Is learning English abroad beneficial for Russian people?

What are the main reasons to study abroad. Advantages of studying abroad. The most popular destinations to study. Disadvantages of studying abroad. Effective way to learn a language. The opportunity to travel. Acquaintance another culture first-hand.

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Дата добавления 25.12.2014
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Moscow Department of Education

Eastern Region

School № 1200

Is learning English abroad beneficial for Russian people?

Author: Aksenova Anastsia

Form: 11 A

Scientific tutor: J. Zommer

Moscow 2013-2014

Table of сontents


What are the main reasons to study abroad

Advantages of studying abroad

The most popular destinations to study

Disadvantages of studying abroad


study abroad language culture


Studying abroad has become very popular among the young people nowadays. But there is always a question: is it worth our time? If we ask anybody who has studied abroad, he or she will most certainly tell us that it is a life-changing experience and one of the most rewarding things he or she has ever done. No matter what country you live in, you can fly over the world's highest waterfalls in Venezuela, learn world trade in Japan or study art in France.

Besides the excitement of travel, one reason to study abroad is that you will experience new customs, holidays, foods, art, music, and politics firsthand. It is a great chance to meet new friends, know their tradition, language and their personality. This type of education helps people to become more sociable and outgoing person. But it is hard for children be alone so much time without their family and friends. Moreover such education can bring some difficulties with financial position and parents lose contact with children.

So the aim of our project is how understand is it good for children have this type of courses?

What are the main reasons to study abroad?

So we should understand what are the reasons to study abroad? Firstly it is the first experience to be self-independent. It is very important for children to feel their own independence; they can make their own decisions, feel that parents trust and proud of them. Secondly study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language and practice language skills because there is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis. Language learning happens most quickly under these circumstances. Then, children become more sociable. While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself. It is a good chance to have new foreign friends and practice your language with them; moreover they learn to be more outgoing and cheerful person, it is good for a later life. And the last it is help to know more about the country in which you study. It is a great chance to know more about country, their traditions and costumes, national food; it is a chance to visit local museums and theaters, art galleries and cinemas.

Advantages of studying abroad

There are several points highlighting the advantages of studying abroad:

1. Study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language. There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. You're surrounded by the language on a daily basis. Language learning happens most quickly under these circumstances.

2. Study abroad provides the opportunity to travel. Weekends and academic breaks allow you to venture out and explore your surroundings - both your immediate and more distant surroundings. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit.

3. Study abroad allows you get to know another culture first-hand. Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, appearances, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that he or she views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally can understand the differences of other cultures.

4. Study abroad will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom system study will never provide. Being in an entirely new cultural setting is scary at first, but it's also exciting. It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.

5. Study abroad affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world. While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself.

6. Study abroad helps you to learn about yourself. Students who study abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values. The experience may perhaps strengthen those values or it may cause students to alter or abandon them and embrace new concepts and perceptions. The encounter with other cultures enables students to see their own culture through new eyes.

The most popular destinations to study

The number of American college students studying abroad is now at an all-time high, according to new statistics from the Institute of International Education.

There were 273,996 American students studying abroad during the 2010-2011 academic year, which represents a 1.3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the annual Open Doors report, which is produced with support from the U.S. Department of State.

The majority of Americans (55 percent) are studying in European countries. The United Kingdom, which attracted 12 percent of American students, is the most popular destination and is followed closely by Italy.

Here are the 20 most popular destinations for American students along with the percentage of students each country attracts, as well as the size of the U.S. student population:

Countries students are ignoring

In the latest study abroad report, the institute notes that students interested in studying in Japan and Mexico dropped significantly. Students attending school in Japan declined 33 percent due to the earthquake and tsunami, while Mexico experienced a 42 percent drop that I imagine could be explained by the drug violence.

Americans studying abroad

While the number of Americans attending school abroad has tripled over the past two decades, it still represents a tiny fraction of college students. Only 14 percent or so of Americans who graduated last year from college studied abroad while just one percent of students studied for a full academic year overseas. My daughter was among the one presenters. She studied at the University of Barcelona for her entire junior year and I believe it made her a stronger, more resilient and worldly person.

