Studying abroad is definitely an exciting prospect for many students. Meeting new people, experiencing a different culture, having some independence from their family – these can all be thoughts that start the most beautiful dreams. While not unfounded, it is good to stay realistic and be informed of all the aspects of such an activity. As with all life experiences, there are pros and cons – preparing for them can only be helpful.
This shouldn’t be seen as a discouragement towards studying abroad, but rather as a balanced look at what it can bring. Here are a few aspects to consider.
Studying Abroad Pros and Cons
1. Making new friends
One of the most anticipated aspects of studying abroad is, more often than not, just as enjoyable as it is expected. People are generally very excited about getting to know someone from different parts of the world. Just as you’ll be thrilled to meet the locals, they’ll be thrilled to meet a foreigner.
Finding common interests with people from various backgrounds is one the most rewarding experiences when studying abroad. Many have managed to create some unique, long-lasting bonds in this way.
2. More study options at times
Studying abroad can definitely open new paths for you, depending where you start from. Some universities simply do not cover the study options that are offered in the scholarships offered for studying abroad.
Opportunities like these can expand your view of the world, letting you experience new ways of learning and new subjects, ensuring that you are at least a little closer to realizing what you really aim for in your career. It is one of the reasons we would recommend the experience to anyone who has the chance.
3. Experiencing a new culture
Another exciting opportunity that studying abroad gives you is that of experiencing parts of the world on your own, the benefits of which can be seen both at a professional and personal level. Being in a new environment will stimulate the natural curiosity and desire to explore that people have.
It will help students become less intimidated when stepping outside of their comfort zone, a skill that will prove to be useful throughout their life.
The good mood that usually comes with the opportunity of new experiences is also more likely to motivate people in all aspects of their life. Foreign students generally look to make the most of their opportunities when it comes to both their education and their social activities.
It is not an exaggeration to say that such an experience can help you realize what you want from life. Some people fall so much in love with new cultures that they are either looking to move or at least start developing a long-term passion for travelling. While others may discover new career opportunities.
Seeing how nothing is perfect, there are also some cons of studying abroad. Here are our top 3.
While we did mention new friends as an advantage, extended periods of time in foreign places are bound to make you feel lonely at times. Most students will eventually start missing their friends, family, the places they used to go to and the activities they once did. No matter how friendly the locals are, you can still start feeling disconnected from the world around you in time.
2. Additional fees/fewer benefits than locals
The cost of living varies greatly with the geographical region and, while you may study in a less expensive country, chances are you will still have to spend more than at home. This is due to the fact that you are not generally benefiting from the same cost reductions as local citizens (you may pay extra fees for studying as a foreigner, and you may not be covered by health insurance, to give a few examples). More than that, numerous expenses that you weren’t thinking about when living with your family apply when you are on your own.
3. Difficulty in adapting
Some people may have trouble adapting to a new culture, no matter how much support they receive. In these cases, handling university on top of an environment they are not used to can be overwhelming.
Study abroad – pros and cons, like everything else in life
As you can see, it’s impossible to say that such a complex activity is good or bad in itself. What it matters is that you are not afraid to go for it and see it for yourself.