Study Abroad. “Should I Go? Or Stay?”
Study Abroad. “Should I Go? Or Stay?”
  • Genn Ia Kim
  • 승인 2012.06.07 18:51
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“Study abroad, should I go or stay?” It might be a decision students will need to make if they have interest in the opportunity. And like much decision making a crucial point is having confidence that the choice has greater value over the other choice. In hope that many will be making a decision about study abroad I would like to give some ideas on study abroad to help the decision process, before making the choice.
One thought is how study abroad can be an opportunity for globalization.
In these days the word globalization is recognized as a must do for most countries, schools and even for an individual. However, applying this is not always easy, especially for college students who are living in such a time and how globalization is being in works seems to be very limited for them too. This is why many universities have been trying to provide opportunities as much as possible to help this happen. And one specific one is study abroad. Study abroad gives the chance to be in a global environment and being the global environment for the other party as well. Study abroad itself is an educational program that realizes globalization.
Another thought is how students who study abroad are affected and how they affect the world around them.
Study Abroad students have pointed out how they were affected by their experience of study abroad. However, students are not only influenced by their surroundings but also they have the ability to influence their environment in many ways during the study abroad experience.
Let’s start about the affects study abroad has on the students. One strong affect is language. Most think that having English as a second language or being multi-lingual means everything of globalization. Of course having the ability to speak the global language English or any foreign language is a step toward globalization but I believe that it is only the base not the full structure. Being able to use the language, to communicate with those from other counties, to share thoughts is more important than the language itself. Language should be the tool not the purpose. However many have attempted to gain but have failed to fully possess language as a tool. Then how can it be possessed? Think about how a tool’s power can become possessed. When reading or just seeing how a tool is used by others we are able to learn about the tool, but to possess the power of it, we will have to use it. Language works the same way; when we just read and see it in the classroom it becomes knowledge but when we are in the environment such as studying abroad where we will have to use it, we will eventually be able to posses it. This is a gain that is almost impossible if not in the environment of the language itself.
Another affect is culture. After living abroad for some time it is easy to crave the culture of that country such as food, music and even smell. That is why when returning home it is easy to think of those moments abroad and so those memories lead students to find that culture within their home country. And this eventually can lead influence the society’s culture of Korea by bringing in the food and music as it is easily seen in today’s culture.
However, the interesting thing is the affect of culture goes both ways. When abroad, students are not only affected by other cultures but also they are able to affect the other culture with Korean culture. Staying for a semester or year students are able to share their culture with the other country’s students. It is heard that even those who were not patriots at home when abroad they become missionaries and patriots of Korea. It is interesting to see students become cultural missionaries of Korea to their roommates, classmates and even their professors abroad. They try to share the Korean cultures such as food and music to their surrounding and in their writings and class work. And by this they are able give a small atmosphere of Korea, sometimes leading to a new trend with in the country. How wonderful is it to see that study abroad, an educational exchange, extend into cultural exchange. This shows that when studying abroad, students are not just affected but are affecting their study abroad surroundings.
The last idea on study abroad is how students can be challenged by this experience. Students are no longer in a small shallow pond but now are in the broad and deep ocean where they are able to challenge their excellence with other nations.
Student here are challenged with their studies but they might limit their self by thinking that being the best in the nation is all. However, through the study abroad they will be able to perceive that there are other top notch students in the world. These new rivals will help push the limit of studies that might even show the way to a new discovery. Also, professors can challenge the students in different ways they could not think about at home. Being able to learn in different education styles, students will be able to think ahead and being able to choose the best study or research style for their future. The challenge within the study abroad experience will help them find their limit or create a new challenge to head toward.
There are many views and thoughts on study abroad. The above are just a few of ideas that are laid out to help make a decision toward studying abroad. Some will choose to stay at home and finish their studies quickly as possible and go to the next step. Others might want to take a chance and use a semester or year to grow in a different way. Whatever the choice, the most important of all is to make the experience yours whether you go or not. However, in hope that some of these ideas will help your decision, when the question of study abroad arise I hope that the answer will be YES!
On a side note, please notice that our university is trying to enhance opportunities of study abroad for students. So, contact the study abroad office near you.