Why Studying Abroad is More Relevant Now than Ever

| 02/08/2013 | 0 Comments

When a student chooses to study abroad, he or she is looking forward to continuing education in another part of the world. Many universities sponsor programs such as these and encourage the exchange of students in such a manner. In today’s world, this exchange could be more relevant to our future than many may realize. Could studying abroad promote a peaceful future for countries that are plagued by conflict? It’s possible. However, the dangers could be higher than what students would like to experience.

1. Cultural Exchange – Studying abroad is more than just attending a school in a foreign location. The student submerses themselves within the culture in order to learn additional information in the form of real life applications. Although the school provides academic learning, the people of the area are teaching you what it means to be a citizen of the locale. This cultural immersion could include foods, customs, clothing, belief structures and more.

2. Understanding – To understand how a culture functions is to realize its potential and why certain aspects are held in specific regards. Once you begin to understand the people, you can begin to appreciate why they behave the way they do in a non-violent manner. With eyes open, you can begin to develop an ability to look at a situation objectively and understand both points of view. If more people had this understanding, more peaceful resolutions could be developed among conflicts. However, the ones making decisions go by the recommendations of those who have ulterior motives or simply do not understand the point of views of others.

3. Enlightening – When students are in the confines of their own area, it’s hard to imagine that other cultures approach education differently. In our minds, the way we study and commit to learning must be how everyone does. Unfortunately, this is a misconception as every walk of life looks at aspects differently. There are more than six billion people on this planet spread across the globe. Each area is different in its own right, and to assume that everyone learns the same material in the same fashion only shows the true lack of knowledge of Earth.

4. Securing the Future – In a world where cultural barriers prevent logical and intelligent discussion, many rely on the use of weaponized language. While misunderstanding may account for a portion of the turmoil many countries face on a daily basis, having an insight into a way of life other than your own could help you devise better alternatives than terrorism or war. Regardless of how hard some politicians try to sweep away the beliefs of the next generations, the young are our future. Giving them deeper knowledge about the realities of the world can help them prepare for a more peaceful existence with their neighbors.

The more our children are exposed to different cultures and respect for those who believe different than themselves, the brighter the future will be for generations to come. To ignore an individual simply because they are different is to deny humanity and the evolution we’ve endured since the dark ages. Submitting oneself to the knowledge provided by a foreign element and truly understanding the people is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children as it can empower them to make the right decisions that are usually clouded by personal beliefs.

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

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Category: international student, people abroad, study abroad

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