The line of divide between the proponents of studying abroad and for those who highly propagate the notion of studying locally is normally narrow and at times misconceived. The protectionist notions are associated with persons studying locally mostly where they don’t want to leave their families or are fearful of the fates that might accrue to them when they reside in another country. This fear of the unknown is the biggest maybe so to say hindrance to his group of people. Human beings are social beings in nature and leaving one’s social circles to go and be part of another is not one of the most appealing things to experience (Teichler). To the other liberal group of persons, the love to travel, experience new people and cultures, the freedom to explore new attitudes and the globally competing perspective one gets gives them almost the wings they need to fly and go on a global spree, and academics form part of this life. So to say, there are competing reasons on either side of the divide why persons choose one over the other.
Reasons for studying abroad
From the point of discourse however on the studying aspect, my argument is that studying abroad is actually better than studying locally. From when a person is born to when they would want to access education abroad for example at the higher education level, abroad is the better choice. There are many who will refute this proposition but in this essay, different viewpoints as to why I take this stand will be well illustrated. The essay will also look at the flipside and the fears that the reasons I put across may not be all rosy for everyone. The various reasons why I would prefer to study abroad as compared to locally include:
First, one gets to experience a new culture. The best way to learn and find out about another person’s culture is by mixing and mingling with them. Studying abroad exposes one to a large pool of persons from different places and continents of the world. This exposes to any person the myriad of cultures, most of which people just hear of or have fallacies and misconceptions about. The course of study involves meeting up with people, forming discussion groups together or even sharing a common campus residence. These are social places and in social places, people get to showcase who they really are (Qs). The expanse of how different people carry themselves and interact with each other in such a social construction reveals some deep truths about their origin and this is one of the best places to learn the culture. Studying locally, on the other hand, offers the same experience since one was born. In terms of culture growth, one can only experience so much from maybe a different tribe in their country which they may be familiar with and as such the exposure rate is slow and one controlled by a common heritage and social surrounding. In a foreign school, the social construction may not allow one to cocoon themselves into their lingual background and therefore an interaction with other persons is inevitable.
Secondly, studying abroad changes a person’s thinking and perspective of life. While this may seem not such a big issue, it really is. Noting the different groups of people one interacts with, a number of issues to engage with also increases. To this effect, people react to issues differently and to situations in a completely different way as how one would in their local country. This exposes one to a global perspective of matters. Issues which were of the critical essence in one’s country may lose sense and weight from an international perspective. How people carry out their lives in their countries will also expose a person to a different perspective of life. The value people place on life and how it should be run takes different shapes from culture to culture. This is the myriad of perspectives that one gets to interact with and inter alia gets to learn and open up to the world. Such experiences are not well catered for in the local area of study yet the world is globalized.
Another reason why studying abroad is of the greater good is the likelihood of getting an exposure of an international workplace. Such a workplace exposes one to running organizations with a global perspective. People deal and react to situations differently with how local companies would. There could be likelihood for a local company to seek recognition maybe from the authorities to get favors in their business which might not apply to an international workplace which deals with people from across divides and certain things are not acceptable in such cultures (International). This workplace exposure sets in place various principles and work ethos that one needs to consider and enhances a global outlook of business or any other organization one is involved in.
Another benefit which is arguably among the major advantages is that one gets the chance to see and travel the world. Foreign studies come with visiting a new country offering a great opportunity to see new places and experience new things from the ones you are used to. One can also travel to neighboring countries to where one is studying as there is no limitation to travel. At this stage of life experiencing the world is a great adventure and learning become more adventurous when one is exposed to a place where they can have an adventure and explore the world.
The differences in the education systems from one country to another are also a compelling reason to study in a foreign country. Education systems and styles differ and experiencing a new system would be one of the greater diversification one can explore. Studying abroad opens one to experience a different side of the course that one would like to take that is different from what could be offered locally. This immersions and engagement into another education system help one better understand a certain country on critical issues like why they do things the way they do and how they are social, economically and politically oriented. There is so much to learn about people through their education system. The stresses an education system puts on social issues shapes the lives and the various interactions that people have with people and issues.
Another major benefit which may not be prevalent in studying locally is the chance to experience and learn a new language. Most of the times, studying abroad comes with learning a certain foreign language especially where the delivery mode is a different language from a person’s native language. Learning a language through study is one of the best ways to fully understand and interact with persons of a different language. The different attitudes and tones in words, expressions and emotions is a new area and beauty of the social life and art that one can learn by learning another language and interacting with it on day to day basis.
There is also the place of finding new interest in studying abroad. Studying abroad opens one’s eyes to things they thought were not of essence but are in the new country. This exposes one to experiences new ways and things that might totally change one’s life interests (Han, David). The international arena creates different passions when one interacts with friends from different places and learns about them. Some global passions were best learned and exposed when students were studying abroad. Forms of entertainment change, exposure to talent development and other adventures which might change the course of one’s life may be experienced in a foreign university.
Studying abroad has inexplicable many benefits as compared to studying locally. These benefits automatically lead my argumentative essay on this topic to give several recommendations. First, students need to find their passions and get to research where whatever they want to venture in is best offered. Different countries are known for being best in different fields. This opportunity offers one a chance to get a wide range of schools and countries to choose from. Aspiring students should also think through the different experiences that they would like to experience in the course of their study or life and look where best they can combine them with their studies. Aspiring students should also be open to any eventuality which includes going to study abroad and should stop being protectionist in nature to their social circles hindering their opportunity to expand their scope of life and learn new things.
Looking at the various reasons for studying abroad against the losses which one has to get by doing so, there are more benefits attached by every measure. Looking at the various reasons which include getting a wider world and global exposure, the opportunity to work in an international workplace and the possibility of learning a new language, the there is more to studying abroad than mere talk. The other reason as reasoned out above includes the possibility of being exposed to different culture and ways of life. Expanding one’s knowledge and scope of view of things is also a major play to define a study abroad scenario (Opper). Getting to experience the world adds to this list and crowns it all where one can comfortably combine education and adventure- how more interesting can studying get with such a package. There is no doubt whatsoever that experiencing a different curriculum and styles of teaching exposes one to different thinking and looking at things and one is best placed to tackle life issues with an expanse of knowledge and solution mechanisms.
Looking at the future and the acceleration of globalization, studying in a different country will almost become a requirement or better put a qualifying factor and an added advantage for the workplace. Currently, workplaces have not embraced this aspect wholly but the continued need to expand businesses and the rise of the new powers – the multinationals, renders the more need to study in a different country so as to get a global outlook of things. Life is an art and the way to enjoy an art is to give it new shapes, attitudes, emotions and aspirations.
Teichler, Ulrich. “Temporary Study Abroad: The Life of ERASMUS Students.” European Journal of Education, vol. 39, no. 4, 2004, pp. 395–408
International, Student. International Student. 30 November 2016 <http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/guide/ten-benefits-to-studying-abroad/>.
Qs. Studying Abroad: The Benefits. 11 September 2014. 30 November 2016 <http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/studying-abroad/studying-abroad-benefits>
Han, Donglin, and David Zweig. “Images of the World: Studying Abroad and Chinese Attitudes towards International Affairs.” The China Quarterly, no. 202, 2010, pp. 290–306.
Opper, Susan. “Students: Nailed to the Bench or Studying Abroad?” European Journal of Education, vol. 22, no. 1, 1987, pp. 27–38.