With the swift advancement of the world, the global community has moved into an age of information explosion. The majority of people are opting to pursue their studies abroad to obtain more knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of people abandon the comforts of their families to go and pursue their studies in countries such as the United States, Canada, England, and Australia every year.
The majority of students also believe that by studying in a foreign country that speaks a foreign language, they will be in a position to learn the language more quickly. Others have an opinion that pursuing their studies abroad provides them with a greater prospect in their home state. Studying abroad for them presents a good opportunity to get a better job in their native countries (Zemach-Bersin, 2007).
Nevertheless, living and studying abroad is perceived to have some challenges. Certainly, nearly everybody experiences some extent of homesickness. Moreover, some people return to their country sooner than expected due to their dreams about studying abroad turning different from their anticipations (Dwyer & Peters, 2008). The contentment and excitement of the modernized overseas countries make people want to study abroad.
Benefits of Studying Abroad
Studying abroad obviously has numerous benefits. It not only provides educational benefits, but as well offers helpful abilities, gives the capacity to live alone and endure, enhances a person’s experience, makes an individual mature, and boosts the opportunity of acquiring a good job in the future (Why study abroad? 2014a).
Getting the Ability to Live Alone and Survive
Going overseas to study is far greater than mere learning. Usually, the initial thing an individual attempts to do is to endure in a foreign country. The majority of people studying abroad are in need of a place; a place to live and cater for food and transportation costs all on their own. Learners pursuing their studies abroad have to take care of themselves without their relatives looking after them (Dwyer, 2012). This makes them manage their own issues and perform everything by themselves better.
Through this, they turn out to be independent and adapt in an attempt to succeed. Going to learn abroad promotes an individual’s independence consciousness and self-reliance ability. It is constantly a hard experience surviving in a new country and encountering all sorts of difficulties (Amuzie & Winke, 2009).
Once students studying abroad surmount the challenges, they obtain the capacity of living on their own. It is interesting to experience life on one’s own when age-mates continue enjoying their lives under the shelter of their relatives. This experience can be termed as the most imperative advantage because it helps in teaching an individual the fundamental ability to live an independent life (Tishgart, 2014).
Enriching Experiences and Making One More Mature
The issue of enriching an individual’s experience is increasingly becoming famous among the communities in the world. It is conceived that enriching an individual’s experience and learning different cultures is a way of expanding a person’s horizon and a way of enhancing their opportunities to secure a better job (Tishgart, 2014).
Experiences encountering people of diverse cultures and coping with different issues greatly develop character. Studying abroad implies setting an individual into a situation that is entirely different. It feels great to enjoy a new culture: people’s ideas and activities, their ideals and behaviors, and the manner in which people of diverse communities live (Why study abroad? 2014b). Cultural diversities are not only simple differences in language, food, looks, and individual habits as an individual’s culture also replicates very deep views, principles, and ethics that impact his or her lifestyle and the way he/she observes the world (Jasmine, 2012). Learners who experience cultural diversities individually come to understand the origin of other cultures (Salisbury, Umbach, Paulsen, & Pascarella, 2009).
Merely understanding cultural diversities is not sufficient as learning abroad offers numerous opportunities to explore. Experiencing the attractive sceneries of the country, contributing in social works, and conversing with residents are exciting moments; all these significantly enrich a person’s perspective and understanding of knowing and respecting each other better. Additionally, pursuing studies abroad as well presents great prospects to make comrades around the world.
While in a foreign country, students meet not only their fellow citizens abroad, but as well other worldwide learners who have moved from home to study abroad (Martinsen, 2011).
In most instances, students travel abroad to pursue some principal areas such as engineering and technology. Certainly, learners can learn advanced technology by pursuing their studies abroad. It is apparent that learners studying in developed countries can experience, attempt, comprehend, and learn novel technologies and skills, which are non-existent in their local country. Students abroad can set apart the skills that are helpful in their local nation’s development and study them for later application.
Thus, learners studying abroad contribute immensely to their country’s development (Kristen, 2014). For example, the well-known social website, Facebook, is greatly admired internationally and a number of Chinese studying abroad used this website and discovered that the Facebook Company did not have intentions to operate a China branch.
Hence, they used the initiative and operated a comparable website in China. In this regard, they attained huge success, made millions of profits, and offered many tax incomes for the government (Dolby, 2009). By studying abroad, a person learns much concerning the world, both intellectually and rationally. Understanding and experiencing more assistance enables people to think realistically and behave responsibly (Krzaklewska, 2008).
