Studying abroad is not just an academic experience, it is a life-changing one. Do you remember moving from one school to another during your primary-secondary school days and how you didn’t like it because of the friends you left behind and the totally different environment you found yourself in? More importantly, do you remember how you began to adapt to the new environment, make new friends and began to experience life in a different way? Now that’s what it feels like to study abroad. It presents to you a different side to life laden with even more opportunities.
This article explores the benefits of studying abroad. You can rest assured that by the time you are done reading you’d be motivated to study abroad. Here are 5 reasons why you need to make that a reality:
One of the main reasons people consider studying abroad is the desire to not just get educated but to get quality education. You would agree that your country’s educational system might be good but not necessarily the best in terms of facility, funding, curators, and so on. So the opportunity to study in a country where the educational standard is enviable and the quality of graduates churned out is amazing, is something every student should clamour for. As they say, education is the best legacy but truth be told, the quality of that legacy is largely dependent on the quality of education one is exposed to.
Also, studying abroad affords you the opportunity to get a different feel and exposure in your field that may not be obtainable in your home country. How so? The teachers or lecturers are not from your home country, have different personal and professional experiences garnered as a result of their research (not conducted in your home country) but where they are domiciled, allowing for a different approach to the art of teaching. Because ‘education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,’ getting the best out of it is good practice, and studying abroad gives you a good footing.
Going to study abroad also opens you up to the prospects of learning a new language, especially if the host country communicates primarily in that language. While it may be difficult at first, constant practice and interaction with locals and fellow students should ease the process. By learning a new foreign language you become bilingual or multilingual, as the case may be. Now if you did not know this before, being able to speak and write in different languages is a skill that comes in handy. For instance, while you are still a student you could freelance as a translator or writer for organisations, or after your academic program, get a job at an embassy or any place where proficiency in that language is required. In other words, it boosts your employability status.
Having learnt this new language, also, relating with people over there would become easy-peasy and is bound to catalyse your integration into the society. It also means that you can easily blend into any country of the world that speaks that language. Say you go to France, for example, and learn French, it means that you won’t have any qualms with language barrier when you visit other French speaking countries.
BETTER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
If you do a survey of radio stations in Nigeria you would discover that a good number of On-Air Personalities paraded are mostly those with foreign education. And how can you tell? Their accent is a good place to start. What that immediately tells you is that people who study abroad are recognized, appreciated and believed to have been exposed to certain philosophies, cultures, education that makes them not just qualified but also relevant. In a nutshell, studying abroad gives you the exposure that gives you the experience which in turn gives you the edge over others.
It is important to note at this point that in a country like Nigeria where the search for employment has become like the search for the cure for AIDS, the edge that studying abroad provides is something to consider seriously.
Whenever there is a change of environment there is the pain that comes with leaving old friends but also, in due time, comes the joy of making new ones. Studying abroad exposes you to people who you come to recognize as your friends. These friends, in many ways contribute to your life on different fronts, making you a better you; what does the good book say about iron sharpening iron? And when your study program is done these friendships can come in handy as you forge ahead in your career. All you just have to do is keep in touch with them and ‘use’ them when the need arises. Yes! Use them, after all, a friend in need is a friend indeed.
These friendships will also afford you the opportunity to learn more about the people and their culture faster because they would be eager to hold you by the hand and show you the ropes. And also, the worry about not having any relatives in the host country fades away as your new friends begin to fill that void that hitherto seemed overwhelming.
Obafemi Awolowo once said, ‘no man is greater than his ideas’, in the same way, we all aspire for what we see or deem achievable within the confines of our environment. Our ambitions basically revolve around what is obtainable where we are, and that is limiting. Studying abroad, however, exposes you to a wealth of ideas and inquisitions that you may find interesting enough to change your aspirations. It is a simple principle that can be traced to the time when you were young and had certain dreams only to change them as exposure to other things began to suffice. Studying abroad exposes you to new ideas and engagements that you wouldn’t have dreamt about if you remained in your home country.
You could make an argument by saying that such foreign ideas can be picked up merely by following foreign news, movies, trends, and what have you but all these leave out the enabling environment to practice such endeavours. For instance, it has become somewhat lucrative to become a tattooer in the west but not here in Africa. The bottom line
There is absolutely nothing wrong with studying in one’s home country. Nothing whatsoever. However, when you consider the immense benefits of studying abroad you can’t but prefer the latter. Make a conscious decision to give yourself the best education and exposure for a better and more fulfilling life.