The idea of leaving your home country and moving abroad to a foreign land to continue your education sounds exciting and appealing to many people.
But studying abroad isn’t easy. There are lots of positive benefits to studying abroad, but there are also a few drawbacks that can catch you by surprise.
Before you make a decision and start researching the best place to study abroad, let’s discuss the pros and cons of studying abroad.
Education opportunities abound when choosing to study abroad. It’s not always about the school – some of the best education will come from your own experiences overseas.
Here are a couple of ways in which studying abroad is a great investment in yourself.
See the World
Studying abroad is one of the best education options. It allows you to see parts of the world you may not have experienced otherwise, and learn about a different culture. You may even make long-term friends.
It’s possible to even take short trips to other neighboring countries, allowing you to see a little more of the world.
Students who study abroad face unique challenges. Being in a foreign country encourages them to re-examine their values and who they are. Students become more independent, since the safety nets that exist in their native country may not exist in their new host country.
Alumni who have studied abroad are more than graduate students. They are confident, curious individuals. They are better shaped to navigate the ever-changing world.
While studying abroad is a great experience, it’s not for everyone. Here are a few of the negative aspects of studying abroad.
Culture shock can happen when staying abroad. Symptoms may include withdrawal, feeling lonely or isolated, and a longing to return home.
However, if you invest yourself in your new country and take the time to understand the differences in culture, you can lessen the culture shock.
Homesickness is real. The pang of missing your friends and family can hit students hard, and it can manifest itself in a few different ways.
Common emotional symptoms of homesickness include anxiety, anger, irritability, and depression. Common physical symptoms of homesickness are body aches, a change in appetite, and low energy.
It’s also possible to experience both culture shock and homesickness.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat it. Know that your feelings are normal. Take care of your health, practice mindfulness and meditation, and stay connected with friends and family in your home country.
Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad
There are pros and cons of studying abroad but overall, a study abroad program is a unique opportunity that should not be passed up. You will come back from your time abroad having learned so much about yourself and the world around you. It’s an invaluable experience that students shouldn’t pass up.
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