Teachers think that international student exchange would be beneficial for all teenage school students. Do you think its advantages outweigh its disadvantages?
International student exchange programs involve exchanging students of one country or place, with those International student exchange programs involve exchanging students of one country or place, with those of another country or place to complete part of their education there. A lot of people find these programs very beneficial, while there are some people who do not approve of these. I believe that the educational, personal and long-term advantages of these programs, to the teenage students, outstrip the disadvantages.
There are many educational benefits of these programs. Because of international learning and knowledge, students accept and understand different cultures and their perspectives. Secondly, as the students mingle with the local people in another country, they get to learn a new language. They become aware of, and adopt alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning. They develop analytical and problem solving skills. Students have enhanced interest in global issues, as well as a broader general knowledge.
At the personal level, the most noticeable change in returned exchange students in their enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. They become mature, as they get to confront challenges outside a familiar comfort zone. They develop life-long friendships and also appreciate their home and family even more than before.
In the long run, students who go on to tertiary studies find themselves more comfortable in ‘foreign’ environments. They have better job opportunities. This is because, prospective employers in almost every field look favourably upon experience gained while living overseas and knowledge obtained of another language and culture.
On the other hand, the most obvious disadvantage of a student exchange program is the cultural shock that any student has to go through. For instance, if a student from India has to shift for an exchange to China and the vice-versa, it is going to be a big challenge initially. The student needs to be acquainted with at least one of the official languages of the host country otherwise it would be difficult to stay there. Next, the student has to adjust or compromise with the habits of the homestay family. Finally the time zone difference is a big problem during the initial days in the guest country.
To sum up, there might be a lot of problems in another place for the teenage student, but it is an opportunity that can change the students’ life for the better. It is altogether a good blend of educational benefits along with personality development.