In the last few decades the number of students going to study abroad has increased exponentially. Anna notes that countries like UK, Italy, China, Spain and France ranked at the top as the best destinations for students going for study abroad programs. This rise has even been observed more among the students going for business related courses. Even with recent global economic crisis this rise has not been decelerated. There are many reasons and benefits for promoting the study abroad programs. One of the most obvious that those providing business related courses have used to promote their programs is that students are prepared to work in a multicultural and global business environment. However, studies also indicate that a student who goes for the study abroad program is able to attain personal growth in the oversea country. Study abroad has been linked with over 97 percent development in personal maturity among students (Dwyer n.p). Other researchers promote the study abroad program for their economic incentives. Michael et al states that students engaged in study abroad contribute A$8.2m to the local economy of Victoria. Additionally, the study abroad program is also flexible to the pockets of individual student. Taryn notes that there are scholarship options for the needy students. There are many reasons why a student should pursue study abroad. This paper explores all the benefits and pleasure associated to study abroad and economic gains made by the host country. Study abroad is fun and beneficial for the economy.
The number of students going for the study abroad program has gone in excess of double. A recent report in 2011 indicated that the number of students registered in the higher education institutions in the US for study abroad, has increased by more than three times. Study abroad has been observed in recent years to be on the increase with the only slight difference being observed in the 2008/2009 global recession. The number of US students going for the study abroad has also been reported to be on the rise in the last few reports by Open Doors (Ann n.p). A look at the country they prefer shows that UK, Spain, Italy, China, and France are their prime locations. The number of US students preferring to study in China has more than tripled with statistics indicating that in 2009/2010 close to 14,000 students registered for the study abroad there compared to less than 3,000 observed between 1999 and 2010. This report shows a shift in selecting destination with students preferring non English speaking countries and nations outside the Western Europe. In addition, this report also shows that students are also having fun by working as interns in oversea countries.
Study abroad is also a lot of fun for the student because there are many chances for having that unique experience. An n abroad student can for instance have a great moment because of travelling to different places in the destination country. An itinerary for the student to various destinations can create a memorable experience in a lifetime. It is also a rare opportunity to explore different weather. The student is able to adventure in the foreign environment in their own free time. Greater pleasure can also be acquired when this is done as a group leading to more intimate relationship.
Study have also shown that students going for the abroad study are better intercultural communicators, globally minded, more cultural proficient and more open to diversity as compared to those who do not participate in such programs (Wright & Larsen 121). A study abroad offers a rare opportunity to learn more than one language. One can become bilingual for taking a course abroad. In activities outside classwork one can learn to speak a different language, which can help to build their resume, It is reported that when a company has to pick a potential candidate between two candidate who have the same merits, chances of a bilingual being selected are 33 percent higher than those of a normal candidate (Taryn n.p). Therefore, study abroad enhances individual chances of being employed. A hiring manager is likely to consider an individual who has worked or studied abroad as a valuable asset. An internship during study abroad can also communicate a lot of things to the potential employer including ones readiness to take on new challenges.
Dwyer argues study abroad is definitely likely to transform a participant. It contributes to their personal growth. It improves an individual’s world-view, career path, and self confidence. The study abroad contributes immensely to the personal growth and development of a participant in ways that continues to shape them throughout their life. Those who have participated in the abroad program have suggested that it offers a unique experience compared to their home schools because they learn more about others. in a study looking at its contribution to personal growth, participants reported 97 percent improved maturity, 96 percent suggested it led to better self-confidence, another 89 percent claimed it made them more tolerant, while 95 percent claimed it changed their world view. Apart from that a study abroad program also contributes in many other positive ways. For instance, U.S students engaged in the study abroad report that it leads to improved friendship with others and continues to shape their relationships years later. Additionally, it can influence the student family life later (Dwyer n.p). Many people have gone on to pick their spouses by engaging in abroad study. Therefore, there is a lot of enjoyment and pleasant things that a student can do while taking a course abroad.
