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Is It a Privilege to Study Abroad? by Anastasia Vylegzhanina

Throughout history, studying abroad remains a privilege for many people. It is hard to deny the fact that only economically stable and wealthy families can provide their offsprings with the option to gain an academic degree overseas.

On a side note, have you ever known that the first officially admitted international student came to the American university from Greece in the 19th century? After his graduation in 1835, John Diomatari, returned home where he served as a council in the capital of Greece. A remarkable achievement for Diomatari, especially in that time period! Recently life has had it’s ups-and-downs and going abroad requires significant personal sacrifice.

To be frank, gaining education overseas is a feasible investment and a big decision for all family members. It’s not only parents who have strong financial mens and the intention of sending their ‘precious ones’ abroad to study at top-tier universities. It also requires childrento have an inner spark that propels them many miles away from their family, best friends, and their environment. In other words, young people must have an evident reason, goal, or, if you will, a dream for changing their lives in this particular way. If there is no agreement from both sides, trust me, it’s not going to work.

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When the time came for me to graduate from high school, a majority of my parents’ friends were talking about abroad education and exciting expereiences that their children would participate in. My parents have never opposed studying abroad, but as for me, I was concerned about going alone and studying in a foreign language. “No way!” was my answer. Suddenly, I changed my view and ended upcmoving to the United States to pursue a degree in Denver.  First, I finished my undergraduate program in Denver, and only after several short summer trips to London, and eventually, in the States for the “Work & Travel” student’s program (link to “Work & Travel” info: https://www.ccusa.com/EMPLOYERS/Work-Experience-USA), I finally realized I could succeed overseas! This was possible because of my supportive family and diligent preparation for the trip. 

Furthermore, there are many obstacles for international students and it is important to be cognisant of the cultural differences . Luckily for me, I knew what to expect and was ready for the experience. 

I assure you, there are many opportunities to go abroad and obtain a valuable education in a prestigious universities while cutting down many of your expenses. For instance, the most common way for students and their parents to avoid paying skyrocketing tuition fees is to get Grant (link for grant’s info: http://www.collegescholarships.org/grants/international.htm) that will cover all or at least some parts of your college degree bills. Keep in mind, to “win” this chance you have to impress the selective admissions committee and prove your importance to the university/college you are applying for!  Grants and other scholarships always have certain requirements and consequences for applicants. For those who decided to take this path into closer consideration, be ready to put much more effort into thorough preparations and pondering about several backups in advance!

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All in all, I would like to mention that studying outside of your country is a privilege, despite your economic status. However, there is a wide range of students scholarships you can apply for to be a part of the abroad experience! In addition, achieving your goals and stepping outside of the comfort zone open many different doors and bundle new unexpected connections across the world. Once you have seized that chance, studying far away from home is going to broaden your horizon in short time for 100%.

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