Globalization has enabled people from different parts of the globe to receive higher education abroad, which has resulted in millions of students, enrolled in foreign higher education institutions. There are numerous reasons why young people prefer studying abroad rather than in their homeland. Among them are the high quality of education, desire to learn a foreign language, willingness to travel, etc. Yet, the topic remains rather controversial, as there are many critics, who believe that studying at a foreign institution is the waste of money. Education abroad is definitely expensive, but intelligent and confident students can find numerous ways to reduce tuition and fees. In spite of the fact that there is the downside of foreign education, the number of its benefits substantially prevails. Particularly, foreign education plays a decisive role in one’s employment, as employers appreciate people’s international experience and the skills, which they have acquired abroad.

Apart from education, globalization has penetrated a range of other areas, including information, industry, etc. That is to say, it has become an integral and ineluctable part of one’s life. For example, the number of international corporations, where people from different countries work, is constantly growing, making effective communication with people a vital skill. The international careers specialists Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and Allan E. Goodman claim that young people must study abroad, if they want to find a rewarding job. According to the experts, receiving higher education in a foreign countru is extremely useful for the professional and personal development of an individual, as they have to leave their comfort zone and adapt to a different way of life (Berdan). In fact, over 300,000 Americans study abroad, which is ten percent of the general number of the American students. The number is gradually increasing every year, which Berdan and Goodman consider beneficial for the humankind (“Open Doors”). Hence, international students have an opportunity to learn about other cultures and traditions, which plays a significant role nowadays, as people worldwide have to cooperate, in order to resolve serious societal, economic, and environmental problems. Consequently, studying abroad shapes a student’s worldview and makes them more diplomatic and tolerant. That is to say, graduates from foreign institutions obtain valuable leadership skills, as they learn how to respect and collaborate with different people effectively. This is a particularly important skill for those, who plan to work for international companies (Berdan). The foreign student Lexie, who studies law at the North Carolina University, understands how important will be her experience for her further employment, since employers appreciate international experience (“Studying abroad”). In fact, collaboration with others is necessary in any area, as new global problems incessantly appear. Their resolution requires the involvement of the experts, who can share the experience of their countries and successfully solve an issue (Berdan). Likewise, international students have a chance to exchange valuable experience with each other, which one may use in order to contribute to their country’s growth. The assistant professor Annie Gibson also emphasizes the role of international communication nowadays. From her own experience of studying abroad, she knows that foreign students tend to be more socially aware than those, who study in their motherland. Consequently, Gibson states that due to the constant interaction with foreigners, one involuntarily starts to adapt to the body language and manners of international students, which contributes to their mutual understanding. Similarly, this makes a person more flexible and tolerant towards others (Gibson). 

Since language is the key element of communication, it is useful to be a polyglot in the modern world. It is rather hard to learn a foreign language without going abroad, as one misses a number of important nuances. On the other hand, if a person goes to the country, where the language is widely spoken, and communicates with the native speakers, one is likely to learn to speak fluently. Hence, studying abroad proves to be a perfect decision for language learners, as they become part of the international academic environment. Eleanor from the University of Strasbourg supports the idea that traveling to another country helps to perfect one’s language skills, which are important in studying, working, entertaining, etc. (“Studying abroad”). Another exchange student at the Louisiana State University Stefanija Simane states that the American English has surprised her with the diversity of its dialects. Accordingly, attending classes with the students, who are mostly from South America, Simane has learned to speak their dialect, which is sufficiently different from the standard American English. This has helped Simane sound more natural and establish contact with the American students. At the same time, the girl has practiced formal English during classes (Simane). This must have helped her make a clear distinction between the spoken and literary variants of the language, which is often ignored at schools in non-English speaking countries. Such experience will definitely be beneficial for Simane, since she has reached her fluency in English, which will give her more chances to be employed and to feel comfortable at the workplace in the future.

