The advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad have to be weighed up when making a decision about whether or not to study abroad. The advantages of studying abroad include learning a new language, boosting your résumé and experiencing new things, while the disadvantages include crippling homesickness, high costs and cultural barriers. Send My Bag will explore each of these advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad in more detail.
Advantages of studying abroad
It makes you a more interesting person
It’s a cliché, but studying abroad really does broaden your horizons. Being in a foreign country and seeing how other cultures approach life makes you challenge your assumptions. It makes you see things from another point of view, which turns you into a more rounded and more open-minded person.
It gives you something to talk about
Studying abroad will help you become one of those people you have always envied ‒ someone who can keep a dinner party enthralled with their portfolio of fascinating stories. When you get home from studying abroad you too will have plenty to talk about, from the interesting people you have met, to the amazing sights you have seen. You will also be able to pull out some amusing anecdotes about your attempts to deal with culture shock.
You get to learn a new language
If you study abroad in a country where they don’t speak your native language, you will have an excellent opportunity to learn theirs. There is nothing like living in a country to learn its language. If you already know the basics of the language, this is your opportunity to improve your fluency.
It looks good on your résumé/ CV
Having a period spent studying abroad on your CV tells employers that you are a well-travelled person who is open to different cultures and different points of view. It also suggests that you have the ability to be independent and that you likely possess valuable language skills.
Better learning opportunities
Studying abroad makes it easier for you to receive the best possible teaching in your chosen field of study. This is because you can apply to study at the leading institutions in the world for your subject, rather than settling on what institutions are close to home.
It takes you out of your comfort zone
Moving abroad to study forces you to be independent and not rely on family members for support. You will have to work out for yourself how everything works in your host country. This gives you the opportunity to confront any social anxieties you may have and become a more confident person as a result. You will realise that you can do much more for yourself than you previously thought.
You can create social networks around the world
Not only will you mix with people who come from your host country, but you will also meet lots of other international students from around the world. You will hopefully create contacts and friends for life, whom you can visit whenever you are in their neck of the woods.
Disadvantages of studying abroad
More intense homesickness
Studying away from home can be tough enough even if you have only moved across the country or to another state. So consider how much tougher it might be to study in a place that is miles away from home and in a country that is vastly different to what you are used to. Being halfway around the world will also make it more difficult to go home for the holidays or for the weekend. But don't worry too much about homesickness; it will come and go. Follow our guide to battling homesickness and think about including some items from home that will cheer you up when sending your possessions abroad with Send My Bag.
It is often the case that tuition fees are higher for international students. Plus, you may not be entitled to the same student loans that you would receive back at home. In addition, you will have to factor in considerable moving costs when you choose to study abroad.
Your family will miss you
Not only might you miss home, but your parents and the rest of your family may find it hard to adjust to you being so far from home. But, being far away geographically doesn’t mean you can’t stay in regular contact. Download these top apps for studying abroad, which include great ways to keep in contact and share your experiences abroad.
Language and cultural barriers
While studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to learn a new language, you may initially have some problems with language barriers. This is especially likely at the beginning when you need to arrange things like a bank account and accommodation. It is also possible that you could come up against cultural barriers to do with religion, gender roles, or communication differences.
Longer travelling time
Studying abroad inevitably entails longer travelling times, potentially with connecting flights and/or stop overs. An exhausting and time-consuming journey could turn into something you dread. You can make your journey more bearable, however, by sending your luggage to your final destination with Send My Bag. Just carry with you anything you might need for the journey and send everything else to your accommodation. This means you don’t have to bother with luggage check in or baggage carousels, which is especially handy when you need to change flights. Send My Bag sends luggage all around the world, to and from destinations such as Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and many more! Can’t decide what to pack? Get inspiration from our packing list for study abroad.
If you are unlucky enough to dislike your course, or if you come up against some personal issues and need to return home prematurely, you will have wasted a lot more time, effort and money than if you had chosen to study at home.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to studying abroad, but the disadvantages tend to be worst-case scenarios, or they can be easily overcome. So don’t let the disadvantages of studying abroad put you off making an important life decision that will bring you a wealth of benefits. Wondering where you should study? Check out our guide to the best places to study abroad.
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