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Studying Abroad: Travelling or Studying?

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Study Abroad

By Thu Trinh

Studying abroad has become a popular trend around the world in recent years.  While it definitely costs more than just money, studying abroad still attracts lots of attention from all types of people, from students to businesspeople, from young to old, since it is believed to have a profound impact on people’s lives. However, many people have some misconceptions about international students who study in another country such as the United States. “Studying abroad is more traveling abroad than studying,” said Tom, a local student.

As international students have a chance to discover new cultures as well as new lands, surely they would be enthusiastic to go out more and learn more. Research shows that overseas students tend to travel more than locals. Over one-third of those polled in the website makeuseof.com were traveling for language learning or studying purposes, with another 16 percent citing work experience as their motivation.

Yet, many international students do not travel and explore their host country. Part of the reason is that going abroad to study requires a certain amount of courage, and not all of the learners can fully prepared themselves.

According to Emily Vu, a student from University of South Florida, “Because of the non-citizen status, we have been restricted by many rules, which will prevent us from traveling whenever we want.”

Besides language difficulties, overseas students have to face not only homesickness but also culture shock in a totally strange country. Additionally, financial pressure is another big problem for international students. Alexandria Hollett, an Indiana University senior who studied last year in Bologna said, “I am working two jobs as well as being a full-time student because I have no money.”

The main purpose of studying abroad is to achieve something, such as a degree from a high-reputation school or a job opportunity that is worth the student’s effort. In order to accomplish the goals, international students have only one option, which is studying hard so they can enjoy those benefits later.

“Being a foreigner means you have to suffer not only physical issues but also mental problems,” Emily suggested, “but the thing is we have a chance to expand our abilities, our awareness of cultural diversity, and the capacity to deal with ambiguity, even if it is because of traveling or studying.”

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