In his article for the New York Times, the U.S. ambassador Curtis S. Chin states that it is unnecessary to study abroad, in order to be able to work in an international environment. Furthermore, he says that receiving higher education at a foreign university is often a useless waste of time and money. According to Chin, the quality of education does not depend on an institution. Instead, parents and teachers play a considerable role in one’s education (Chin). Truly, studying abroad is not cheap, mainly due to numerous additional fees for housing, insurance, etc. In the U.S., a foreign student has to pay more than ten thousand dollars per semester for tuition, transportation, etc. However, many universities suggest scholarships, bursaries, and grants which can considerably reduce or completely cover the tuition (“Real Cost of Study Abroad”). Moreover, Chin equates all the educational establishments in the world, which is not right. According to him, the name of a school is insignificant, which implies that the graduates from all the universities have the same opportunities for employment. However, in the reality, every institution has a reputation, which influences the number of its students, the competence of its professors, and the chance of its alumni’s to be hired. Accordingly, there are rankings of education institutions, which point out the best and worst colleges and universities. Hence, Harvard University is considered the best one worldwide, and according to CWUR, its graduates have the highest chances of being employed (“CWUR World University Rankings”). Similarly, a plethora of famous people are Harvard’s alumni. Among them are the twenty-sixth president of the U.S. Theodore Roosevelt, the business magnate Bill Gates, the actress Natalie Portman, and others. In addition, thirty-four CEOs from the CNN’s top list of businessmen have graduated from Harvard (“Does an Ivy League Education Make a Difference?”). On the other hand, the Kōchi University that takes the 998th position in the ranking proves to give insufficient knowledge for the alumni’s future employment. Likewise, it does not have any outstanding graduates (“CWUR World University Rankings”). In particular universities, professors are more proficient, which subsequently improves an institution’s reputation. Hence, it is not easy to become an educator in Harvard, due to the strong competition. Truly, numerous people apply for a job at the university, because it offers a high salary and topnotch working conditions. Yet, only the best applicants manage to become part of Harvard’s teaching staff. As for students, the most apt and smart of them aspire to study at a foreign institution, such as Harvard, because it suggests profuse research opportunities and allows to cooperate with people from the whole world. Hence, if one wants to build career in an international company, one should go to a foreign institution for studying. Moreover, ninety-seven percent of foreign students manage to find a job immediately after graduation, which allows graduates to start their careers without working experience at quite a young age (“What Statistics Show”).

Many people are reluctant to go abroad for studying, because they are afraid of being judged by their background. People do not want to be discriminated, and they also do not want to experience difficulties when adapting to a new place. Nevertheless, their apprehensions are usually groundless, because an international environment is less likely to be humiliating than a homogenous one. Indeed, the representatives of various nations gather in the same class, seeking new acquaintances and experience. Multifarious cultures and languages combine in one place, making racism almost impossible there. If a student humiliates a person’s nation and race, they can be expelled from the institution. In fact, studying abroad is a good opportunity to find like-minded people. Besides, it can teach students to treat people equally and help them overcome their own biases (Berdan). 

Studying abroad is quite challenging, due to psychological, social, and financial issues. While modern people have the right to freely decide where to study, they are not always able to afford a foreign institution, due to high tuition and fees. Nevertheless, there are numerous establishments, which offer different kinds of financial support, which can cover tuition either partially or completely. Studying abroad, one earns important experience, which they would never have, if they did not go to a foreign institution. Employers in different parts of the world value international experience, as it is the basis of collaboration and unification of people worldwide. Hence, bosses need sociable and adaptable people, who are able to communicate commendably. Likewise, studying abroad provides an opportunity to learn a foreign language through formal and informal communication, both of which are essential at a workplace. Truly, formal language helps an employee in dealing with their boss and work, whereas the knowledge of slang and colloquial language assists in socializing with colleagues. Apart from this, after having completed a degree abroad, one is psychologically ready to work with other people. Indeed, foreign students tend to be rather confident and sociable, because there are typically no stereotypes in educational environments. Socializing with a foreigner, one can learn many interesting facts about their country, traditions, values, etc. In addition, an individual, who has studied among foreigners, is less likely to have biases or discriminate others. What international education promotes is peace, friendship, and teamwork, which are essential in dealing with numerous global problems.

Anton Kurapov

Anton Kurapov

PhD, a professor assistant at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Fascinated by the role of psychology in lives of people and simply astonished by the complexity of the brain and its functions.

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