Studying abroad, a condensed growing-up period
It was around August 7 when 150 Saudi Arabian students at the University of Regina (Canada) were being told to leave the country in a month-time. After a political argument, tensions rose between the two countries, and Saudi Arabia announced a plan to move thousands of their scholarship students out of Canadian schools. However, very little are those who deny the positive outcomes of studying overseas.
For several decades, it is now easier to go and study in another country. Study abroad is a fast-growing phenomenon which has been stimulated by the need of cultural interactions, an ease of travelling and also political changes. Moreover, students are more and more encouraged to do so as society moves towards more international exchanges and as the job market is calling for multicultural skills. Either with an international organisation or directly through a home institution program, student exchanges offer long term, personal and educational benefits for those who achieve to make the most of their time while overseas. Experiencing life in another country, out of one’s “comfort zone”, is the most exciting part of the adventure. But undoubtedly, these exchanges are not only important for students but also for universities which perceive in them an opportunity to develop their network and their visibility. Moreover, students become actual ambassadors for the country they studied in when they come back home.
Research showed students who experienced studies overseas get better grades, become more engaged with their studies and are way more employable, even though studying abroad sometimes remains too expensive for some households. But even if it is not on the other side of the world, this experience is not only about studying and academical content. There are so many aspects linked to studying abroad: culture broadening, exposure, language learning, problem solving. Every experience overseas will make students more complete and readier to start in their working life.
Marie-Flore Pirmez, Now UC News (University of Canberra, Journalism Department, 2018)