In the past, when students did a university degree, they tended to study in their own country. Nowadays, they have more opportunity to study abroad. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?
The notion of pursuing higher education abroad has become increasingly feasible in today’s world due to the availability of various scholarships, particularly aimed at students from developing countries. This represents a notable advancement, as in the past, studying options were limited to one’s own country. This trend significantly enhances career professional growth, as individuals are afforded the opportunity to establish an international network. However, a potential drawback of this trend is the phenomenon known as human capital flight, commonly referred to as brain drain.
When individuals study abroad, whether in English-speaking nations or not, they interact with people from diverse backgrounds, thereby gaining insights, especially from a socio-cultural perspective. This exposure broadens their understanding of how global systems operate and how they are perceived universally. International experiences provide students with an alternative outlook, fostering personal growth. Given the interconnected nature of the modern world, this experience acquired from studying abroad can be remarkably advantageous for future career prospects.
Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that certain opportunistic individuals might opt not to return to their home countries upon completing their overseas education. The primary rationale for this decision is often better career prospects. For instance, in the case of Indonesia, a developing country, ideas and expertise of its citizens are frequently undervalued. Consequently, many Indonesians choose to remain abroad and develop their careers there, sometimes even renouncing their Indonesian citizenship. From a broader perspective, this is undeniably detrimental to the home country, in this case, Indonesia.
In conclusion, studying abroad greatly contributes to gaining a well-rounded perspective, which is instrumental in career development. However, this advantage should not be taken for granted. In my view, countries should earnestly endeavor to enhance their local academic environments by being more receptive, supportive, and encouraging of their citizens’ ideas and expertise to counteract the undesirable brain drain.