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Studying overseas is like a Cinderella story in the beginning, but the saying in English ‘be careful what you wish for’ is true in this case. It is definitely not a piece of cake. In Pakistan, this is coming off as a trend these days; teenagers are eager to study anywhere, but their own country.
There is a whole process that goes before you actually put your feet at the airport for the first time. All those trips to the embassies and consulates and all the wait! I mean is it really worth the pain? Do you want to know if you have the guts? Then keep on reading. Let’s open up about the pros and cons of studying overseas.
1. Cultural Shock!
Yes, you’re right! You do open up, you become an Angrez to some extent, but that is just you adjusting to your surroundings. By looking at this process through the lens of anthropology, it can be understood as when individuals experience a different environment, they encounter cultures and habits different from their own and this phenomenon is called ‘culture shock.’ To get rid of culture shocks you try to fit in your new environment. You experience several culture shocks, but I assure you after a while you get used to them. Some people might see this as a bad thing, but in reality, it actually helps you develop as a person.
2. You Start Hating Angrezi
You don’t get to speak Urdu/Hindi as frequent as you would at home. You kinda lose your connection with your mother tongue. Again you can call home and your friends, but it is never the same. Sometimes you get so tired of listening to English that you end up binge watching soap operas and dramas that you never would if you were at home.
3. No Desi Food At All…
There is no Chai, Biryani or Ande wala burger! In general, there is no home food! Yes, this one sucks. I mean food is something you can’t compromise with! You will crave food at all times and miss your mom’s food, evening Chai with family, and Desi food.
4. Time Can Destroy The Relationship Between You And Your Family
Your bond with your family might quite not be the same as before. You will Skype or WhatsApp them, but time difference will destroy that. You won’t be able to tell all the gossip, the little details to your sister/cousins/friends. There will come a time where you will call once in a while and misunderstanding will happen, but you have to make sure that you don’t let that happen and call them as often as you can!
So moving on to pros! This is my favorite part.
1. You Become A Pro In Documentation Process
Even before getting into your dream university, you learn a lot from the process of applying for a visa, making your first passport, and from waiting in those queues for attestation of documents. One thing for sure, living without family especially living alone teaches you more than the 18 or 17 years you spent at home.
2. Maturity Increases In Your Blood
You live with yourself; you get to see yourself at your best and worst. You see how you deal with stress, happiness, and encounter feelings that you never felt in your life before. I mean you do have emotional support from your peers, but at the same time you become strong, you develop as a person, and you accept yourself for who you are. You mature a lot as a person living on your own.
3. Long Lasting Friendships
There is a high chance that you will find people that will stay your friends all your life. You will have intellectual conversations, deep discussions, and life lasting bonds. They will support you in your good and bad days. Also plus point, if you ever traveling then you won’t have to pay for hotels because you’ll already have a place to stay in.
You start questioning yourself and your decisions. What do you want to become in your life? What is the religion you agree with the most? What is it that you really need in life? While living by yourself you question your existence and the choices you make. You talk to your parents if you don’t want to become a doctor and instead you want to go in designing. You think out of the box. You think for yourself and once you start making your own decisions, you feel good about yourself.
It is a road full of hardships and new experiences, but the results pay you off. You have a big chance of being successful, you don’t stereotype people, you are considerate of worldviews, your relatives think you are some kind of alien haha! Well, wherever you study the thing that matters the most that you take good care of yourself.