Why Studying Abroad is the Way to Go

‘The World Is Flat’ is the title of an international best-seller by Thomas L. Friedman, in which he postulated a globalized 21st century. More than 5 million students study outside their home countries in any given academic year, according to an ICEF Monitor Report. The international student mobility is on the ascendance with each year and is predicted to rise to 8.3 million by 2020. Droves of students brave the challenges of competitive entrance exams, visa formalities, funding requirements, et al to pack their bags and head to foreign educational destinations. Why not, for there is a whole unexplored world out there waiting to be discovered and the students of today are realizing the importance and benefits of a global and diversified education.

For many, studying abroad may be the first experience away from home, family and friends. This may not always be easy, but the benefits of giving up your familiar environment far outweigh the reasons for staying at home.

Moving beyond the Comfort Zone

A lot of intellectual nourishment takes place in the classroom; think physical, biological, computer and social sciences, with courses such as CSPO training. Learning also occurs outside the ambit of the classroom, especially in a milieu different from one’s own. A person who immerses himself in a new culture, and experiments with different ways of thinking, living, and learning, open the floodgates to personal growth.

It will challenge individuals to think and grow in ways they would not, had they not ventured out of their country and discover independence in living alone and in a foreign country. However, the hurdles are what makes a person more interesting, as the saying goes: smooth seas don’t make good sailors. Those who have experience life on their own will understand how to survive, if not, thrive.

Meeting Interesting People

A refreshingly new environment opens the windows to people who possess a totally different outlook on life and matters. It is also an occasion to interact with like-minded people in the field of one’s expertise. And these friendships can last a lifetime. World-class universities offer students plenty of opportunities to develop networks through conferences, career fairs, and alumni activities, and this can make a world of difference to professional growth in the future.

Furthermore, it is also easier to find like-minded people in the same chosen module or faculty, than in a school filled with high school students who have had their curriculum picked out for them.

Broadening Perspective

A person who has an open mind will definitely return home more enlightened, with a broader understanding and perspective of international affairs, politics, and economics. Such a person will also acquire a deep appreciation for the host country and glean invaluable insights into how it approaches daily life and challenges, and develop invaluable leadership on the way.

Experience a cultural mix

Studying overseas is an unbeatable cultural experience. Many universities are a magnet for students from far and wide, thereby acting as a platform for a meeting of hearts and minds drawn from varied cultures. From tasting different foods to celebrating traditional customs, one can inculcate values of various distinctive cultures.

While it is not the same as living in a different country, each person from a different ethnic group or culture is glimpse into the lives of where they come from. This will remind each individuals how big the world is a perhaps, set out to change it or be changed by it.

Changing the world one trend at a time

Currently, foreign students are on the rise and the aftermath or unintended effect is that there is a new generation which is not only unafraid of news things but is happy to rise to the challenge and do things their way. Due to the understanding that there is no “right way” to do something, even when it come to the American Dream. This has given way to countless digital nomads and has created a golden age of entrepreneurs, able to predict needs and offer solutions.

To conclude, studying abroad offers benefits and life experience that cannot be gained or replicated in a classroom setting. Employers worldwide are increasingly looking for life experience and skills that come from a study sojourn abroad. Traditional educational paths may work well for some, while the road less traveled may be paved with gold for others. In the ultimate analysis, taking risks and being different is what makes the difference.

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