Increasing Employment Chances
Studying abroad as well boosts employment chances. The world proceeds to become more globalized with western nations and multinationals progressively continuing to invest millions of dollars abroad and in the international market. From an employer’s perspective, a scholar who has pursued his studies abroad is vibrant, self-regulating, able to face challenges, and willing to handle varied problems and circumstances (Tajes & Ortiz, 2010).
The experience of surviving and studying abroad, interrelating with other cultures, and learning new languages all make an individual unique as compared to most of other job seekers. It is as well simpler for a student to adjust to a new job in a foreign nation, which opens a person’s job opportunities internationally while others have to look for employment locally (Serrano, Llanes, & Tragant, 2011).
The matters discussed above are among the most significant and priceless benefits of studying abroad. Additionally, other countless benefits of studying abroad have not been mentioned, for instance, learning and acquiring a new language and having the opportunity to tour the world just to mention a few (Studying Abroad: The Benefits, 2008).
Reasons Prompting Governments to Provide Policies to Attract Foreign Students
In the contemporarily globalized world, nations are adopting their own national strategies and approaches with the intention of attracting the most brilliant foreign students and investigators. As the contest for foreign students becomes more vehement, governments can no more afford to ignore foreign students; they must depend on local institutions of education to deal with their own foreign students’ enrollment.
Globalization has transformed the world in a manner that people consider their future with respect to their national boundaries no more, but in a much wider aspect (Tanaka, 2007). As boundaries get gentler and international voyage more regular, people are currently interacting with other cultures easily through channels like travel, sports, cookery, and style to mention a few. As everyday life becomes more international, institutions of education are as well endeavoring to globalize their campuses and syllabuses to match the transforming world (Hackney, Boggs, & Borozan, 2012).
Because most of the foreign students do not benefit from federal bursary, their tuition is as well advanced at national schools. In an era of economic decline in the Western world, this is an added incentive to enlist more foreign students. In reference to a report by the Government Accountability Office of the United States, the government uses higher education for foreign learners to progress ambassadorial, expansion assistance, economic, and other intentions repeated in tandem (Magnan & Back, 2007).
By training foreign learners, universities train future leaders. These learners will directly experience the American culture, liberties, and chances and become informal diplomats upon going back to their nations. These students will be able to appreciate Westen foreign policy without bigotry or trepidation, and this makes them better placed to assist progress America’s interests abroad (Farrell, 2007).
Benefits of International Students Studying in a Foreign Country
Globalization of higher education is good business for the Western economies. Although this is not in most cases the main reason for extending to foreign learners, it is, however, among the basic motivating forces making competing nations assume proactive approaches for appealing them (West, Dimitropoulos, Hind, & Wilkes, 2000).
Research approximates that foreign students and their dependants spent almost $20 billion in the United States economy in the 2010-2011 academic year, which makes foreign students’ education a noteworthy United States service-sector export (Watson, Siska, & Wolfel, 2013). Schools, societies, states, and the federal economy all together share this economic gain. In reference to the Institute of International Learning, over 75 percent of undergraduate foreign students pay full fees and benefit from no financial bursary thus appropriating schools to give more financial aid to local students.
The numerical analysis of the financial gains of International Education in the United Kingdom for the 2007-2011 academic years approximates that foreign learners contributed roughly $17 billion to the UK economy during the 2008-2009 financial year. Additionally, the United States economy has earned about $19 billion from international education (Leonard, Becker, & Coate, 2007).
Every institution of higher education has more or less obtained sufficient monetary gains. For instance, at Columbia University, foreign students comprise about 20 percent, and approximately 8,000 of the student body in the 2009-2010 school years. According to the international student office, these students paid approximately $270 million to Columbia in fees and livelihood expenses (Economic Impact of International Education in Canada- An Update, 2013a).
Undergraduate students from Florida State, who are United States residents, pay $6,100 in fees annually, while outsiders and foreign students pay nearly $16,900 at South Florida University (Parey & Waldinger, 2011). For universities such as South Florida, raising the number of foreign learners as well symbolizes enhanced economic benefit.
However, economic benefit is not the only gain that foreign learners offer. The United States has depended on foreign learners from other nations as significant sources of invention and efficiency in the increasingly knowledge-oriented economy. The foreign learners who continue to live in the country after finishing their education abroad contribute to the desired research and labor force talents and reinforce the foreign countries’ workforce.
