Studying Abroad: Culmination of Sacrifices?

Published by Afterschool.my on Feb 16, 2023, 04:21 pm

By: Siti Hajar Mohd Zulkifli

Students travel across countries, continents and oceans to receive the best education possible. Studying abroad has numerous advantages, including assisting you in finding a great job and improving your social life. 

However, when it comes to making a life-changing decision like studying abroad, you may have a lot of questions on your mind such as, “Is it worth it? Is studying locally just as good as studying overseas?”

As technology improves, everything around us has drastically changed. Many things can be done digitally nowadays including studying and communicating. However, some things in my opinion can never be digitally replaced: the wisdom of studying in a foreign country and being away from home. 

When it comes to establishing roots in a new place, the first thing you will gain is experience. Keep in mind that life is both an opportunity and full of surprises. It is not always a bad thing to be away from home. Just like birds, we have to leave our nest one day. What is better than grabbing the chance to go somewhere new? Multiple pre-university courses in Malaysia offer students with such opportunities. For instance, at INTEC Education College, there are a total of 6 pre-university programmes that offer students a chance to pursue their degrees abroad.

In Aristotle's ethical philosophy, "the importance of being experienced" is a central theme. A person with experience develops coping skills, an appropriate attitude, and a sense of the situation. Aristotle believes the body and soul are interdependent, implying a close relationship between human activity, cognition and character.

Every country has unique teaching styles. Studying abroad can broaden your academic horizons and improve your ability to adapt to various educational environments. Adapting to different teaching styles also helps you acclimatise to different management styles, allowing you to be more versatile in the workplace. By studying abroad, you learn about new cultures, make friends from all over the world, and gain a global perspective while earning credits toward your degree. 

It will allow you to develop important skills such as intercultural communication, foreign language proficiency, adaptability and problem-solving. Language and culture are inextricably linked. What could be better than learning a new language and culture from native speakers? 

On the topic of career opportunities, studying abroad has been shown to develop skills that are valued by all employers. The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills gained. You will also improve your presentation, public speaking, negotiating, academic writing and nonverbal communication. Even if you do not intend to work for an international employer or are unsure of your career goals, developing traits such as resourcefulness, adaptability, resilience and empathy will provide you with an enormous advantage in the job market. Studying abroad can help you launch your career by demonstrating to potential and current employers that you have the flexibility, resourcefulness and drive to adapt to a new environment.

Last but not least is personal development. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to enhance your personal and professional development as well as growth opportunities. Spending time in another country has a huge impact on one's personality, especially when it comes to education. International educational experience fosters the development of many important and adaptable life skills. It exercises cognitive skills such as flexibility, creativity and complex problem-solving as well as social skills such as empathy and tolerance. 

It is not, however, without cost. Personal growth can be a difficult process. Being in an unfamiliar place for the first time, culture shock from the new environment may make you feel anxious. On the other hand, this is the beginning of gaining a new and expanded perspective and becoming a more open-minded individual.

When you are exposed to a new culture, you need to find new ways of doing even small everyday things. You have to face new approaches to life and the world and cope with different languages, habits and behaviours. Since you are exposed to new information nearly every minute, your brain will be in high gear and you cannot help but think creatively and respond flexibly to upcoming challenges. This will also teach you how to manage stress in a safe environment. 

Like everything else in life, this life-altering decision has advantages and disadvantages. However, when it comes to broadening your horizons beyond what you have available, the benefits of studying abroad outweigh the drawbacks.

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