Studying Abroad Creates Better Students

Topics: Study abroad, Higher education, University Pages: 5 (1532 words) Published: June 27, 2013
Studying abroad creates better students

There have always been various matters of concern in our modern society, and one topical issue is studying abroad. According to Scott (1998), studying overseas has become a global trend, especially in English – speaking countries. As a matter of fact, when people’s standards of living improve, they often think about increasing their knowledge so they could have a better life. To do that, they are eager to study for higher education (i.e: university education) overseas. However, everything has its advantages and disadvantages, and studying abroad is not an exception. To my way of thinking, the advantages of studying abroad far outweigh the disadvantages. This essay is divided into 3 parts. The first part will discuss the academic benefits, and then introduce the effects of studying abroad for interpersonal development; the latter will describe future job opportunities of studying abroad.

To begin with, the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative (GLOSSARI), a research which is started in 2000, points out that the academic performance, knowledge of cultural practices and context and the graduation rates of studying abroad students have been improved simultaneously (Redden, 2010). When studying abroad, students can reach numerous opportunities which are engaged first-hand language practice on the streets, in restaurants, in shops, at homes of native speaker friends. The extensive authentic interaction with native speakers cannot provide in the classroom. Pellegrino Aveni (2005) supports that “Study abroad provides a cultural context with which learners may associate the language and in which learners may develop their language skills” (pg.9). Moreover, studying abroad often influences educational endeavors, including the decision to pursue higher education degrees. McMillan and Opem (2002) in their recent research found that more than 80 percent of respondents agreed that studying abroad had enhanced their interest in academic study. In fact, nearly 90 percent of students indicated that the subsequent educational experiences had been influenced by studying overseas. According to this research, students who pursue courses abroad are found to have a much clearer vision about their goals and the way of achieving those. It helps foster greater understanding, tolerance and intercultural communication for students from different social backgrounds. A multidimensional view of students’ studies and approaches tend to be developed, which helps students get the understanding in a correct manner. Studying overseas helps broaden academic experience and improve foreign language proficiency (Maiworm and Teichler, 1996). In other words, studying abroad creates a mature perspective of life and certainly interesting prospect for getting a globally acceptable qualification.

Studying abroad involves difficulties in adapting with new culture (Patron, 2007). Students probably have times when they miss their family, friends, food and everything familiar. Pellegrino Aveni (2005) recognized the deprivation and/or alteration of studying overseas students’ self came with the shock using the second language. He posited that “the learner’s self becomes trapped behind the communication barrier” (pg.14). Students have to accept and adjust the way of living, but it takes some time. Paige et al. (2006, pg.91) noted that not only will the cross-cultural adjustment help students improve their learning and development; it would make the international life more rewarding and interesting. Furthermore, this process of change and transformation is accompanied by a growth of their maturity and inter-culture, which enables students to view, understand and live life from a new sense of self, and through this, function effectively within both their host and home countries. Dwyer and Peter (2012) reported that 97 percent said studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96...

References: Gu, Q., 2012. The impact of study abroad on the student self. [online] Available at: <http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120125130734992> [Accessed 1st May 2013].
Kaweck, K., 2012. The Disadvantages of Study Abroad [online] Available at: < http://www.hccmis.com/blog/the-disadvantages-of-study-abroad/> [Accessed 18th May 2013].
Maiworm, F., and Teichler, U., 1996. Study abroad and early career: Experinces of Former Erasmus Students. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
McMillan, A., and Opem, G., 2002. Study Abroad: A Lifetime of Benefits. [online] Available at: <http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/news/study-abroad-lifetime-benefits> [Accessed 25th April 2013].
Paige, R.M., Cohen, A.D., Kappler, B., Chi, J.C. and Lassegard, J.P., 2006. Maximizing Study Abroad. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: University of Minneasota.
Patron, M-C., 2007. Culture and identity in study abroad contexts: After Australia, French without France. Oxford: Peter Lang.
Pellegrino Aveni, V.A., 2005. Study Abroad and Second Language Use: Constructing the Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Redden, E., 2010. Academic Outcomes of Study Abroad. [online] Available at: <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/13/abroad> [Accessed 9th May 2013].
Scott, P., 1998. The globalization of higher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press Ltd.
Swinburne University of Technology, 2013. Why study overseas?. [online] (Last updated 26th February 2013) Available at: <http://www.swinburne.edu.au/abroad/why-study-abroad/> [Accessed 5th May 2013].
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