Studying abroad is a big deal, even in this day and age. Merely because of the sheer magnitude of change it brings to your life and to you as a person. I am writing this article as a student who has made the tough decision to move to a different country and has perhaps altered what life could otherwise have been. Welcome to an insider’s view of studying away from home. By home, I don’t only mean family and friends, but also everything else as you know it – Food, culture, language, dressing, earning, spending, planning your day, what not!
I have been away from home for a semester now, and my perspective is keeping on mind what I have experienced so far. If you are looking for an article that can convince you to stay home, look away. Because I am going to tell you that it is a good decision. Here are a few “intangible” reasons why:
Back home, especially in India, you never seem to grow up while at home. Once you find your way out into the world, you will know what responsibilities are and how you have to handle them. Though this may seem cliche, this is true. Mommy no longer cooks your lunch and daddy no longer pays for your traffic violation fines.
Keeping up with the world:
In most countries, it is a common practice in universities and schools to spend at least one semester abroad. Don’t be surprised if every student you meet has some international experience, no matter the field of work. In many cases, students take a year or two off from their regular education to serve as volunteers in different countries of choice. This is something you don’t see every day in India. Given that the world is getting smaller by the day, you better make your place in it. Studying abroad gives you firsthand experience of being in an international environment and also gives you time and opportunity to learn from it.
Get a perspective:
Culture plays a major role in determining your mindset. If you expose yourself to a different culture, you acquire the tools to think culture-independently. This makes you not only more human in general, but also more considerate towards people of other cultures. A whole new plethora of career opportunities also opens themselves to you, once you get a perspective into what options are actually available to you. (There are many more than you imagined, really)
Gather a market for yourself:
The opinion people have on you would change from the moment you tell that you have lived a part of your life in a different country. They are not wrong. You really accumulate enough knowledge to survive in many environments once you move to a different country. You would also be exposed to severe competition that brings the need of actually being better than just simply writing it on your resume. Apart from just this, your other skills, like Time-management, Organization, responsibility will make you naturally better and more “marketable” than when your horizon is limited to your motherland.
If you are planning to study anywhere in Europe, you will also learn the local language. An addition of a foreign language to your skill set is always a great idea. It makes you more global and desirable in a job environment. Even if you are going to an English speaking country, you would be surprised to know how different the same language is from your homeland. This is an advantage you cannot make light of.