The pros and cons of studying abroad

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Studying abroad is an option of education considered by some students. Some may think that it would be beneficial to them whilst others think that studying in Hong Kong is the same or even better than studying abroad. To help decide whether to study abroad, this essay will include some major pros and cons of studying abroad.

Studying abroad is beneficial to one’s independence, or rather, to put it specifically, one’s ability to take care of oneself. Since parents aren’t going to live with their child, the control over the child’s daily life goes to the child himself, thus minimizing parents’ interference in their lives. Studying abroad can truly let students taste the feeling of being in control of nearly everything, ranging from small things like their clothing choices to things like room decorations. Students can have a taste of freedom and they also learn to be capable of dealing with their daily life chores like laundry and cookery. Moreover, Hong Kong students are pretty spoiled and pampered by their parents, hence not being able to take care of themselves as well as teenagers globally does. With parents not living with them, they will have to stand on their own feet and rely on themselves when it comes to their daily lives. Studying abroad is like giving students a grown-up life trial to prepare them for their future, where they might be fending for themselves alone without parents’ assistance.

Secondly, studying abroad provides students with more options for the future. In Hong Kong, it is hard to actually study for more creative jobs like writers or musicians as a lot of schools do not provide such subjects. However, studying abroad in the right countries can give us the opportunity to pursue our dream job, be it an author or a hacker. Hong Kong’s education system promotes science and business the most so if you do not wish to work in these two fields, studying abroad might be a better option than staying. Having more options is always a good thing. Studying abroad may open your eyes to new ideas and make the possibilities endless.

Well, as the saying goes, every coin has two sides. Studying abroad also has its disadvantages.

To start with, studying abroad is very costly. The fee for studying in boarding schools is at least three times of studying in private schools in Hong Kong. There may be scholarships to help, but to be frank, it is difficult to get one. Not only do you have to attend gruesome tests, you will also need to provide a lot of documents. If you truly want to study abroad, the cost is a rather huge setback.  Moreover, there are a lot more fields to cover than you think. Flights, living expenses, tuition… they can all add up pretty quickly. The expenses of studying abroad need serious attention.

Also, being in a whole new country can be quite unsettling. The cultural difference does take a long time to get over, after all, we have been living in Hong Kong since we were born. We have to learn our way in an entirely new city with entirely new system (you have to admit, not every place has a transportation system as convenient as Hong Kong), and navigating our way could be a little bit too much. In addition, we are literally alone when studying abroad, and befriending a bunch of people could be difficult.

As an adventure-seeker addicted to unknowns, I think that studying abroad is a good thing as it gives me more opportunities to explore. However, in my opinion, I don’t encourage studying abroad before graduating secondary school as the curriculum varies over countries and it is really hard to fit in some place where basically everyone knows each other (well, except you).