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Studying abroad is a beneficial experience that offers a world of new opportunities.

This essay is the winner of our Essay Writing Contest 2014

Knowledge is the creator of an unquenchable thirst; the more you drink the thirstier you feel. It is potent enough to bring about social and financial transformations, advancements in almost every sphere of life. Trapped in this cobweb of interminably escalating thirst, studying abroad is an aspiration for many to go ahead and pursue the kind of career they crave for. Studying abroad widens students' knowledge and horizons, provides them space for a burgeoning avidity towards pursuing their passions and meanwhile cultivates their independence and personalities. However, glancing at the pragmatic side of the desire, some do hesitate to leave their nations and lead a nostalgic, solitary life and for some, tight pockets don’t reinforce the fulfillment of their aspirations.

Studying abroad provides an international exposure which is quite imperative for one’s career building process. In the present era, students wish to stand shoulder to shoulder with the globalized world and current technologies. They want to get adapted to the latest trends of the world, meet people of multifarious backgrounds, dialects and cultures, and interact with them on a day to day basis. A tremendous change in terms of personality and knowledge can be felt after completion of studies.

It is one of the best ways to learn a novel language. In order to be proficient, eloquent and fluent at a particular language or parlance, one should be surrounded by that language on a daily basis; visualize and hear it in proper cultural context. Language can be picked up smoothly by digging a little deep into the cultural aspects of a nation. Also it would be easier to develop a similar accent by imitating what one hears.

Travel aficionados do find it to be a good opportunity. Students get a chance to venture out and explore their surroundings on weekends and academic breaks. Studies with little recreation, whenever possible, always keep the minds fresh. There are abroad programs which have field trips planned in or around the curriculum. Also, traveling or outing is an opportunity decent enough to mingle with new friends who have disparate backgrounds.

It makes one cognizant of another culture first-hand. Culture is not just about languages, food, appearances, and personal habits. It can portray deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influences one’s way of life and the way one views the world. It is a good opportunity to allow one not only to restrict a single set of ideologies, but also to figure out a totally different style of ideologies. Students who are capable of experiencing cultural differences personally can come to truly understand where other cultures are coming from. It can aid one imbibe the ability to think about a particular subject from different angles and prospects of the world.
Studying abroad aids one to learn about oneself. Students who study abroad return home with novel ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. It provides an opportunity for them to extract out the good from another culture and endeavor to fit the same in their 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..

Employment opportunities are better after studying abroad. A student from an underdeveloped nation or a developing country ultimately looks forward to coin money. And the best way to do this is to study abroad in order to find a decent job. In the present era when the world continues to become more and more globalized, American countries are increasingly investing dollars abroad and companies from countries around the world continue to invest in the international market. Through an employer's eyes, a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. A lot of students get allured to studying abroad because they want to bag the best available jobs in their domain of expertise.

Studying abroad has always been imperative for researchers. Students who want to discern and peruse their areas of interests consider abroad education as a golden opportunity. Where can one find stupendous university infrastructures and quality faculties for research activities? Mostly in the top ranked universities of the world. There are quite a number of subjects whose actual research work does take place only in a limited number of universities and countries. Not all universities excel in all kinds of research activities. So, abroad education helps a lot of students achieve their goals of life.

Finances may become the principal issue. Living abroad is expensive as well as the education. It is often onerous for students and their parents to afford abroad education. Scholarships are not easy as abc. They are restricted in numbers. Some sort of expertise and outstanding academic skills are required for scholarships. And not all students can get them. Education loans can appear to be a good option, but the amount of paper work and other formalities involved, high interest rates, no guarantee of paying back the accumulated amount on time from students’ side, brings in a kind of hesitation and insecurity among parents and students when it comes to education loans.

A totally new ambiance and environment is a real challenge for foreign students. Even if a student knows a lot about a country where he is going to live, there is a probability that he will be treated with some differences. Eating habits, though sound extremely trivial, can be a root cause of discomfort. One can feel homesick, be lost or alienated. Furthermore, studying in a different language can be a daunting obstacle that many students will not be able to overcome. Also, making good friends does take time and it can be more difficult in a country that you are not very used to.

Studying overseas can be a phenomenal opportunity for an international exposure, learning a novel language and culture, travel aficionados, employment opportunities, scrupulous knowledge on areas of interests and research activities. However, financial issues, adapting to a novel culture and nostalgia can bring in some vacillations about taking the decision to study abroad. But, when knowledge and studies are broad, why not study abroad.

By Rajat Tandon

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