Studying Abroad: Pros and Cons by Abroad Girl Grow (BLW Contributor)

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Hi everyone.Before I start any evaluation, I would like to talk about my story.

I went to another country for my high school as an international student,alone by myself. I was just finishing year 9 in my country and then I go straight to year 10 in that country. So I guess I have enough evidence to show my opinion.

Life is good, so let’s talk about the pros first.

For me, the biggest reason I choose to study abroad is for a better education.I think everyone has a different definition for the word”better”, for me, is learning the things which may be handy in your future career, and able to tell the causes and effects after you learning a certain knowledge. Sadly in my country most schools just want students like me to recite the whole text book. They’re aiming for every students get full marks in the exams, and we cannot choose subjects. Teachers will find it’s annoying if I ask “why this is this and that is that”. So I did some research on other countries’ education style and chose one. I may compare and discussed my country’s education system later in my other blogs.

Another huge advantage is experiencing more about the world. Life is all about experiencing, none wants to be the person with limited outlook. I was that kind of person once though. Trust me, when I first arrived the country, I even try to ask ground crew for help in my mother language. During three years studying, I tried new dishes, fruits and vegetables. I have been to more interesting places and meet more kinds of people. Sometimes they can be confusing, but in general speaking they are great experiences. I will also share these in my future blogs.

Life also sucks sometimes, time for the cons.

The biggest issue for me(or rather, my family) is the school fees and living expenses. Especially for international students, the schools fees are much more expensive the locals’. Going to other countries always means there are problems with exchange rate. That can represent how much harder your family needs to work hard for your living expenses, or somtimes luckily, they can work less. Depend on where are you from and where you are going, the situation can be different. I am the former, unfortunately. According to my mother’s words, 50% of all my family’s income has became my school fees and my living expenses. However, if you are the latter, just ignore this and see it and one of the advantages.
The next disadvantage may vary from you luck. It is called “home stay”, which means you need to stay with a local strangers’ house and they will become you gradients. That is what I did when I was in another country. Though the government has basic requests (when I say “basic”, it means they need to give you food and you need a bed etc.) for those who want to become host families to earn extra money, it can be a very hard time for you. Since no matter how big their house is or how nice they are, they get paid the same, and the fact government gives them the power as real parents, you can imagine things get tough. I had a family where I can even turn in my room because it is too small; I had family who’s house is full of cockroaches and spiders; I had family who eat out a lot and leave my home with frozen meals; I had family who was fighting with other family members all day long; I also had family who I even need to ask board of education for help to get ride of the bullying. They all have the basic requirements but you are pissed, that’s what I mean.

The last one I actually just find out recently. It is really hard to keep in touch with your old friends and your family when you are far away for such a long time. Yes we do have skype and things like that but you can stay on it all day and they are nothing like you can meet your friends everyday in person. One the other hand, it is also really hard if you want to make friends in another country. Loneliness becomes a huge problem, and I have fewer friends whenI wa speaking my country. I got used to it after a year, but some international students got empty inside, girls start only concentrate on beauty and boys only concentrate on spending money, it is terrible.

After all, my personal advice will be, try to go somewhere you already have the language, is cheap for your family and somewhere you have relatives, then you don’t have communication problem or give family a hard time or find a host family. Also you need to be self control. Except these, I think studying abroad is a brilliant idea since you can really get involved to another country’s life style and become a person with interesting experiences!

Hope this helps you.

Check out other great articles from Abroad Girl Grow

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2 comments on “Studying Abroad: Pros and Cons by Abroad Girl Grow (BLW Contributor)

  1. I am thinking of studying abroad for my graduate studies and you made good points as tips, perhaps, for people like me, thinking of diving into the plan. Great post! 🙂

  2. Wow. This is very informative. I commend you. It takes a lot of courage to move away from everyone and everything you know to better your education. I feel that a lot of kids in my country would never even bother. They take education for granted. Can I ask where your home country is? And where you moved to for school?

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