Reflection Journal about Studying Abroad Studying abroad can be a life changing experience for any who has never traveled before. There are many reasons why a student chooses to study overseas for a semester: to live in another culture, to receive higher quality education, and to mature as a person. Whatever the reason why a student chooses to study abroad, there will inevitably be challenges along the way that will make them doubt why they ever left their home country. How a student responds to these challenges depends on their motivations and willingness to study as hard as they can. For students who have never lived in another country, it may take them some time to adjust to their new way of living. It is likely that the language spoken will be foreign and the local culture will almost definitely feel alien to them. Students who are unprepared for these challenges or are unwilling to adjust will find themselves constantly getting into trouble. One of the most obvious signs is in students’ behaviors. While it is good to make new friends, if those friends are not focused on their schoolwork then they may lead a foreign student astray. Excessive partying and drinking can have a detrimental effect on a foreign student’s grades and can result in them being sent home. Generally students who are focused more on the social side of things will be less attentive in class or may not even attend regularly at all. Students who have no interest in learning are usually forced into higher education by their parents, who feel proud of their child studying abroad. Thus, the problem is not so much the student but rather their parents. The students who make the most of a study abroad experience are those who obviously want to be there and keep an open mind at all times. It can be a difficult thing to be away from one’s family and friends for a few months, but if a student has already developed good habits then this shouldn’t be much of an obstacle. Of course it will take a few weeks or even a month or two to adjust to the local customs and cultural habits, but if a student has the right attitude then they are far more likely to succeed because of their positive mindset. In fact, for some students who regularly struggle to study in their home countries, going on a study abroad experience may actually be a good thing because it naturally forces them to change their habits because they are in a foreign environment. However, instances like this are rare, and students who are not high achievers already will likely find the going tough in another country. A study abroad experience can be beneficial for most students, but those who are likely to succeed already have the right keys in place to help them to achieve their goals. Students who do not adjust can find that their school life and social life suffer and they wish that they had never made the journey in the first place.
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