In the past, when students did a university degree, they tended to study in their own country. Nowadays, they have more opportunity to study abroad. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?
The pursuit of knowledge is a concept that is valued by most cultures. In the 21st century, we now have many more options regarding how and where to find that knowledge. If you are a French national, you can apply to do an economics degree in the USA, and likewise an American citizen can take a course in linguistics in France. Indeed, most universities across the world now have a good proportion of foreign students enrolled in their programs. Certainly, there are numerous advantages of studying in a different country. Many students choose to do this because they know that a particular university, for instance, HavardBusiness School, has an excellent reputation. Graduating from here, they believe, will increase their chances of securing a decent position in a company back home. Students studying abroad also have the opportunity to form friendships with people of various nationalities: in time, these may develop into useful professional networks. Furthermore, living far from family and friends can enable young people to become more independent and self-sufficient. Unfortunately, the experience of studying abroad is not always a positive one. Research suggests that a small percentage of young people struggle to adapt to their new environment and suffer from severe culture shock. The situation can become worse if the student is not mature enough to cope by themselves. Different approaches to teaching and learning may also come as an unwelcome surprise to some students. In essence, the key to a good experience at a foreign university is an open mind. If a student is presented with this opportunity, they should certainly seize it.