Nowadays lots of students tend to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Study abroad not only becomes most of students’ dreams but also become a trend in the young. Facing that trend we are required to answer a question: “Study abroad, should or should not?”
On the spot, many people will say “yes”. But I think this isn’t 100% correct answer. Why?
To be specific, I point out four advantages of study abroad:
First of all, study abroad gives us better chance to improve our second language skills. Nothing is better than to learn foreign language with native people who will correct you whenever you make mistakes in speaking and writing. Furthermore, you will have to speak in English everyday, every week, every month, even every year so your speaking skill must be improved rapidly. Then no more shyness when you talk with foreign people.
Second, Foreign countries provide you better condition for your study and your life. You will have chance to access new technology, modern facilities which are very useful for your study.
Third, you will be more mature and confident to overcome the difficulties. Simply, because you will have to learn how to take care of yourself even if you are with a host family. You have to do what you haven’t done in your own country such as: cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, financial arrangement, and so on. When you live lonely, no one take care of you when you’re sick so you have to do it yourself. You may think of the above as a disadvantage, but many international students go home and proud that they have become very self sufficient.
Next, you will have a more bright future since international experience benefits you to get a high salary job.
Finally, you will have chance to know other cultures first hand such as its language, food, appearances, and personal habits. You will also have opportunity to make more friends around the world.
No matter what you got from study abroad, experience is the most important you gain. This is the proof for your willingness to challenge.
Those above are some advantages, how’s about the disadvantages?
First, studying abroad does not mean you will learn English magically. Many people think that they just need to live in another country and then they can learn the foreign language easily. This is not completely true. There are people who live in foreign countries for many years without knowing the language well. You still need to pay attention and study foreign language.
Then, studying abroad is hard. Some students have to face with homesickness, culture shocks, discriminations, etc. Those changes often influence your mind and prevent you from concentrating on study. You need to have enough mental strength to accept, that will take some time to adjust to a new way of living.
Third, studying abroad is expensive. You have to pay not only for the tuition fee but also for the cost of living .You will think about working part-time to earn money but most countries don’t allow international students to work. You will have to prepare your financial ability before you arrive in the country or have someone from home support you.
Last but not least, the fact is that study abroad is leading to a national problem. What I mention here is “brain drain” which happens to most of socialist countries. Most of you who will read my entry are preparing for study abroad sooner or later. But how many of you will dare to promise to come back Vietnam after you are graduated. Just some, I think. Because you may think that your family has to give out a large sum of money for you to go oversea, so you have to compensate for that by staying in foreign country, finding a high salary job there and earning lots of money to send back. Most people will do so, I’m sure about that. Everyone put themselves and their families on the first line, so where is your country? This is what I have still wondered. That government encourage student to study oversea is not to work for other country but to help our country. Vietnam needs our talent. Being a Vietnamese you should know what are your role and your responsibility.
As a whole, study abroad isn’t bad, as long as you know how to utilize it wisely. Let come back to the first question and answer it.
Nguyễn Hoàng Lâm