5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying Abroad

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studying abroad tips

5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying AbroadBy Tunde Omotoye

To start, here are the top 10 best countries to study abroad:

1. US
2. UK
3. Canada
4. Germany
5. Australia
6. France
7. Switzerland
8. Netherlands
9. Sweden
10. Spain

When you are studying abroad, you are opened to the following advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

1. Exposure to various cultures:

One good thing you can count on is meeting people from various cultural backgrounds.

This gives you good exposure to multicultural people, thereby learning first hand about things you either read or thought you knew.

Due to the exposure, you’d realise you become very open-minded in the end and not necessarily living in your own bubble of understanding and culture.

2. Your Financial Learning Curve becomes High:

Unlike back home where you can call an aunt or uncle to send you money, as a student abroad you realise you are on your own trying to figure things out.

This gives you an opportunity to understand the dynamics of finances.

Hence, you get to pay your own bills, your travel expenses and planning your future by yourself because you know everything depends on how well you have control over your own finances.

3. Changes in One’s mindset:

A lot of people will argue this, but when you leave your community to learn in another you begin to see things from different perspectives.

This is because one’s mindset is a reproduction of itself and it is largely influenced by where it is located.

Generally speaking, we know the environment a student grows contributes to the character build and the way of thinking.

4. Higher Pay scale:

A high percentage of students who study abroad and gain certifications outside get paid higher when they return home.

Someone who has gained extensive years of experience outside would be readily and quickly placed in a leadership position.

5. Advanced Learning Techniques:

Schools abroad will generally offer new and better learning techniques to educate their students.

For me, it was an awesome experience. From state of the art class settings to the availability of study materials on school portal etc.

And yes, many countries abroad have good laboratories with world-class facilities, which provides a good atmosphere for doing research.

Hence, students leave such institutions being confident that they’ve become subject matter experts in their various fields.

Disadvantages:

1. Expensive:

The Yorubas say, “The soup that is sweet is as a result of money”.

Sadly, an international student without financial aid or scholarship would pay 4 times or more the fee of a domestic student.

On the flip side, some countries like Canada allow you to work while you are in school. That way, you can use money made to pay rent, phone or grocery bills and even have extra change for flex if you are a type that knows how to save.

2. Feeling Homesick:

You’d miss home so much for sure. But thank God for technology. Whatsapp, facetime, and Skype will help you keep in touch with your loved ones.

You know not everyone can afford to just wake up one morning and say, let me buy the next ticket to Lagos.

3. Difficulty in Communication at First:

Truth is, you really do not know you have an accent until you travel. For some of us that studied in the corners of Ibadan before traveling, we’d later find only us understand the words we pronounce.

There’d be a lot of ‘can you say that again’ before you finally know how to twist your words.

Not necessarily changing how you speak, but you’d find you pronounce your words profoundly so you can be understood.

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4. Exposure to things you aren’t used to:

Seeing two women kiss or two men kiss in broad daylight might be strange to you in Nigeria. But be ready to accept that you are not in your country anymore so you have to behave yourself.

During summer, if you are the type that is deeply entrenched in your cultural values and believes people should cover themselves up, believing that someone who shows skins has no dignity, then you’ve got to brace yourself.

With time though, they’d become trivial.

5. Chances of racism:

Truth is, racism still exists and we can’t shy away from it. However, it is subtle in some places than others. International students are prone to racism from lecturers and other students but many schools have a way of addressing such issues.

When you are in school, immigrate or even visit you are opened to a whole new experience entirely. You learn.

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