The trials and travails of studying abroad

Of late, an increasing number of students are going abroad for higher studies. While the universities abroad provide a great deal opportunities for every student, they also come with their own share of problems. Both positive and negative experiences dot the journey of every aspiring student.

It has been found that Indian students strive for recognition on a global platform. The four most important factors for Indian students that consider to study abroad are: the reputation of the educational institution; programme choices that they have before them, the content and quality and the highly educated professors who add value to their education.

Students get a chance to select from a range of subjects and streams and have access to top-notch facilities. Young adults face less interference from families about their studies and social life. Expert counsellors feel that within our country many students do not stand a good chance at high profile jobs as they are not industry-ready because of their bookish knowledge and rote learning methodologies.  They fail to meet professional expectations set by industries as Indian education system is never based on research.

Deciding factors

Students studying abroad have more opportunities to study the subjects they like. They have more choices and they feel they are at liberty to choose what they want to study. Unlike in India where they are slotted to study either science or arts in a rigid way, the opportunities abroad are galore.

Maybe they will be happy with the opportunities available to them provided they are able to adjust to the day to day working life in the foreign country.

It’s also a known fact that candidates with international exposure get foremost preference from employers. Overseas education offers this kind of education and globalisation throws a stiff challenge to any industry that wants to employs candidates. Students learn a lot by learning to differentiate between the two.

According to the statement of an American university, “Studying abroad will distinguish your student from his peers. Employers are looking for the soft skills that students typically develop abroad. These skills, among others, include critical thinking, self-sufficiency, flexibility, communication skills, as well as intercultural knowledge and awareness. Thus, through the experience of a global education programme, your student will gain a competitive advantage over others in the job market.”

But studying abroad isn’t a bed of roses. A number of problems crop up during the length of the entire journey. Students must be prepared to face a number of problems. They need to work hard not only in studies but also their home, all on their own. No helping hand will come to the rescue in such places.

One of the major problems associated with studying abroad is the fast-changing attitudes and expectations. Many a times, foreign-educated students are often reluctant to take jobs, which their local counterparts gladly accept. Such situations often leads to hot tempers and high levels of frustration. The list of Indians educated in India, and occupying key positions in the corporate sector, media and business, also adds to their frustration.

Family bonds

Yes, there is some emotional sacrifice in letting a teenager travel across oceans for education. Imagining their kids to be in a completely new place with no help whatsoever makes parents panicky and they also feel the void. They try to accept the idea that there is no college in India quite suitable for a young son like theirs, who wants to study different subjects without getting stuck to few chosen ones.

The Indian educational system does not offer enough choices for a young mind that is ambitious of doing something to his liking. What if a kid wants to pursue science, psychology, math, computer science and journalism all together? Can any Indian university offer a choice of that type?

Not all students go through this phase. There may be some who are brought up in such a way in which they think their family is everything for them. But it is not true to all students who are open-minded and would like to experiment things on their own without the help (or may I call it interference) from parents and family. It all depends on their values and upbringing.

All said and done, studying abroad has its own trails and travails and it depends on every individual person that decides the experience for him.

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