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Pros and Cons of studying abroad

Module by: Simon Lynch. E-mail the author

Pros and Cons of studying abroad

Taking a course of study in a foreign country is becoming more and more popular. The experience is valued by students and potential employers. However, there are positive and negative points to be taken into account.

Pros

  • In many cases grants are available to cover some or all of the tuition and/or living costs during the period abroad (enquire at your home institution).
  • Acquiring advanced language skills can be personally enriching and an asset for your future.
  • Experiencing another educational system can be instructive and insightful.
  • You may make friends from all over the world.
  • An opportunity to get to know and travel around a country in a way that is not possible on a holiday or short visit.

Cons

  • Travel and living costs may be considerably higher than a comparable period at your home institution, even if you are receiving a grant to cover some of the costs.
  • The amount which you learn may be less if learning in a foreign language and your academic performance in that language may be limited.
  • You may find the type of teaching unproductive; especially if you are going from an environment with lots of teacher/student contact to one with lectures and large classes.
  • You may find it difficult to adapt to a different social environment.

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