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There are many advantages of studying abroad, and opportunities like these are becoming easier to obtain. In fact, as of 2022, there were 54,440 Malaysian students who opted to complete their studies overseas, according to the 2022 Malaysian Higher Education Statistics.
Looking for a push to strengthen your decision to study overseas? Here are some plus points you HAVE to know to give yourself that extra nudge!
1. New culture awaits you as an international student!
Studying abroad means you’ll be pursuing your studies in a foreign country, and that means you will be exposed to a different way of living. Being an international student, you’re now given the opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, learning different customs, traditions, beliefs.
Studies have also proven that the potential of being a part of a new society is one of the key advantages of studying abroad, which means that you’ll no doubt be feeling the same way as many others would in this situation.
Especially if you’re the type to take initiatives, this is one of the advantages that will gear you up for a great overseas studies experience.
So, if you’re looking to break out of the current shell that you live in, it’s time for you to consider becoming an international student!
2. Higher quality of education when you study overseas
Now that’s not to say that local universities aren’t able to provide you with this, but there are studies which show that students score better when they study in an overseas university.
Universities abroad may also have better facilities, lecturers, learning material and environment to help you academically, which helps to bolster this point. For example, University of Southampton thrives in the engineering field. Their mechanical engineering courses are ranked 5th in the United Kingdom, thanks to its facilities and practical opportunities.
One Malaysian success story is that of Kwen Liew’s, who studied cuisine in Le Cordon Blue Australia. Leveraging on the campus’s 16 specialty kitchens provided to students, she honed her craft and is now Malaysia’s very first woman Michelin Star chef and co-owns Restaurant Pertinence in France where she currently resides.
According to a study in 2017, students who studied abroad also showed an increase in their GPA compared to their local counterparts. The research discovered that it was the perception of the positive impact of studying abroad that became the prime motivator for international students, which assisted them in learning, practising and scoring better.
So if your parents are asking if learning overseas will actually help you get good results, just show them this article.
3. Studying abroad is proven to help self improvement
From the same 2017 study, it is also proven that one of the other advantages of studying abroad would be the opportunity for self improvement. The reason: You’ll be able to learn more independently and gain confidence in taking up more for yourself.
Compared to the local universities, where our studies are more based on the textbooks, you will encounter lecturers who are heavily involved with ongoing research or industrial practices. They will give you the extra edge by teaching relaying knowledge that hasn’t even been written down yet! Leveraging this can help set you apart from the rest.
Students who study overseas will also be able to enjoy a multinational community, where different styles of learning collide. Foreign universities also tend to encourage an open communication approach among students, where they tend to ask more questions and involve themselves in discussions instead of scoring in their exams.
Doing this helps you to build your confidence in involving yourself, and to learn how to better articulate your thoughts and ideas. You will also be able to reap these benefits when you step into the working world.
4. Strengthens your language skills
One of the biggest elements about studying abroad is communicating in the language of the said country. Being able to learn a new language is also one of the perks of studying abroad, as several studies over the early 2000s have shown.
English is not the mother tongue of most Malaysian students, as we all are aware. Over the last decade, Malaysia has seen a significant drop in ranking in the English Proficiency Index, currently placing 24th out of 111 countries. To compare, the highest achievement was in 2013, where Malaysia were ranked 11th. Another worrying stat from the EPI findings was that out of all Malaysians who took the proficiency test, the lowest proficiency was from the 18 – 20 year old age group.
Those who chose to study overseas will be able to significantly improve their grasp of the English language. Here, you will be forced into an environment where the means of communication will be mainly English. The flip side of this is as you are constantly using it, and it will help decrease your anxiety of speaking it.
Although unrelated to English, we do have an example of a Malaysian student who enjoyed the perks of being able to enhance his language skills. Shah Farid Rashid pursued a Chinese Language and Literature degree at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, where his classes were all conducted in Mandarin.
Getting help from his lecturers, peers as well as going to work part time, Shah picked up the language in 6 months, and made him a hot prospect for Xiaomi who were specifically looking for Malaysian natives with fluency in Malay and Mandarin at the time.
