development. 

Different culture

Studying abroad means that you will spend considerable time in the USA, a country that might turn out to be much different than yours. Although at a glance it might seem that the modern lifestyle is similar – after all, they use Facebook and Twitter everywhere – the differences should not be disregarded. Firstly, there is food and its effect on the lifestyle. Its importance extends much further than the fact whether something is spicy or sweet. Food is the basis of every culture – it is an occasion for people to get together, exchange ideas and make new friends. 

Cultural differences can open new outlooks on life. Studying the specific traits of American culture is sure to leave a lasting impression, expand your horizons and change your life for the better. So use your stay for a road trip and have a firsthand experience in local culture. 

New friends

Making friends abroad is a unique experience because students from all over the world are gathered in one place. It is an opportunity to get to know people whom you would otherwise never meet. They all share the same goal – to acquire new knowledge, and exchange ideas and experiences with people from all parts of the world. This way, one can forge friendships that will last for life, and network with future experts in the relevant field. Do we need to remind you that some of the most successful companies were funded by people who met in school? 

Career changing opportunity

Whether you want to work in the States after graduation or not, the knowledge and diploma you will acquire can serve as a great recommendation for companies worldwide. The American educational system is highly esteemed in the international job market, and one should also bear in mind the fact that many companies are in search of new talent with a background in this specific educational system. It will be much easier to get your break if you have not only attended college but also acquired work experience through an internship. Not everyone has these experiences, which are held in high regard in expert circles. 

What are the disadvantages of studying abroad?

As it is a big, life-changing decision, it is clear that it involves some challenges too. They primarily have to do with the change in lifestyle, adopting new daily habits, and a decrease in communication with friends and family; also, this important decision is never made without financial considerations.

Friends and family

When you choose to go abroad, you need to be aware that this means leaving your family and friends behind. This can come as a great shock to some, especially if they are very close to their environment. Although many return after graduation, the very fact of leaving home and staying somewhere far away for a long time is an insurmountable obstacle for some. Luckily, these days, it is not as hard as it used to be, thanks to social networks and other means of communication. 

However, homesickness is something that cannot be avoided, especially when one considers the time zone difference, which can amplify the sense of isolation from those nearest and dearest. Luckily, this can be alleviated by trips home for the holidays and enjoying packages from home (with favorite cookies and other things that remind one of home). 

Cost of studying

There are a number of subjective obstacles that can lead one away from the idea of studying overseas. However, there is one factual, objective factor that has the greatest bearing on the final decision – the finances. Truth be told, studying abroad can be very expensive. Certain scholarships and student benefits can alleviate the living expenses only up to a point. In any case, one requires accommodation, food, and daily expenses.

This is why education needs to be planned ahead in order to prepare the resources for life in another country in time. The costs vary depending on state, but as a rule, the highest prices of student life are in the cities where the elite educational institutions are located. Luckily, in the United States, there are a number of benefits for students such as scholarships, as well as the option of working part-time jobs.

Cultural differences

Although it is generally a good idea to experience different cultures, visiting a town as a tourist and living there for a while are not the same. Different habits, different food and different ways of communication can be a big problem to some. Although they seem like little things, the cultural differences put together can really bother a foreigner. A different concept of friendliness and a sense of rejection can lead to alienation and loneliness. 

These problems can also result from unrealistic expectations and an idealized view of the destination. Students who already have the experience of living abroad can be of great help with this. Their experiences and their advice can help you understand the local customs and way of life. With good preparations, almost all difficulties brought about by moving into another country can be fully avoided.

Studying abroad will change your life

Every person reacts to challenges in their own way, so it is important to research the potential destinations and the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad in time. Not everyone enjoys a dramatic change, but there are a number of benefits that need to be taken into consideration when making the decision. Of course, any change as big as going to live a while on another continent is sure to be accompanied by some challenges that need to be overcome. 

But it can also be the best route to success, independence, and acquiring international school experience. The decision of studying abroad needs to be made only after a thorough analysis of all the options and their pros and cons, taking into consideration the required personal skills (independence, communicativeness, adjustability, flexibility…). If you are ready for a big adventure and all the challenges it brings, studying abroad is definitely a good idea and an amazing life experience.