DOES STUDYING ABROAD DEVELOP A CHILD HOLISTICALLY?
Many students now study abroad. They will be placed in new environments and this experience can be a positive factor in the development of a child. While all this is exciting for the child and the family, the high cost of education warrants careful deliberation. One shouldn’t just send the child overseas just because “everyone is doing it.” This article aims to explore if studying abroad strengthens the holistic development of a child.
Studying abroad requires a child to be independent. If not, he has to learn to be independent, not just in terms of living on his own but also in making his own decisions as well. A big part of that involves making the wrong decisions and learning from mistakes. As many Singaporean families have a domestic helper at home, our children may be clueless around the house with regard to household chores. Studying abroad, a child will learn independence from having to make his own bed, do the laundry, cook for himself, and clean up after himself.
Going abroad will expose the child to various cultures and ethnic groups. This will allow him to have a better understanding of cultural norms and social taboos in certain cultures. Having strong cultural awareness and a global mindset will give the child a head start as he may need to do business or work overseas at some point in his career.
Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world. However, many youths born in Singapore have little awareness of what other countries are like socially and politically. Being exposed to a different style of governance and lifestyle will allow one to grow intellectually.
Going abroad should develop a child’s maturity, independence, confidence and awareness. Having said that, similar benefits can also be had in our local university experiences. Especially in this new economy, where our local universities have a more diverse and international cohort. Parents should weigh all options carefully before deciding whether to send their child overseas for further studies; Singapore has internationally acclaimed universities which offer first-class education.