Studying abroad is a trend that’s been only getting more popular over the years.
While it certainly is an experience that you’re hardly ever going to forget, there can be a number of obstacles that you maybe didn’t consider.
There are many things that you can learn about the world and about yourself by staying in another country, getting to know a culture that’s completely strange to you.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common ups and downs of studying abroad.
#1 Pro – Getting in Touch With a New Culture
Unless you’re moving to a country that’s fairly similar to yours, chances are that by studying abroad you’ll get to experience a totally new way of living. Whether it’s learning about different traditions, or enjoying local street foods, you’ll most probably be leading a completely different lifestyle to what you’re used to. And the best thing is, whatever you learn through this interactive experience will stick with you throughout the years, making you a more knowledgeable person.
#2 Con – Loneliness
More people than you might think feel lonely while studying abroad, mostly because all of their friends and family members are back home. It isn’t always easy to fit in the new environment and finding friends that you’ll feel comfortable next to might prove a challenge. On the bright side, however, is that if you do manage to find some friends – you’ll have a much easier time fitting in.
#3 Pro – Becoming Independent
Studying abroad is completely different than living in a college dorm back home. Depending on the program, you may end up in an apartment, hotel, or even living with a local family. Whichever it is it beats the dorm and it’ll go a long way to help you build your independence. You’ll learn to live on your own and rely on your skills to get through, which is a valuable experience indeed.
#4 Con – Homesickness
What most people don’t account for when choosing to study abroad is that they’re likely to feel homesick at some point in the future. Being far away from the comfort of your home may lead to you being unhappy, or even lead to depression. Luckily, technology today allows for video-calls to be made through various applications and you’ll in no time be talking to your family face to face. Try to set strict dates when you’re planning to visit your home and respect them, and you’ll have something to look forward to.
#5 Pro – Learn a New Language
People who want to study abroad need to learn English and obtain proficiency level degree prior to submitting an application. This applies even to native speakers as some universities need a proof of grammar and literacy knowledge. However, wherever your destination is you’re likely to learn a completely new language if you keep studying for over a year. Having friends will help this a lot, as it will force you to communicate on day to day basis and in time you’ll be able to do it in their language. There are few things in life that are more satisfying than knowing languages, as not only you’ll be able to communicate better, but you’ll also be able to understand their culture.
#6 Con – Expenses
When you calculate living costs, accommodation, flights back home – studying abroad can be quite expensive. Even if you’re someone who controls the budget well you’re likely to be spending all of your money before you planned to. This is especially true if you’re going to study in a country where living costs are quite higher than in your own.
While we had no intention to change anyone’s mind on studying abroad, we feel that it’s only fair to get to know both sides of the coin before making a decision. Studying abroad is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and may require a lot of planning to work out, but in the end, it almost always pays off with the sheer experience that it brings.
- Lynn Zheng
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