In excess of thirty percent of the degrees at the graduate and doctoral levels in engineering, arithmetic, and technology, as well as medicine come from foreign students. Additionally, the United States trained foreign learners take home inclinations for American products while commerce scholars particularly take home American business practices (Paige, Fry, Stallman, Josić, & Jon, 2009). Foreign education no doubt makes an important contribution to the foreign countries’ economies.
Challenges of Studying Abroad
Learners who desire to study abroad are frequently doubtful concerning what to expect in an overseas country (Economic Impact of International Education in Canada- An Update, 2013b). There are, however, specific problems a foreign student faces while studying and dwelling in a distant land. This section examines some of these difficulties that students encounter in foreign countries. Studying in a distant country comes with its own share of difficulties; however, this should not discourage hopeful students to shelf the dream of attaining international education.
Several nations, internationally, are reputed for their quality of learning and research (Wang, Peyvandi, & Moghaddam, 2009). It involves great effort to win admittance to these prominent institutions of learning, but the idea of dwelling in a distant country makes some learners doubtful. It is imperative to state that after arriving in an unfamiliar nation, foreign students regularly understand that what they read on travel guides is entirely dissimilar to the real experience.
The major challenge of studying overseas is the intricacy of communicating with other people as foreign students often encounter the challenge of speaking to foreign people who cannot comprehend what they are saying. What makes foreign students even more frustrated is the fact that even in the classroom; they at times do not comprehend what the instructors say.
Therefore, they result to copying or checking at what their counterparts are doing thus missing very significant information in the process. Additionally, foreign students encounter challenges in trying to express their opinions and views properly and end up keeping quiet all the same (Naidoo, 2006). Hence, other students at times misinterpret or even pay no attention to them.
A major challenge of speaking with people who talk different languages is that most words have similar connotations or meanings, and some words may have more than one meaning depending on the field. For instance, the words “stress” and “strain” bring specific difficulties due to the uncertainty of denotation between applications in the engineering and medical fields.
This confusion of words makes foreign learners confused regarding the questions in tests, and it takes foreign students longer to learn compared to native students. Additionally, it is hard for foreign learners to get accustomed to the foreign land’s culture. Foreign students encounter many cultural shocks in the first several months, but in due course they adapt (Hunley, 2010). Nevertheless, they certainly feel unusual and uncomfortable surviving in foreign nations; this may make foreign students feel separated, and undergo culture shock.
Culture shock is a problem for the majority of foreign students, but the advantages of studying overseas offset the challenges, therefore, instead of being hurt by culture shock, a student should look forward to overcoming it. Stereotypes are difficult to discard and are inherent in people’s intuitive mind. For instance, students from Muslim countries may perceive non-Muslims as different people and may not appreciate their religion. Rather than depending heavily on stereotypes, it would be prudent to try and learn people by making efforts to know them in a proper way.
Likewise, foreign learners from poor countries may directly develop a feeling of low confidence while learning with their equals from advanced nations. Additionally, people in foreign countries may perceive an individual differently due to their appearance, or the way he speaks. Financial limitations are among the most severe difficulties that foreign students encounter when studying overseas (Reilly & Senders, 2009).
Other matters that prove to be difficult for foreign students include foodstuff, weather, transport, accommodation, and language hurdles. However, students should perceive these difficulties as opportunities and add to their self-advancement by learning more concerning the foreign nation’s culture, language, and its customs (Economic Impact of International Education in Canada- An Update, 2013c).
Studying overseas assists learners to adapt surviving without their parents being around them. The majority of people are opting to pursue their studies abroad to obtain more knowledge. Studying abroad always helps students all over the world have numerous chances, which may assist them to improve their lives. Learners pursuing their studies abroad have to take care of themselves without their relatives looking after them.
Furthermore, these students graduate from renowned institutions of learning compared to their local counterparts. Accordingly, studying abroad assists them when they begin to earn income, as it is imperative to have a good certificate from a recognized university. In a nutshell, the benefits of studying abroad offset the demerits significantly (Mok, 2007).
When foreign students complete their syllabus, they can make more inputs to the development of not only their local society, but as well the international community. While in a foreign country, students meet not only their fellow citizens abroad, but as well other worldwide learners who have moved from home to study abroad. Foreign education no doubt makes an important contribution to the foreign countries’ economies (Korotkykh, 2012).
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