Studying abroad is often considered a way to explore newer ideas, things and places. It seems very dreamy in films and especially, if we’re a spectator to someone else’s experience.
But pursuing a degree from a different country requires a lot of planning – financially and otherwise. It can also be a lot to deal with emotionally, specifically because most people live alone, that too in a whole new place. But it all comes down to, if it’s worth it – which is subjective.
Here’s what Redditors think about it:
1. “Not studying abroad is one of the most common regrets that people have after graduating college and looking back. Not saying that you will regret not doing it, but many people do.”– cyaneyes
2. “I studied abroad in China for all of 2011 and racked up my only debt. I have not regretted the decision at all. In fact, I wish I could do it again. In the 1 year that I was there, I learned more about life, people, diversity and China. Everyone should study abroad in their life. Do it and never look back.”
3. “Studying abroad was, by far, the best educational experience of my life. So much so, that we consider it a required part of my daughters future college plans, and we are planning to pay for both of my nieces to go abroad for a semester. It’s not the book learning part that is important, it is the broadening of horizons that can really change your perspective in life. I did end up in a bit of debt from it, so do be careful – but it was worth every last penny.”
4. “Study abroad if the cost is about the same or less than your education at home. If not, wait until you graduate. You can use the “extra” money that you saved by not studying abroad to travel wherever you want and likely for a longer period of time. The most memorable lessons I’ve learned while traveling have taken place outside of a classroom (I dropped 7k on a summer program in Ireland and, while it was a great experience, I could have travelled for close to a year on that).”
5. “I did it, and it was fantastic. I’m actually looking to eventually go back there. As for finances, I worked and saved a big chunk for a year and a bit before I left. But even after that, it wasn’t too bad in terms of tuition. I have friends who have larger debt through staying in Canada than what I do.”
6. “I studied at a reasonably good engineering college in India. All my batchmates including me, were extremely conscious of the ‘tag’ of the universities or companies we choose. This was why it was difficult for me to turn down an offer to a top American University for a lesser known university in Germany, purely for financial reasons (I pay about €250 per semester as social fees, including free transport now. The cost of the American university was too much to bear.)”
7. “It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I was not really motivated and just whiling my time in UG, but Masters gave me a purpose. It showed me that some things are worth working for. And now I have a good job.”
8. “I studied abroad in Ecuador, and it was amazing. I was lucky that I got scholarships to cover tuition and room. The thing that sucked was that my university wouldn’t disburse my loan money to me, to use for other expenses. So, my parents and I paid for my flights and traveling, out of our own pocket. In the end, I went into credit card debt for it, which I struggled to pay off for about 2 years, but it was totally worth it!”
9. “I chose not to study abroad because I didn’t want to be burdened with classes, papers, exams, and other academic stresses while in a foreign country, and I didn’t want to spend the money. I’m very happy with my decision. I am also lucky to have traveled to a bunch of different countries in my life already though, so I don’t feel like I missed out. I feel like if your travel experiences have been limited, it’ll have more value.”
A Twitter user also questioned about how it is studying abroad in terms of finances, and if it does get heavy emotionally.
All you cool folks studying abroad, is it as dreamy as it looks or is the money is a real struggle and there is mounting exhaustion, isolation and constant anxiety of making it?— Guru Dutt Ki Naani (@maiQHuun) May 27, 2022
And here’s what Twitterati had to say:
Short answer: if you get a fully-funded program, it's awesome!— Cashmere ❼ (@Free____Kashmir) May 27, 2022
But if you break a bank or sell property to sponsor your program at any foreign university (the fancy ones included) you will regret it sooner than later. It would be anxiety more than anything else.
I studied in France. I agree it’s not always true. But you do get lonely and it can be exhausting depending on what you’re studying and where. On an average, top private universities are very costly even in Europe if you don’t get any scholarship or financial aid.— Sahil Sardessai (@sahilsardessai2) May 27, 2022
The lonely part is very true. My uncle passed away when i was away. As a student i didn’t have the means to travel for his last rites.— Gabbar Singh (@airagabhsenid) May 27, 2022
On the other hand working there, i feel i am much better prepared to take care of the family’s financial needs.
This comes from a complete privileged view — genuinely one of the nicest experiences. I live in Dublin & it’s so beautiful. But finances PLAY the biggest role. If there’s funding/scholarship/bursary, makes it a lot easier. Haven’t felt any social isolation but can be tiring.— Jayati Bhola ⁷ (@Jayatiib) May 27, 2022
If its fully sponsored through a scholarship or rich family- it’ll be a fun time.— Akhilesh Bhat (@akhileshb95) May 27, 2022
If you’ll be dependent on a bank loan and part-time work- it’ll be super stressful. Isolation and anxiety builds up very quickly
Both… Definitely both. Mostly the latter with glimpses of the former, but… Mostly struggling multiple jobs to make ends meet each month and pay off loans.— Q reads care (they/them) (@q_ueering) May 27, 2022
Fairly privileged perspective: Definitely dreamy but not without the anxiety of making it worth the money (whatever that means for you) and consequently a fair amount of exhaustion too.— Aruni (@aruni_sunil) May 27, 2022
I did stay abroad and did all the grown up things, but my mind was always back home to my parents…— Bran and 99 others (@TheLonStRanger) May 28, 2022
Call me emotional or sentimental I had to come back to my family.
There are some days when you struggle, or you are exhausted or are in constant anxiety of making it or you think it’s all dreamy but honestly it’s all worth it at the end of the day because you are creating a better life for yourself and your family. https://t.co/u4LULSllmX— Nidhi (@Iwinealottt) May 27, 2022
Everyone comes from different experiences. And while it is our own decision to make, it should be well-researched.