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The Pros And Cons Of Studying Abroad

Studying overseas is one of the most beneficial experiences you can have as a university student. But, while studying abroad is valuable, innovative and exciting, there were several things prospective international students should consider before making a definitive decision. Want to know what these are? Then check out the pros and cons of studying abroad!

THE PROS OF STUDYING ABROAD:

  1. It gives you the opportunity to travel. 

Not just an educational experience, student exchange allows you the opportunity to travel to another country and explore its culture, traditions and beauties over an extended period of time. The country’s closeness to other nations might also allow you the luxury to hop on a train and get traversing alternative cultures as well.

  1. It allows you to experience a different style of education. 

By studying abroad, you will have the opportunity to experience a style of teaching that you would not be privy to at home. Think small lecture classes versus large ones or homework policies versus no homework policies. This different approach to schooling will help you develop different perspectives on learning. Once you return home, this will give you a serious edge over your peers, as you’re able to approach your degree in a different manner.

  1. It allows you to experience a different side of your degree. 

Don’t be fooled by familiar name of the degree – the overseas university’s degree might look the same as your own home university’s, but inside they can be a lot more different than expected. You might find yourself as a law student in an overseas country with regulations that don’t apply at home or as a film student at an overseas university where work placements are mandatory. These slight differences will allow you to get a fresh and new perspective on your degree and give you extra context when you return home!

  1. It looks good on your resume.

This is a no-brainer. Plus, the good news is if you don’t have any placements or internships lined up, then there are plenty of job skills international students learn during their semesters abroad, without even lifting a finger. Learn what these are in this article.

  1. It gives you the opportunity to make lifelong friends.

While studying abroad, you’ll meet students from my host country who have backgrounds unique to your country. This will benefit you, as you could potentially establish long-lasting relationships with unique persons, who could also be excellent points of network in the future.

  1. It allows you to achieve personal development.

Consider study abroad the education equivalent of a self-help book: the experience tests your ability to function in a variety of new situations and you’re encouraged to learn how to solve these personal problems. The result? You’re more independent, confident and tolerant.

THE CONS OF STUDYING ABROAD:

  1. It might cause you to be out of your comfort zone.

Think about it. Everyone has an established comfort zone. Everyone has their established friends, activities, hangouts and jobs. And you, like everyone else, are comfortable with the familiarity each of these offer. Breaking out of these familiarizes in such a sudden and extreme way might prove to be both scary and uncomfortable. You have to consider if studying abroad is worth this risk and decide whether you can or cannot embrace new experiences, cultures and people.

  1. It will probably cause you to feel some semblance of homesickness

Social networking sites such as Skype and Facebook make keeping in touch incredibly easy, so you’d think it would be difficult, nay impossible, to fall homesick. But beware! While studying abroad, you might find yourself pining for your friends and family or for the sweet, sweet comforts of home.

  1. It might cause you to miss important milestones back home.

We get it. We would all LOVE to be there for the important milestones and tragedies my family or friends may experience during your semester abroad – especially if you’re the kind of person who prefers to offer support in person, and not through a computer screen or telephone. However, life at home will go on, with or without you. It’s something you have to come to terms with before making your final decision.

  1. It costs a large amount of money.

Like, think-of-a-number-and-double-it large. You may already know this from such Google searches as “how to earn money for study abroad“, “budget tips for exchange students in the US” and “help, I have no money, how can I study abroad?” It’s the number one concern for most international students thinking over the prospect of studying abroad – and it doesn’t help that most countries have a high cost of living.

Thankfully, though,  pre-decision research is worth its weight in gold. Just a couple of solid days digging through the Internet can narrow down on when to go, where to study abroad and what to do to limit your costs overseas. Let’s not forget that the money will be more than worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Chloe Ranford

Chloe is an Australian journalism student who has just completed the last semester of her Bachelor of Journalism degree as an International Exchange Student at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), England. She currently writes articles on her experiences as an exchange student for Rakbo and QUT Gone Global.


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