While the benefits of studying overseas are tremendous, young men, in particular, are more likely to ignore these opportunities. Male college students represent only 35 percent of Americans studying abroad. My son could have easily ended up staying put with the vast majority of male college students. When Ben was a freshman at Beloit College, he told me he had no interest in studying abroad even after visiting his sister in Barcelona. He eventually changed his mind thanks, in part, to one of his college advisers. He is spending a semester designed for American and Canadian mathematics majors in Budapest, Hungary, through St. Olaf College.

In Budapest, Ben has made friends with college students from across the country, he has learned to live in a country where few people speak English and where peanut butter is nonexistent and he has taken part in tremendous cultural experiences, including visiting Dachau, the concentration camp in Germany.

It's too bad more American students don't take advantage of this opportunity.

Studying abroad provides so many phenomenal opportunities for college kids looking to soak up brand new perspectives, experiences, languages, and cultural mores. But some American students might find things a little more comfortable if they start out in a part of the world that reminds them of home. Rather than plunging directly into international travel, they slowly expose themselves to more and more stimuli over time. And that's OK! For some, this might mean heading to a nation culturally and linguistically similar to the United States, or one incredibly popular with other globetrotting Americans. While we encourage anyone participating in a study abroad program to seek out as many new people and ideas and cultures as possible, we do understand that some people might want to first explore their wanderlust in a more familiar milieu. Consider one or more of the following!

1. Perugia, Italy:

American accreditation institutions recognize most of Perugia's universities, and it remains an incredibly popular study abroad destination as a result. Infamous for the Amanda Knox murder trial, students from the United States flock here for the apparently hedonistic atmosphere of reckless sex, substance abuse, and permissible law enforcement. Around 40,000 foreign students, most of them American or British, call the city home, too, out of 163,000 total residents. Despite its reputation as the Amsterdam of the Mediterranean, Perugia boasts incredible art and architecture for the more subdued academics out there.

2. London, England:

Second only to the United States in terms of how many foreign students attend school there every year, in fact, though the numbers look at the United Kingdom as a whole. Even factoring out the “dominant language is English” part, the international atmosphere of London will definitely seem homier to study abroad enthusiasts from notably diverse American cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston. 2010 saw an increase of 27% in the number of students from the United States applying to various schools in and near England's capital, owing largely to the comparatively lower tuition costs.

3. Dublin, Ireland:

While not as popular as England, U.S.-born study abroad students consider Dublin the second most livable destination, after Melbourne, Australia (more on that city lately). Culturally, the Irish and Americans share a similarly relaxed, fun-loving outlook, and over 83 university programs connect the two nations together. For university kids unsure about engaging in academic opportunities overseas, Ireland's capital might prove the most comfortable experience because of its comparative familiarity. About 7,000 American students head to the Emerald Isle yearly, and the Irish government hopes to boost those numbers through a benefit-laden “ambassador” program.

4. Paris, France:

While nobody could accuse Parisians of acting “too American,” that doesn't change the fact that their nation remains one of the top 10 study abroad destinations. Ideal for literature, art, and foreign language majors especially, schools such as the Sorbonne provide enrollees from all nations with a world-class education recognized in the United States. Homesick American students enjoy access to plenty of organizations available to expats helping them integrate into the city's culture.

5. Berlin, Germany:

Germany also happens to sit in the top 10 study abroad destinations for American students wanting to conduct their educations overseas. Both Berlin and Munich host some excellent programs, and 16% of the former's population is made up of international students attending one of the three universities based out of it. They may not necessarily all be from the United States but still understand the unique issues of living overseas more than the surrounding residents, though.

6. Seoul, South Korea:

Students participating in the polling at Study Abroad 101 laud Seoul as the friendliest city on earth when it comes to welcoming Americans. As one of the most “Westernized” cities in all of East Asia, the capital makes for an ideal destination to consider for new globetrotters who prefer easing into cultures rather than splashing right in immediately. Korean food is amazing, but long-term stays might dredge up cravings for KFC and other familiar staples of the American diet, which happen to boast Seoul locations. And the nearby Air Force base provides opportunities to make a few friends from back in the States if, for whatever reason, the other students don't pan out. But meeting people shouldn't be too much of an issue. At Seoul National University alone, 15% of the lectures are conducted in English in order to meet the needs of students speaking it as their primary language.

