Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad

Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad

by Meghan Brown
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Many students are encouraged to go to university or college after high school.  Often this involves moving to a different city to attend their chosen school – but most of the time, they are still in their own province, or possibly elsewhere in Canada.

But there’s another option students should consider, which is studying abroad in a different country.  There are plenty of excellent universities and colleges around the world, many of which boast world-renowned expertise in specific research, academics, or student experiences.

So, when you’re deciding where to attend your post-secondary education, why not aim big and consider becoming an international student?

You can pursue your entire degree abroad, or you can apply to a Canadian university that offers its students study-abroad opportunities and do part of your degree in Canada and part of it in another country.

Studying abroad for all or part of your degree isn’t a decision to take lightly, and there are plenty of factors to consider, from the overall costs to the individual student experience.

It’s important to do your research and determine what international school or program you want to pursue, and understand both the pros and cons of studying abroad.


Affordability: Depending on the school and program, studying abroad can be less expensive than studying in Canada.  This can come both in the form of lower tuition costs, and/or differences in the cost of living for things like rent and food.  Scholarships and grants exist for international study as well, which can cover all or part of the cost.

New Culture, New Experiences: The world is full of amazing people and places, and studying abroad gives you the chance to immerse yourself in another culture.  You’ll have the chance to make connections with other students and local residents, learn or become fluent in a new language, and experience different customs, food, entertainment, and much more.

Personal Growth:  Studying abroad, whether for a semester or several years, will help you discover yourself, build your confidence and independence, and help you understand your place in the world.


Costs May Be Higher: Some international schools are more expensive than a Canadian school, especially those that are particularly prestigious or which have unique, famous, or in-depth specialty programs.  While financial aid is available, such as scholarships and grants, the application and consideration process is highly competitive and you may not receive enough to cover all your costs.

Culture Shock and Homesickness: “There’s no place like home” isn’t just a line from a movie.  Even if you prepare yourself, you can still experience a lot of culture shock and homesickness while studying abroad.  While international study programs will have both academic and social support for students, the fact remains that you will be far away from home without the ability to visit family or return somewhere familiar for long periods of time – a whole semester, if not a whole year.

Coming Home Can Be Hard:  Studying abroad will change you – in wonderful ways – and you will return home a different person than when you left, which can make it difficult to adjust to being back.  Your old routines might feel strange, and depending on how long you’re abroad, familiar locations might have changed.

There are other considerations, but these are a place to start.  Be sure to do lots of research into programs, costs, and requirements, in order to determine which country and program will be the best fit for you to study abroad.







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