Chinese student, Are you ready for studying abroad?
There is a saying in English that the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. So, is the Moon always brighter in foreign countries? Definitely, that is impossible, because there is only one Moon in the Universe. However, sometimes I get different answers. Once I talked to my friend who was studying abroad. She told me the life outside was so wonderful! She showed me her new bag and her boyfriend’s new car. She thought that was the profits she got because of going abroad. Can you image that? Their parents spend a large amount of money for their kids to study abroad, thinking their children must be studying hard. But the fact is that they are on the opposite side of their parents’ imagination. So, why do so many people
prefer to study abroad? Are they the same as I saw? Does the studying abroad life fit everyone? Do you think they will learn more as a foreign student? People should consider about all the facts before they decide to study abroad. Though they can benefit from studying abroad, like learning a new language, getting new experiences and improve themselves, foreign students face a lot of challenges, such as, expensive tuition, homesickness and infused by the local environment.
Common ideas are that studying abroad is a big challenge for the people. People need to consider tuition fee. Although many schools have scholarship programs for students, for the students who can not get the scholarship, the tuition fee would be too expensive for them. At the same time, people have to pay not only for the tuition fees but also for their daily living cost. In the graph below from Infozee.com, they give us a basic idea how much it would cost a student living in NY per month.
Rent $ 400 per month
(you can live alone with that amount in a place like Auburn or share
an apartment with 6 people in NY)
Groceries $ 100 per month
Utilities $ 100 per month
Phone $ 100 per month
Sundry $ 200 per month
However, one from another country has to consider the exchange rate as well because they are using different units. For example, the rate from Chinese Yuan to U.S. Dollar is 6.38:1. That means a lot of money. On the other hand, homesickness is another question which needs to be considered. When foreign students come to a new country, most of them miss their families and the environment they are familiar with. From diversityabroad.com, they declare that “After the honeymoon stage your initial
excitement may wane. You also may start to feel frustration”. (Diversity Abroad.)
According to them, homesickness will be one of the worries. In addition, they may face the problem of learning how to study in a totally strange environment. If they are not strong enough both internal and external, they will fail to adjust themselves to the new environment. There are many examples that overseas Chinese students end without expects they have wished. In an article from mariaabroad.com, it list many obstacles of studying abroad, one of them is unfitness. “You will have to face other behaviors, and some can make you feel uncomfortable if you are not used to them: in
United State people are going to speak easily with you in the bus, whereas in Europe (read Paris) if you talk to a stranger you will probably get an angry look or might even scare people away.” (M, M.)It just means if one cannot fit himself into the
environment, he will gain a great pain.
In spite of these, most people hold the opinion that studying abroad is good for them. One of the reasons is that studying abroad is a best way to learn a language. It is helpful to understand language communicate with native speakers, because you must use the local language every day. So it is extremely beneficial to improve personal listening and speaking skills.
“As mentioned previously, one of the main purposes for foreign study is language
and cultural immersion. The popular theory that states the best way to learn a
different language is to spend a lengthy amount of time in the surroundings of
where that language is spoken rings true for students who arrive back from the
study abroad experience. The possibility of broadening foreign language skills
increases greatly when forced to communicate in such a way different from their
own.” (Tara)It states in the article from stateuniversity.com.
As one can see, studying abroad is not only helping a person learn a language, it also help he to develop skills and learn more about himself, such as finding new abilities to conquer new challenges, and solving problems. That is an effective way to build up personal skills. When people are in an entirely new situation, they will be excited about what are happening in the new environment. When the newness is gone, they have to face all kinds of difficulties. It is a chance to find their new abilities to
work out problems and get a better image of oneself. It explains in the article on stateuniversity.com, (Tara)“A student choosing to study in a foreign setting by either enrolling in a foreign university or taking advantage of a domestic university exchange program will stretch and strengthen his skills academically, personally and socially.” In addition, when students return back home, most of the time, they will get some new ideas about themselves and understand themselves better. After studying abroad and contact with the different culture, the worldview will be change. In the same article from stateuniversity.com, it argues that:
“For students who hope to gain the most career impact from study abroad,
results indicate that they should choose an internship as part of their curriculum.
Remarkably, 70 percent of intern respondents reported that study abroad ignited
interest in a career direction pursued after the experience, compared to 60
percent of non-intern respondents. In addition, 83 percent said that it allowed
them to acquire skill sets that influenced their career path, compared to 75
percent who did not intern. Although there is not always a significant statistical
difference between students who attended local university classes and those who
did not, it is important to mention that students who attended courses at the local
university did experience greater long-term language benefits and were more
likely to work or volunteer abroad than their counterparts. The biggest difference
between the two groups is in the area of relationships. Of those who attended
local university classes, 31 percent still maintain contact with host-country
friends, compared to 16 percent of respondents who did not study at the local
university.”(Dwyer, M. M., & Peters, C. K)
Meanwhile, studying abroad can make a person get a new experience in a totally different country. Everyone can make friends around the world. It will help to understand better about the differences between one’s own culture and other cultures.
Based on the new experience, everyone could learn a lot. Since cultures have their commons, they can communicate in some ways. On the other hand, cultures have diversity, which means people can find out new ideas and creations. The communication brings up a bridge that leads people to a further world. We can see the same view from the article in vistawide.com, “Students who study abroad return home
with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values. The experience may perhaps strengthen those values or it may cause students to alter or abandon them and embrace new concepts and perceptions. The encounter with other cultures enables students to see their own culture through new eyes.”(n.d.)
Because of these reasons, more and more students choose to go to foreign countries to study. So while studying abroad offers great change for a better future, it also has challenges that we must try our best to overcome to make our dreams come true. Therefore, before make that step, one should think twice whether studying abroad fit him, and if he can hold on and face the challenges. If not, he may not get the result he hopes. What could be worse is he may lose some important treasure during the trip of studying abroad, like the youth. If a person finds out the usefulness
of the studying abroad and can complete the requirements the challenges set, he is
ready to go.
10 reasons why you should study in a foreign country. (n.d.). In VISTAWIDE.
Retrieved September 29, 2011, from
http://www.vistawide.com/studyabroad/why_study_abroad.htm Tara, . (n.d.). Five Benefits of Studying Abroad. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.stateuniversity.com/blog/permalink/Five-Benefits-of-Studying-Abroad.ht
Dwyer, M. M., & Peters, C. K. (n.d.). The Benefits of Study Abroad. Retrieved
September 29, 2011, from
Diversity Abroad. (n.d.). Culture Shock & Study Abroad. Retrieved September 29,
2011, from http://www.diversityabroad.com/cultural-shock Tuition Fee, Expenses & Cost of Education. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.infozee.com/application-issues/cost-of-education.htm M, M. (n.d.). Disadvantages of studying abroad. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://mariaabroad.com/2010/04/disadvantages-of-studying-abroad/