Study abroad is also beneficial to the student as they prepare to work in a global environment. Study abroad prepares the student by equipping them with necessary language skills, international experience, and cross-cultural communication skills they require to make it in the global economy. It compels these students to learn about different ways of life of other people in different parts of the world. It teaches them to accommodate people from different backgrounds from theirs and enable them to eradicate stereotypes formerly held about such people. This way such students are able to develop their global leadership skills and are prepared to handle the global challenges such as increasing hunger, fight diseases and address threat of terrorism (Goodman n,p). Therefore, a good course abroad can be the difference that a student needs to make it in this global economy.
Apart from the student, the local or destination country economy befit by hosting abroad students. In a study of behavior of student in these programs in Australia it was discovered that they contribute immensely to the local economy in terms of travel to attraction sites. Their expenditures as tourist in Australia were estimated to be A$8.2m. The study involved a total of 600 participants taking their courses in the State of Melbourne. Te study among other things noted that attraction sites like the Great Ocean Road and Queen Victoria market were very popular among the abroad students. The income earned for the economy is even more when visits to friends and relatives are included (Michael et al 57). This indicates that study abroad is also an important program that is transforming the local economies and lives of the citizens of destination countries.
However, to attain all these benefits there is a monetary cost that student is likely to part with. This means that a student planning to go for a course in foreign country will need to learn a few things before selecting the country and the course. A student should consider the cost of tuition, accommodation and other expenses involved in living in a foreign country. For instance, an extra cost can be incurred depending on where the student chooses to stay from the college. The extra cost would be incurred in form of travel cost either by airline or other means. Besides, travelling around the region for other purposes can also contribute to increase in the total cost incurred. Some programs may also include extra cost for housing, while in other this may be provided in form of a homestay or dormitory. This calls for careful planning for the entire program to ensure that the course period are not extended, which would add significant cost. Nevertheless, there is still an opportunity to apply for a scholarship for the tuition expenses. This would greatly reduce the cost of studying abroad and enable a participant to enjoy the benefits that comes with it.
Indeed a study abroad offers lot of fun and is of economic value to the destination country. In going for study abroad as opposed to taking home based courses, a student gets an opportunity to explore many things outside their home country. It is an opportunity to travel around in the destination country and enjoy new environment. It is also a rare opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds. This is good for personal growth and development. It enables one to be a better communicator by learning different languages from their own. A student is also able to shake off stereotypes held about other people which enhance tolerances for diversity. This is beneficial in the future career path especially now that many companies are moving out to global market. Additionally, when studying abroad one also goes for international internship. This is very good for the resume because potential employers are always on the lookout for candidates with international exposure. Another benefit of study abroad is to the home country that is hosting the student. Economy in such a country can grow very fast because it has invested in education sector. This is because students in abroad programs usually spend extra money in form of tourism activities to various attraction sites in the country. However, a student should consider the extra cost of engaging in these activities especially where such costs were not considered when preparing to go for the study abroad.
Ann, Stock. Study Abroad by U.S. Students Rose in 2009/10 with More Students Going to Less Traditional Destinations. Institute Of International Education. Web.
Dwyer, Mary M, Peters, Courtney K. “The Benefits of Study Abroad” IES Abroad News. Web.
Goodman, Allan E. “Every Student Should Study Abroad”. The New York Times. 17 October 2013. Web.
Michael, Ian, Anona Armstrong, and Brian King. The travel behavior of international students: The relationship between studying abroad and their choice of tourist destinations. Journal of Vacation Marketing 10.1 (2004): 57-66. Print.
Stansbury, Taryn. Thinking of Studying Abroad? It’s Not All About Cost. Fox Business. Web.
Wright, Newell D, & Larsen, Val. Every Brick Tells a Story Study Abroad as an Extraordinary Experience. Marketing Education Review, 22.2 (2012): 121-142.
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