There is much information available to students about the benefits of international study. From having the rich cultural experience to broadening potential work opportunities to studying in some of the world’s most renowned institutions, there are many reasons why over 4.5 million young people are currently studying abroad. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone.
Read this article to explore the reasons why studying abroad does not make sense for you.
You Get Homesick
At the tender age of just 18 years old, many young people can find leaving their family, friends and home town to set off for university difficult. If you are someone who has always experienced homesickness or if you are incredibly close to your family or attached to your hometown, this process may be even harder for you.
When you are considering where to study, it is important to think carefully about the distance of the university from your friends and family and the travel time it will take you to return there. Some students like to stay within a short distance of their loved ones, to have the opportunity to become more independent and spread their wings whilst knowing that they can easily pop home if they need to. For other students, the university gives them the perfect opportunity to get as far away from family and their home town as possible!
Whether to choose a study location that is close to or far away from home really depends on your own preference, but it is a decision that needs careful consideration. If you are worried about being too far from your family, the international study may not be the best option for you.
Too Much Hassle
The process of completing the requirements to obtain a study visa after acceptance at an international institution makes the university application process a lot more laborious. Depending on the country in which you have chosen to complete your international studies, the process varies in length from as little as a few weeks to a few months to complete.
Be prepared to collect the necessary documents and references and bear in mind that you may even need an additional interview with an immigration officer. If you are not willing to commit the time or effort to this process, the international study is not the right choice for you.
You Don’t Enjoy Being in Foreign Cultures
Let’s face it – we generally like what is known to us. We all have our home comforts and are most at ease in familiar surroundings with familiar people. If you are someone who doesn’t often branch out and step outside of your comfort zone, then you need to consider if the international study will be the right choice for you.
You will need to adapt to a new country and a new culture; things will feel strange and unfamiliar to start and, depending on the location of the institution you wish to study at, there may also be a significant language barrier blocking you from connecting to local people there. If you have grown up in western culture and you are worried about the cultural shift being too dramatic, then perhaps you will want to consider international study in another western country.
Likewise, if you have grown up in eastern culture, you may choose to study in a country also in that culture. If you want a cultural adventure, then you might want to choose somewhere vastly different from your home country, but do bear in mind the difficulties you may face in adapting. If you do not enjoy being in foreign cultures or places, then perhaps international study is not the right choice for you.
You Don’t Have the Money
University education is generally always expensive, whether you are studying at home or abroad. Whilst some countries do offer cheaper tuition fees, you must also consider the cost of living in the study destination. Studying in your home country also allows you to live at home while completing your studies, if you wish, to save some considerable costs.
If you study abroad, you will need to finance rent, bills, food, transport and living costs, as well as paying for transportation between your home country and the country in which you are studying. If your only option to do this is by air, the fare could add a significant amount to the total yearly cost.
When applying for the student visa in many countries, you will be asked to prove that you have a certain amount of money to cover your cost of living during your degree. If you don’t have access to these funds, you will not be awarded the student visa.
If the country at which you wish to study does not ask for this information, be sure to check the cost of living there for yourself ahead of applying. You don’t want to end up running out of money halfway through your degree and returning home – that would be a waste of valuable study time and money.
You are Afraid of Flying
Most international students who study abroad will need to travel between the home and host country by plane. If the sheer idea of flying terrifies you, then this is unlikely to be the right decision for you. International students will generally return home one to two times per year, which means a guaranteed minimum of 2 flights per year.
Depending on where you choose to study, it could be a pretty long flight home. If you don’t like flying, then you could consider studying somewhere you can easily access by boat, car or train from your home country. Otherwise, perhaps studying in your home country is a better option for now.
The Host Country is not Safe
Perhaps you have dreamed of studying abroad since you were a child. Maybe you went on a family holiday to a country, fell in love and told yourself that you would study there one day. But perhaps, now, that country is no longer safe. It is essential to do your research before applying to study abroad to ensure that the country in which you wish to study is a good option. If it’s not, then studying there does not make sense – there’s no point risking your safety.
The international study does offer a lot of opportunities to students but be sure to consider these factors carefully ahead of applying. You really do need to ensure that it is the right choice for you!