Tangible and intangible Opportunity cost of studying abroad,
Opportunity costs are everywhere in day-to-day life! “Should I make this decision, or that one,” and “which will benefit me more in the long run?”. Studying abroad is a decision which can have many positive repercussions “What an awesome opportunity to study overseas!!!!” However, students need to also be aware of the real undesirable opportunity costs with study abroad. Essentially opportunity costs are the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action. For example with regards to the Study Overseas Program there are opportunity’s you will lose in order to gain others?
Learning opportunities, personal, professional and educational growth: Quitting your job where you could be earning a stable income + leaving your friends/family or boyfriend/girlfriend in order to have the experience of overseas study. These are all massive costs to studying abroad and should be heavily considered. Conversely, there are massive gains on the flip side to studying abroad. Consider studying abroad in a country you may want to live in; then you can network and make connections with businesses and professionals in the area who can later provide you with references when you move! Studying abroad also means that you will be meeting people from all over the world. Making new friends can also mean even more traveling and exploring in the future to build on the friendships you make while abroad.
Program costs: The costs of study abroad programs vary greatly across universities and programs. Some costs are roughly the same as what you would spend studying at home, while others are significantly more. Talk to the Study Overseas Program staff in the International department for a breakdown of what the costs and also opportunities will be.
Be sure to check for, rent and living expenses, and travel costs to and from the destination. There will be incidental living expenses as well, so make sure that the list of expenses you see is comprehensive and covers all these areas (Study Overseas Program supplies eligible students with grants and scholarships which assist students with these costs).
Augment your self-confidence and independence: From flight transfers, to visa applications, banking issues, and home sickness, by the end of your studies you can truly declare your own independence; you were able to do everything on your own, and when you doubted your reasons to being thousands of miles away from home you only counted on yourself. If you can do what you did in a foreign country, you can be even more independent and confident in your native country, or anywhere in the world for that matter.
So, to those who are considering, or now considering after reading this post, we suggest that you, take the challenge and seize the day! Do not miss out on the chance of a lifetime; the costs are well worth it.
Concept taken from Rochester Institute of Technology Blog by Carolyn Spencer: http://blogs.scb.rit.edu/students/2012/cns1102/the-real-opportunity-cost-of-studying-abroad/