The Wealth of Studying Abroad

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Nisha JamVwal dips into her experience of studying abroad and provides insights on what it means to get an international education

If you can afford it, I’d say definitely. Go for it. Nothing was more liberating, mind expanding, adventurous and exhilarating to me than going abroad to procure a Bachelor of Associated Arts at California. Apart from the fact that education is so easily available for those of us who wish to suck in every drop of learning, you can add extra credits and subjects if you are open to going without sleep and burning the
midnight oil for the extra grey matter.

Invaluable Life Experience
For me, true life experience began away from the comfort zone of home and country. The sameness of growing up among your own people brings fewer challenges. I flowered and became stronger as a person, learnt to adjust to differences and find ways around difficult situations. I was on my own and had to make it work. It was all so fabulous and all life’s lessons learnt in books or lectures from parents and teachers came into play only when I was thrown into alien situations and I learnt how to fly, metaphorically. If there is one advice I’d give to students, it is to take the opportunity if offered to them, and take the sting of studying abroad.
It makes a man of a boy! Especially mamma’s boys. No one to cook, clean and pander to your every whim. Trust me, your girlfriend/partner will thank you for leaving your nest later in life.

Broadened Horizons 
The entire world view is expanded so that you are exposed to different cultures, and forced to communicate better and with all nationalities. You begin to look at life differently and are encouraged to be more independent and self-reliant. You are forced to do your own cooking and cleaning, which also makes you a well-rounded individual. When I studied abroad, I found a lot of my peers, who were also foreign students, developed their confidence levels along the way, when compared to their initial personality. I’d also say that some of the more enterprising students pick up a foreign language during their course and stay abroad. All this works wonders upon your all-round curriculum vitae, and employers look favourably at candidates who have a well-rounded experience.

Hands-on Teaching
That was all on the personal front. As for the education part of it, I have to admit that the entire attitude, especially in America, is more hands-on and experiential. It works brilliantly for when you go out into the world to perform. A textbook-ish mugging up approach is not so fantastic when it comes to performance in a real world atmosphere, apart from which it is more laborious. I’d say that I really began to top my class and realise my strengths in America.
I studied interior architecture in Los Angeles, and to teach us the finer nuances of design, my professors took us to swanky Hollywood homes. You can imagine how well the message of scale, colour, aesthetics and standard measurements reached us. I’ve never forgotten the lesson and love the moments I reminiscence of those times.

Choosing the Right Country
Always remember to research and choose the right country, to select an appropriate course. Here I must mention that the most liberating thing about study abroad, especially America, is the wide variety of choice in subjects and the freedom to change if you find post one semester that it’s not working for you. Then the next step is to research and choose the correct university and college for yourself. The American universities, I must admit, are most welcoming and from small liberal arts colleges to large universities, the appeal of higher education in the US is in their noninterventionist approach to life and education.

Real Education
That’s what I call a well-rounded education, where you get up in the morning excited about a day of learning and growing, not moan about mugging and stress. An education that excites you to know more, not one that leads to dread and suicide. Yes, suicide! Remember the film Three Idiots? I cannot remember another film in recent times that has shown us the repercussions of a poor education system, one that runs a college like a dictatorship.

A well-rounded education [is one] where you get up in the morning excited about a day of learning and growing, not moaning about mugging and stress. An education that excites you, not one that leads to dread and suicide

 

Volume 3 Issue 4

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