7. Wellington, New Zealand:

It's friendly and it's fun, but try not to badger the locals too much about Hobbits, OK? Head here to something more laid-back that doesn't require a second language (which - let's face it - is not exactly a strong point for most Americans) and allows for a little bit of free time on some showstopping beaches. Organizations such as Fulbright New Zealand promote exchange and diplomacy between the United States and the eponymous Oceania nation, with both providing 75 grants and awards yearly to promising students.

8. Sydney, Australia:

As with other English-speaking nations, enough cultural overlap exists between Americans and Australians to make the latter demographic comfortable. But the fact that over 180 different nations and 140 languages are represented in its overall citizenry of 4 million, students who love the “melting pot” element of major metropolitan areas will not walk away disappointed. Like Seoul, Sydney boasts the honor of being named one of the three friendliest cities in the world for homesick American kids.

9. Melbourne, Australia:

For linguistic and cultural reasons, it makes perfect sense that other former British colonies tend to get along better in study abroad scenarios. Both Melbourne and Sydney sport beautifully diverse populations, and the former sits in a state sporting some of the planet's most showstopping scenery and, for biology majors, numerous opportunities to study their unique flora and

fauna. Seventeen percent of American students stationed in Australia go for the good times to be found in Victoria.

10. Barcelona, Spain:

Spain stands as the third most common destination for American students attending classes overseas. As with Perugia and other Mediterranean locales popular with travelers from the United States, the rollicking nightlife serves as a major draw. To the point natives comment on their sheer numbers and decide where to go based on how many American kiddos they might encounter while out on the town.

Disadvantages of studying abroad

1. You are not a genius

Studying in another country does not mean you will learn English or other languages magically. Of course living abroad will help you to understand the language better, but if you do not talk, you will not improve. That is why you need to pay attention and study, but be reassured because you live in that country it should make study easier and faster.

2. You are alone

Even if our society is more and more communicative and even if you are closer to your family and friends thanks to Skype, msn, Facebook and others, it still does not mean it is any easier to study abroad half way round the world. That is why you could feel alone and sad sometimes. At the beginning, culture shock will not help you to feel integrated: you will need an `adjustment period'. You should create new habits, discover the place you are going to live, meet people for example. And if something bad might happen back home, you might not have the chance to be with your family and friends and have to stay in that country with your pain and alone.

3. Reality can be treacherous

First step in that new country and everything seems weird. Differences can be huge between Europe and Asia or small between France and Belgium. Standard of living can be different: more poor people in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe or you cannot expect the same way of life in India and in the United States. You have to face other behaviors, and some can make you feel uncomfortable if you are not used to them: in the United States people are going to speak easily with you in the bus, whereas in Europe (Paris) if you talk to a stranger you will probably get an angry look or might even scare people away. Everyone knows that Chinese people are different from Americans, Americans are different from Germans, some differences are obvious others are more subtle. We can name that cultural obstacle. Moreover the food is different, you will have lot of difficulties to find local French cheese in US, or local Italian wine etc. if the culture is different, the food will be too, certainly. Getting used to these cultural differences can be a real disadvantage for your study abroad experience.

4.Nothing is free

Another big disadvantage of studying abroad can be the costs. Studying abroad can be really expensive. First, it will depend on your major and university or school you choose, and then it will depend on the country, the city and the place where you want to live.

So in my work I would love to find out what really overweighs: advantages or disadvantages? Is studying abroad a real waste of time and money or is it a real useful life changing experience?


To sum up I want to say we can come to the conclusion that studying abroad has got both advantages and disadvantages. It is our individual choice whether to experience this type of education or not. To tell the truth, I did have such an amazing opportunity in my life this summer in Brighton, England. I think that I got a good chance to practice my English, learnt a lot of interesting information about Brighton, got acquainted with a great amount of interesting people and, fortunately, made new good friends. Now I am trying to speak to them every day in Skype. I am grateful to my parents for such a chance and I would definitely love to repeat this experiment again. So I think it's a good opportunity to study and to spend a great time far away from home. I am sure every child will certainly memorize this kind of adventure with great pleasure!


1. Encyclopeadia «Up To The Top»

2. English Language courses

3. Internet sources («Vikipedia»)

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