The biggest takeaway here as well is that this will give you a huge edge over your peers who stay back locally to study, and in the multilingual country that we live in, it would be vital. That being said, it also goes back to your own personal effort to avoid staying in your own bubble when studying abroad and interacting with others from different countries instead.
Before you scroll on…
While you get to know the perks of studying abroad, read up why you should engage with an education counselor to help you on preparing you from A-Z: Get A Study Abroad Consultant Early To Avoid 7 Big Mistakes
5. Gain independence when you study overseas
When you’re studying overseas, you’re not going to be bringing your parents or even your housekeeper along with you. As you set out on this journey away from home, you’re going to be by yourself first. Being independent would be one of the first things that you will learn while you’re abroad, and with that, comes its benefits.
A Study International research in 2017 pointed out that students who study abroad are:
- More likely to be resilient
- Able to possess higher levels of confidence in their capabilities
- Able to deal with stress better
- More inclined to successfully reach their goals
- Able to achieve higher levels of self satisfaction
Why is this, you ask?
You will experience ‘’adulting’’ a lot sooner than your friends at home from dealing with finances, groceries, cleanliness, time-keeping, will all be handled by you, and you alone. While that sounds pretty daunting, your experience here will make you more self-reliant and rewarding.
6. Studying abroad enhances global perspective
Studying abroad has the potential to open your eyes to many things, be it culturally, socially, or personally.
Enrolling in a university overseas will also give you the opportunity to travel around within the country or even neighbouring ones. Especially if you’re studying in the UK, you’ll be able to travel around Europe, and being an international student, you might even get discounts to do that! Having access to these perks actually unlocks many doors for you, believe it or not.
While you’re having fun taking in the new sights and sounds, these elements will also enhance your tolerance towards different cultures and ways of thinking, making you a better citizen of the world. This in turn snowballs into you becoming a person with a broader mind and an international way of thinking.
7. Gain valuable international friends
It’s probably a given that when you study in a university overseas, you’ll be mingling with a large community of students from the local area and also from other countries. By studying abroad you will be creating lasting bonds with people who are not from your home country, and these are friends that you make along the way that may be of benefit to you in the future.
As quoted from a professor in the London School of Economics, being a part of an international network will also play a part in enhancing the quality of learning, giving you a broad spectrum of opinion and expertise.
When taken full advantage, you will not only be gaining lasting friendships with an international base, which would be great if you’re planning on going for trips abroad, you will also be setting up the foundation for an international professional network, enabling a new pathway for future prospects in different parts of the world.
8. Studying abroad levels up your employability
While we can’t guarantee that this is 100%, studying abroad does give you an extra edge when you look for a job in the future.
There have been studies that have shown that there is actually a relation between students who studied abroad and how recruiters positively perceive them during the interview. Based on a study conducted on hiring managers from over 350 firms in the US, studying abroad has been proven to be able to enhance your hiring, and factors vary, from the university that you studied in, whether you had prior work experience in the country, and also the soft skills that you have picked up during your time abroad.
Don’t forget that you also have a chance of being employed by companies in the country that you studied in, made possible thanks to employer projects conducted by the university, and graduate pathways that are available, such as the Graduate Work Stream in Australia and Graduate Visa in the UK.
There is also a pathway to a career abroad via internships, of course, though that may vary for different universities. A success story from this avenue involves Florence Tan, who is now at the helm of the Small Spacecraft Coordination Group in NASA.
Florence was a student at the University of Maryland in the United States when she took up a summer internship at NASA and upon graduation, was there full-time. Her achievements include working on spacecraft headed for Mars, as well as the Cassini Huygens Probe that is still orbiting Saturn’s Moon Titan.
Ready to Enjoy The Advantages Of Studying Abroad?
Well there you have it! By choosing the international student pathway, you’re going to be setting yourself up for tons of perks, be it personal, social, or even professional.
Now for the next step: choosing your dream international university. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help!
Here at Uni Enrol, our counsellors are well equipped to get you prepped for your dream international education destination, without even having to leave your seat!
It’s Time To Study Abroad!
It is never too late to find out which international university is the right one for you! Engage with our study abroad counselors to get started!