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Study Abroad Effects on Youth


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Study Abroad Effects on Youth
In most developing countries, studying abroad comes as a very lucrative opportunity to
most of the young men and women who get an opportunity. They perceive studying in another
country, especially in colleges and universities in developed countries such as the United States,
the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and China, as a means of upgrading their lives
and their social status in the society. Furthermore, going to study abroad while leaving one’s
schoolmates to struggle for few university slots and college chances in their home country, is
both prestigious as well as, as potential for their resume and career development. In fact, most
employers in developing countries, especially those from the third world countries like most
African nations, prefer to employ a student with an overseas degree or certificate rather than one
from their local universities and colleges. This is because they perceive universities abroad as
having a better study curriculum than that of their local education system (Boyd, Barry L., et al.
However, studying abroad comes along with a number of challenges for the youth and
students who depart their home countries for a foreign nation in search of greener pastures in
terms of their credentials. One of the main challenges that these students face is confinement to a
different climate and weather conditions not familiar to them prior to their departure. Some of
them even board a plane for a long distance overseas journey for the very fast time in their lives,
an experience that leaves most of them weak and sickly for days. To worsen matter, the weather
conditions in the country that they go to study are usually unbearable and take them a
considerable time before they adapt. As such, the first few days, or months living as a foreign

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student in a new country becomes like hell to a new student. The weather is sometimes too hot
for them to bear or biting coldness that they find hard to withstand (Barker, Michelle, et al. 81).
Imagine a student from the depths of Africa; say the republic of Uganda, who gets an
opportunity to study in the United States for his bachelors’ degree. This student is young, about
nineteen to twenty one years of age, and carries most, if not all, the hopes of his family and
relatives that when he returns from the US with a good degree, he will get a good job and uplift
his family from poverty. As such, he carriers a huge responsibility on his shoulders, and departs
his homeland in pursuit for their salvation. However, on touching down on American soil, he
encounters a completely new environment, a total opposite from what he knows from Uganda.
These include the different levels of infrastructural development, different climatic conditions,
and different cultural values and morals, from those in Uganda. All these factors dazzle this
young man in that before he accustoms to the new changes and adapts to his new environment, in
order to pursue his goals, time is no longer on his side (Samuelowicz 123).
Adapting to the new American culture becomes another impediment for this new student,
ones he learns the trick about weather and climate changes. Such adaptations to the social
environment begin by making new friends. An individual finds it hard to make new friends if he
or she is not social with others, or find it quite easy to make new friends if he or she is an
outgoing individual. It is important to note that the kind of friends one chooses at the university
and colleges determine their behavior and character throughout their academic journeys. There
are those friends who influence others positively, while the bad friends influence other
negatively. Therefore, new students in a new country should be very careful when choosing their
friends so they may not end up in bad company (Sanchez 112).

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Students also get challenges from the new tasks they get during their lectures. This is
especially due to the differences arising from their home country’s curriculums and that of their
new residence. As such, the schoolwork appears to be a little more technical than expected, and
their shyness to approach new professors for assistance makes it even more difficult for them to
perform. Furthermore, nostalgia and homesickness disrupt most of their thoughts during class
time hence rob off their concentration. This lack of concentration also arises with their dilemma
of how well they shall fit into their new environment. However, for those who adapt fat enough,
make new friends, and are bold enough to seek assistance from their lecturers, they do greatly on
their studies as they begin to concentrate earlier (Lewin 102).
Each country has its own special types of food. As such, the differences in foods in these
countries always pose another challenge for new students. New students encounter new cuisines
and dishes that they never tasted before, or what is a taboo to eat according to their traditions. As
such, they take some considerable amount of time to adapt to foreign foods, especially for those
who are allergic to certain foods. For instance, students who go to study in China from African
countries find it difficult to eat their food because of the chopsticks. Some even end up piercing
their tongues in an attempt to learn how to eat using these sticks. In addition, the Chinese have
some weird menus according to the African traditions, such as eating dog meat, cat meat, and
snakes. Some cultures forbid consumption of some of these foods in the student’s homelands,
such as the young lad from Uganda discussed earlier (Flack 110).
Cultural differences among countries also pose a challenge to the adaptation of these new
students in their new countries. Etch country has its own unique culture, as the wise men said,
when in Rome do what Romans do, these new students have to adapt to the new cultures of the
countries they go to study. Learning new cultures takes these students a lot of time since

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