No love of home.
Over the past week a few articles have surfaced on Elite Daily that spoke of traveling abroad and how it “enriches” oneself – among a host of various other “advice” bits. The thing is with this generation that is graduating from university/college and looking into the future is that many of them seem to display a lack of responsibility and an understanding of where their own means stand (specifically what are their own current financial means). Cryptic as it may sound, the concept of that statement is to draw attention to the sheer recklessness those articles – which sadly have been lost as they were not saved to either the bookmarks on the browser, or the desktop – promote, and the idea that it is okay to go abroad without an understanding of the climate on the other side of the pond.
Experience is often touted as important; for that there is no dispute. Yet understand that becoming a beggar on the streets of Paris when one spends all of their savings on alcohol and pizza does not match the description of “job experience” or “life experience” – though one can learn a lot about their own mistakes if they are driven into that sort of scenario. When the article spoke of traveling as a means of enriching oneself, it was as though the writer had forgotten just how important appreciating home is, and that going abroad has a different effect on everyone who does this activity.
The major factor in determining whether or not a young person can go abroad is money – plain and simple. No the government does not owe you anything, and no your parents should not have to fuel your stupidity and reckless behaviour when you go overseas. The idea of them paying for your tuition is to prepare you for a career, and to equip you with the tools to succeed. The money available is finite, and should you waste it, then it is gone forever. No reset button, no magical loot chest like in Guild Wars 2, and certainly no sympathy from those of whom granted you their support, and you squandered all of it in one fell swoop.
Yes there is the argument of: “but you’re young! Go abroad!” Newsflash, even the universities have no plan to rescue you should you wind up at the mercy of a loan shark. When you go abroad, you may have to study in a foreign language – which you may NOT have – and deal with the social differences that comes with a new territory (ie: different social norms and graces expected of a resident). Should you fail to present the month’s rent to the landowner of which you are renting from, good luck trying to find help in a place where help does NOT exist. Then there is the political climate to consider: based on your nationality, will they be friendly to you, or is there a danger to your life? What about the risk of victimization when it comes to crime: will you end up at the hands of thieves who want a grab at easy foreign money?
The sheer notion that going abroad is the ONLY way to enrich oneself is naive at best. Does one really want to forfeit their position of strength, where they have friends and family support, just to – what – see what the streets of Paris look like? Risk everything, and even run the chance of becoming a homeless beggar in Paris all because the brain could not forge a list of disadvantages? When the lady from the study abroad office came into my classroom and spoke on going overseas for a semester, it was comical how when I asked: “is the cost of living factored into the fees/covered?” her facial expression went from calm to a utter shock, as if she was not expecting someone to strike the bell of reality and let out the long ring that comes with it.
Ultimately the moral of the story is only go abroad for fun, because education is the same everywhere, and unless you plan on immigrating to that country, set up a strong home base and live well below your means. Never measure yourself to others who can go abroad, always appreciate what you have at home, and never forget that there is always something to do in your home country and someone to do it with. Thanks for reading folks, I’ll see you next time.