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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Decision to Study Abroad

Planning to study abroad is one of the most important decisions that a student can take in life for various reasons. It is not just about money, but also due to the various other aspects that this decision assumes so much importance in one’s life.
Family Bonding: Most students take the decision to study abroad in their late teens, and at that age they are not yet fully matured adults. For this reason, most parents find it a bit difficult to let their child embark upon a long journey and call an absolutely new place as their home. After close to twenty years of staying together, it is generally not easy for parents to let go of their children.  Similarly, it is a challenge for students to gather the confidence to create a niche in an alien land and spend an entire academic period there. Needless to say, the initial few weeks are indeed emotionally tough for most foreign students.
Change of Culture: It is easy to admire a foreign culture, however, it is a challenge to actually be a part of it. Lifestyle and habits change even from one city to another in the same country. However, when it comes to a different country altogether, the change in culture can be far too huge. It totally depends on the flexible personality of the student that how well he/she can adjust with the new culture and surroundings. The biggest adjustment in life is adjustment with people. There are instances when a student may be very gifted yet cannot adjust according to the new environment and new people. In that case, a study abroad program can end up being a big failure. In order to overcome this challenge, some universities do provide special programs to make students familiar with the culture they are about to experience.
Lifestyle and Habits: As long as the child stays along with parents, his/her lifestyle and habits are under supervision. However when the same child starts living independently for the first time in life as a foreign student, there is often a risk of the key focus getting lost. While many students are responsible and disciplined, there are some who end up making misuse of the newfound flexibility and freedom. Such students may indulge in the use of drugs, alcohol or unsafe sex. This can be very harmful to the life and career of the student.

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