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According to Annie Paul, the author of the article “How Studying Or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter”, education abroad offers students more than bright emotions from visiting other countries. Paul points to the considerable bulk of research that suggests that the experience of being abroad and communicating with people following other religious and cultural world views promotes flexible thinking in students. In this regard, it is worth underlining that this article outlines the objective benefits a student can obtain from studying abroad.
I find this article useful as it helps to promote studying abroad among students who have the choice where to continue their education before them. It is necessary to inform as many people as possible about the advantages of studying abroad because it benefits not only the international students themselves, but their communities and societies they live in as well by establishing an international and intercultural dialogue at a personal level. At the same time, I think that the key point of the article is the claim that the positive influence of studying abroad for the student depends “on the extent to which individuals open themselves to foreign cultures” (Paul). This means that studying abroad is not a magic trick that will necessary promote one’s mode of thinking. it is rather a useful tool from which a person shall take full advantage. Consequently, studying abroad promotes developing of thinking, understanding the differences between people all over the world and progress in flexibility.
Thus, Paul claims that the experience of studying abroad helps students develop complex thinking. As it is already mentioned, this kind of thinking evolves through the attempts to understand and embrace the other culture some elements of which may often stay in conflict with the student’s own culture. Therefore, it requires effort from students to open their minds and become conscious that there are many approaches to the same phenomena. This realization will later help them to look for various ways of solving the problems they will face both in their careers and everyday lives and “to generate creative ideas and make unexpected links among concepts” (Paul).
Again, it is not enough to acknowledge that people are different. It is rather important to realize that all points of view on the same issue are not to be neglected as they may help to find a surprisingly sensible solution to the issues that might be looking extremely complicated from the standpoint of some particular culture. Also it is necessary to realize the importance of tolerance to each representative of different cultures.
The flexibility of thought, according to the author of this article, improves problem-solving skills and creativity of international students allowing them to start their own businesses or earn promotions quickly. However, the author admits that these benefits are limited to the extent a student is ready to embrace the culture of the country of studying (Paul). It means that it is not enough to go abroad to become a more flexible thinker. It is rather necessary to stay open minded and embrace other cultures as well as the student’s own one.
All in all, the article brings out the objective benefits a student can get from studying abroad. According to Paul, studying abroad promotes developing of thinking, flexibility and understanding the differences between people all over the world. At the same time, the author prevents the readers from thinking that going abroad for education is the sure way to success in life. Studying abroad is only means by which the desired result can be achieved. However, building a successful career comes down to the effort and intelligence of the person rather the place this person obtained the education.
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