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Exploding the myths
Stephen H Robinette lists a few myths about studying abroad
Studying in foreign universities is every student’s dream. Students want to go abroad and take degrees from universities for a better future. But there are many who don’t plan education outside of India because they are told a few myths about studying in a foreign country and unfortunately they believe in those. Below are a few myths and the facts to debunk them:
Myth 1: It is too expensive
It is a myth that one has to be very rich or should be ready to bear the burden of heavy debts to get into a foreign university. It is the most prevalent misconception about studying abroad. Studying abroad cost entirely depends on the course, time and location of the programme. Studying abroad is an affordable option. Also, one can apply for scholarships to lessen the burden of university fee. Many universities offer a number of scholarships and have other schemes that take care of the student’s expenses to a large extent.
Myth 2: English is a must
Students think that they can only go and study in English speaking universities because it would be very difficult for them to study at a place where people in first place don’t speak English. Many non-English speaking countries also provide courses, which are taught in English. If a student takes the basic knowledge of a language before going to the non-English speaking country, it will only benefit him to commute better with the locals of the country.
Myth 3: Scholarship availability
There are plenty of scholarships for students who want to study in foreign universities. Student should research and make use of it.
Myth 4: Sorry, This is not for US
Students believe that they can only study international studies and foreign languages in a foreign country. But, any subject can be taught through global perspective. Studying with global perspective is only going to benefit a student to get a respective job worldwide.
Myth 5: No changes for employee
It is also one of those widely spread misconception about study abroad. Employers these days prefer employees who can work cross-culturally. Many global employers want global employees. Also, if a student learns the second language while studying abroad it works as icing over the cake.
Myth 6: It's dangerous Outside
Students are told by their parents/ guardians/relatives that living in a foreign country is really tough and unsafe,. Being a student one has to face racism and they will never accept him as their own. One should definitely go to a foreign country after searching and reading a lot about the country whether it is safe or not. Also, embassies are always there to help.
Myth 7: it is party time & luxury
Some students see study abroad as a vacation. They believe that studying abroad is not really studying in abroad but it’s the good time one gets to spend in foreign land. On the contrary, studying in foreign university brings lots of responsibilities to a student. Apart from studying and building valuable skills one has to expand his personal horizons.
It comes without saying that foreign education brings lots of opportunities for students. To study abroad not only changes a student in and out because of new culture/new education methods but on personal level. Like two people seeing and explaining one thing can be entirely different, likewise education settings of two countries are different. But, calling it a luxurious life would be entirely wrong. It enhances self confidence in the student.
Myth 8: delay Graduation
Like other this is also one of the most prevalent misconception in students. A student should need to do more research about a university he is applying to. One can also coordinate with the college if something can be done about it. Also, foreign universities offer plenty of courses for undergraduates and graduates.
Myth 9: Travelling is the same
This is just too odd to compare these two things together. Studying abroad gives a student wider perspective, boost in academic profile and also good international relationships. Travelling is just fun and sightseeing also it doesn’t add anything in a resume.
Myth 10: Part-time job only way
Students are very much influenced with Hollywood movies and TV series so as to think that they will enroll in the foreign university and start doing a part-time job and life will be smooth. Getting jobs in foreign land is not really easy and for a student who is leaving his comfort zone to study abroad will take a lot of time to adjust in the new environment, culture and new study pattern. Doing a job will be last thing one would think of at least for the first six months and after joining a course one should first concentrate on finding his feet in the university.
These are common misconceptions and myths about study abroad. A student must research a lot before believing on what other has to say and let the opportunity of a life time pass up on.
(The writer is associate vice-president, International Programmes at Missouri State University)
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