Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk

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Studying abroad at all-time low: schools aren’t doing anything to help

 The National Association of Foreign Student Advisors reports that in the United States, there are 339 million people: 72.5 million are students. The question is, how many individuals applied to study abroad?  In 2021, roughly 14,550 did. In years prior, there have been as many as 350,000 participating students, but overtime, the interest is decreasing.  

      Foreign Exchange programs are reportedly one of the best, most eye-opening experiences students can participate in. It allows people to step outside of their comfort zone and see the world in a whole new way. Schools in America should make it more accessible for everyone to study abroad, while offering many ways to get these students immersed in other country’s cultures, especially in high school. 

      A lot of students who choose to be involved in their school’s foreign exchange program are leaving their home for the first time. It is such an important program to get students out into the world, especially to experience a whole new culture. They will have the chance to witness a completely new way of life and make friendships that last a lifetime. 

      Unfortunately, it is not so easy to get that opportunity. According to Evolllution, while some schools do in fact have international affair officers, it is more a personal issue. Most students don’t have the budget to study abroad.  

       Instead of financially supporting students by providing scholarships or holding fundraisers, schools would rather spend their time and budget on other programs – making these programs very expensive. Not giving students help is unacceptable.  

      Of course, it costs money to travel, but when these programs are something so positive, administrators should be encouraging. The lack of help is revoking many life-changing opportunities from students. In many other countries, foreign exchange programs are at an all time high. T.I.M.E. Association, located in France, conducted a study which reported 5.6 million international students worldwide. In 2021, 993,367 Chinese students left China to pursue their long-term study abroad journey, while the United States had about 1/66 of that. Out of all the countries in the world, Americans are at the bottom of the list.  

      The obvious number one reason people aren’t jumping on the opportunity to study abroad is the expenses. There are many other reasonable things that prevent the students from traveling. For one, there may be a language barrier when living in another country. It could be hard to adjust to a completely new life. According to Business Wire, two-in-five (43 percent) students reportedly feel homesick at least once a week when abroad.  

      Another reason someone might choose not to apply to a foreign exchange program is because of what they might miss at home. Parties, holidays, and even school responsibilities are a resisting factor for many. 

      Safety is also an issue, especially if you are traveling ‘alone.’ Not knowing anyone when getting to and arriving at the country of your choice can be nerve-racking.  

      Every single day, we see high schools and colleges constantly not doing enough to make sure students are ready for the real world. An easy redemption is giving a pupil help with an obviously useful experience, but they simply look the other way. Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime. More schools all over the country should encourage students to take this risk. 

      By immersing individuals in a new culture, they will be exposed to a new language, new perspectives, foreign foods, and life-altering experiences. It will change people’s perspectives of the world and their role in it.  

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