Reply To: Colleges and universities should require their students to spend at least one semester studying in a foreign country.
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University: Shenzhen University
I agree with the statement that studying abroad would be a beneficial choice for students in the universities. There is no doubt that amounts of knowledge from daily life to academic field can be learned. However, this proposal may not be an obligatory mission, and to some extent, it’s not practical.
Spending one semester in a foreign country would have many merits for students. First off, by living in a place with different culture, one can broaden the mind. Youngsters can not only have a good sight of other countries’ scenery, like valleys, forest, waterfall, and prairie, they can also learn through interpersonal communication. For example, when dealing issues with local people, chances are that people with different beliefs consider things in disparate ways. Under this circumstance, it’s essential for students to embrace diversity and put themselves in others’ shoes. Thus, prejudice can dismiss based on communication and respect.
Furthermore, in the time of globalization, countries put emphasis on cooperation. As a result, this is a suitable time for students to learn advanced technology and scientific ideas abroad. Yet, this applies not only to science and engineering students, but also to liberal arts students. Taking an art student for example, he or she may realize the most avant-garde fashion trends in Italy, feel some sorts of emerging art styles in France, or comprehend critical theory in America. In a word, all these experiences will have positive impacts on students who are eager to dig into certain field. And at the same time, the learning outcomes usually further prompt the development of a country or the whole world.
Given the reasons above, requiring university students to study in a foreign country is generally reasonable advice. Nevertheless, the call for a broad educational experience also has a bad side. Just think of the cost of spending a semester in another place, not every family can afford it. Besides, some students may be too busy buried in scientific research projects or internships that they are not available to spare a semester and meet the university’s request. Taken those factors into consideration, students should make this decision according to their conditions, instead of the stipulation of universities.
In the final analysis, studying abroad is an ideal option, which is advantageous for both students and society. But universities shouldn’t neglect that money and time cost also play a significant role in this requirement. Therefore, allowing students themselves to choose where and in what ways to study is a preferable regulation.