Of course, studying abroad is always a highlight in any curriculum vitae, but leaving home for a long period of time is not everyone’s cup of tea. What is more, studying in your home country can have many advantages, too.
You do not necessarily need to go abroad to improve your language skills and interact with internationals. Due to the Bologna Process, Europe has evolved into a platform for international studies. In recent years more and more English-taught study programmes have been established. Nowadays, you will find a great range of English-taught postgraduate courses in almost every country, all over Europe as well as worldwide. In these international courses you will generally study alongside students from all over the world—students who have come to your home country to earn their degree. As a result, you are likely to enjoy a multicultural atmosphere and broaden your intercultural horizon although you are at home and not abroad.
Additionally, study abroad experience is not required in many professions. In some sectors, such as education, law or medicine, having studied abroad can actually be a disadvantage. With a foreign degree, you probably have to take additional exams before you may work as a professional in your home country. Since professional education is often based on national law, regulations and requirements, the coursework you do abroad is unlikely to satisfy the requirements of your home country.
Therefore, if you are aiming for a domestic career in laws, medicine or education, you should earn your degree from a university in your home country. Of course, if you want to become a teacher in languages, it is useful to go abroad for a short period, probably within the frame of the EU exchange programme Erasmus+. That might be the right thing for you!
Studying in your home country has many advantages. First of all, you do not have to plan a temporary stay abroad and learn another language. So you can fully focus on your studies instead of learning vocabulary. Besides, you are familiar with the culture. Often a ‘cultural shock’ comes along with studying in a foreign country.
As indicated above, studying in another country and speaking a foreign language is not a good decision for everyone. Some get homesick, and communicating with friends and family at home can be very difficult due to time differences or a poor local technical infrastructure. As a consequence, social ties may suffer from these circumstances.
Moreover, you have to keep in mind the costs of studying abroad. Sometimes tuition fees are quite high, and the cost of living may be different from what you are used to at home. Moreover, you will need extra money if you want to visit your loved ones. Travelling costs can be rather high, depending on where you want to study abroad.
Furthermore, there is a hardly a student who is familiar with each and every location in their home country. Studying at home offers you the chance to experience a different city in your own country. It is no secret that there are vast differences between the various regions within one country, so chances are you can experience a cultural shock here as well.
As mentioned above, studying abroad is not a must for every student. Sure, there are many benefits for studying abroad, but one should not forget about the advantages of studying at home. Both options have their pros and cons, but in the end you know best what is the right thing for you.