By Devika Arora, February 2014
Wondering about the pros and cons of studying abroad? Are there advantages and disadvantages to studying aborad? Yes, so read on! Are you hoping to earn a graduate degree in a foreign country? Even though the prospect of earning a graduate degree abroad may sound appealing, there are various complexities that students may want to consider before enrolling in an overseas program. Let us check out some of the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.
The Challenges of Studying Abroad
Culture Shock Abroad
This is the first challenge that students may encounter when they move to a foreign country. No matter how much you research another country, you are likely to experience unexpected surprises when you are actually living and studying there. This revelation is inevitable, especially if you have come to this country for the first time.
Tip: Don’t book a flight home at the first sign of discomfort. Keep faith in the fact that as time passes by, new social conventions will become familiar, and you will become more comfortable navigating life in your new surroundings.
Inability to Communicate Abroad
Students who are not fluent in the native language may have a difficult time communicating with their professors and classmates. Some programs may not provide accommodations for English speaking students, in this situation you might be expected to perform the same coursework in the same amount of time as student who do speak the native language.
Tip: Work hard to learn the local language and communicate with others about your language challenges. Ask your professors and classmates if they are comfortable conducting classes in English, request one on one tutoring sessions with professors, and befriend a student from the local area and ask them to help you become more comfortable speaking in the area’s native tongue.
Whether the world admits it or not, people tend to stereotype others. So no matter where which part of the world you wish to pursue a management degree from, remember that you may be judged and stereotyped until people understand you better.
Tip: Do not get offended or take things personally. It is not about you, it is about the place where you’re from and what it’s known for. Show people who you really are as a person and simply focus on your learning. When students see that you are just as dedicated to learning as they are, they may forget all language barriers and stereotypes to welcome you to the student community.
The Advantages of Studying Abroad
Even though there are several challenges to pursuing a graduate degree abroad, let us also consider the pros of earning a graduate degree abroad.
You will get to Travel!
Once individuals begin their career, they may become bound by budgets and other restraints. Not everyone gets the opportunity to travel to exotic locales. If you decide to take advantage of study abroad opportunities you may find that using your time as a student to see the world may help you gain a more global perspective and knock a few items off your bucket list.
You will Stand Out in a Crowd
Many companies may be interested in your experiences as an international student. Earning your graduate degree abroad may help your resume stand out when you are applying for jobs domestically or internationally.
It will offer Invaluable Experience and Fun
Where else will you get the chance to develop close bonds with people living in another country? You can make friends, find mentors and learn about the culture and professional community in another country. All this enriching experience may help add value to the person that you are and offer rare opportunities that no other expedition can provide.
If you are interested in international travel and new cultural experiences, earning your graduate degree abroad may be a great educational option. Take the time to carefully consider all of the study abroad opportunities available to graduate students and determine what course of action will be suit your long and short term educational and career goals.
About the Author: Devika Arora is a prolific writer who compiles relevant facts and analyzes the current state of affairs pertaining to the domain of education. She is currently writing informative articles, news stories and blog posts on behalf of Shiksha.com. The above article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.