In the globalized era, universities are increasingly becoming internationalized and are bound with numerous advantages and disadvantages. A significant number of students are moving from Kuwait to other countries with transnational colleges. Foreign schooling has grown from being a negligible prospect for higher education and evolved into the mission to universalize the academic milieu. People in Kuwait usually opt for it because it helps individuals become better-rounded, develop marketable business skills and gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, it opens new opportunities in the international career market, although one has to incur high costs during the study. Training overseas is essential because it leads to the apprentices’ personal growth both at individual levels and in career development.
Benefits of Studying Outside of Kuwait
Education abroad is necessary for most people since it creates employment opportunities or promotions, primarily if the learning is based on sustainability. In most cases, the United States and the United Kingdom are preferred by many students opting for higher education outside of Kuwait (Grace 74). In research by Grace, the qualitative analysis revealed that the availability of jobs in Britain or the US was not a primary motivation. And the two-year work allowance policy, which was discontinued, did not impact the desire to study abroad. Most of the study participants had flexible employment mobility and were open to working in different locations after school. Others were equally expected to return home because of the financial support from employers, governments, or families. Nine out of thirteen interviewees thought that overseas learning contributed to their career progression and employment opportunities (Grace 74). Unisex, for instance, believed that the quality and value of international studies raise their competitiveness in the job market (Grace 74). It thus leads to the growth of individuals which raises their productivity in society.
Additionally, there is a common belief that the post-test scores on GPI scales are remarkably more excellent for international students than those studying on their home campuses. The tests involve cognitive knowledge and knowing, intrapersonal identity and affect, and interpersonal social responsibility and interaction (Tarrant et al. 71). The results from the test, when compared against the pretest, prove the hypothesis. For instance, intrapersonal identity posttest variation was 4.34-4.05, and cognitive knowledge posttest was 3.86- 3.48 (Tarrant et al. 73). From the data obtained, studying abroad contributes significantly to promoting a global perspective among students. The specific outcomes of tests involving issues such as understanding cultural relativism and sense of personal values provide more profound insight.
Improvement in knowledge and professionalism for international higher education students incorporates advanced research skills, host language acquisition, and a better understanding of one’s career. There is a chance that the superiority of such schools can be questioned. However, the Western academy is still perceived to be better than local schools from the dominant trends (Grace 75). Some findings demonstrated that nine out of eleven students claimed that the foreign university helped them broaden their English language skills. Moreover, three out of the eleven thought that it improved their training research. For instance, one student described that he went abroad to learn how to conduct a studies since his home schools did not have enough skillset (Grace 75). Consequently, the learners experience significant academic growth including their proficiency in the English language.
Similarly, studying abroad leads to the personal growth of the students in various ways. They develop multicultural and cosmopolitan sensitivity and broaden social networks through professional or social contacts. There is improved personality, adaptability, and interpersonal characteristics, although adaptability is not easy to measure because it appears to be abstract. Moreover, the display of a particular attribute results from mixed traits which have a lifelong impact on the students. The personal growth the learners gained in school was captured in the data, where fourteen of twenty-six respondents agreed with the idea. The other ten claimed that it built their maturity, independence, and responsibility. For instance, Sinise felt that the study abroad broadened her flexibility and capacity to adapt to new environments (Grace 74). Another Ph.D. student also commented that knowledge acquired through difficulty usually lasts, and one can benefit exceedingly.
The most significant disadvantage of studying abroad is that it creates a need for emotional or cultural adjustments. When individuals go to a new environment, they have to be conscious of the necessity to modify their lifestyles (Grace 76). Some of these situations include intense cold weather, lack of social network, intense English academic writing, and interaction with other nationalities. It can impact the students’ emotional life as stress, sadness, helplessness, or inspiration. For example, in research, 12% of the respondents admitted having had traumatic events which triggered psychological distress (Poyrazli and Michael 23). About 20% more had participated in clinical psychology counseling while 7% were taking psychiatric medication (Poyrazli and Michael 23). Claire, a Ph.D. student, reported that part of the adjustment required was dealing with homesickness.
Furthermore, there are other issues such as high costs, especially tuition fees and living expenses. For instance, living in Britain is very costly, and students from less economically developed areas have challenges coping. For people in Kuwait to decide to study in Britain, they have to consider the long-term goal of the study’s benefits. Of the total number of interviewees, twelve reported the same, especially because of the currency exchange rates (Grace 77). Brian claimed that while the tuition fees were similar to those in the colleges in his native country, the living cost, and rent for accommodation cost more (Grace 77). Additionally, courses based on sustainability had the highest returns comparatively, making them less suitable for non-sustainability studies. For instance, on cognitive knowledge, the ratio of pretest against posttest was 3.71 against 3.62 (Senel and Mitchell 76). However, there is a slight variation in the analysis of a single GPI scale from the research (Senel and Mitchell 76). As such, the advantages were somewhat limited to those of sustainability courses and adequate financial stability.
In a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of studying abroad, the former is better than the latter. The high cost of living in foreign states such as Britain is worth it because of the great returns the students will potentially benefit from. International study is among the several means of fostering desirable global academic competencies. Additionally, the emotional impact on the individuals is broad and has both positive and negative influences. The affected students can seek clinical counseling to help them cope with the difficulties they experience. Furthermore, the adjustment requirements allow the individuals to be creative and dynamic to handle other related challenges in life.
Earning a higher education certificate abroad provides many students with several professional and personal benefits. The unique experiences that one gain by being an international learner helps develop oneself and most companies are eager to employ them. However, there are associated challenges, especially regarding the costs of education and living expenses. Moreover, accommodation prices are somewhat high, especially for an individual from a less economically developed background. Researchers should work on foreign learning because of the many benefits associated with it. Intercultural communication is transforming society fast, and thus international education plays a vital role in securing a growing academic community.
Chien Grace, Y. “Studying Abroad in Britain: Advantages and Disadvantages.” Journal of Research in International Education vol. 1, no. 19, 2020, pp. 69-83.
Poyrazli, Senel, and Michael A. Mitchell. “Mental Health Problems of US Students Studying Abroad.” Journal of International Students vol. 1, no. 10, 2020, pp. 17-27.
Tarrant, Michael A. Et al. “The Effects of Studying Abroad and Studying Sustainability on Students’ Global Perspectives.” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad vol, 1, no. 26, 2015, Pp. 68-82.