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Lower Secondary English essays

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Write about the advantages and disadvantages of studying overseas
 
In the past, traveling overseas was a luxury for the majority of students. Studying overseas was an even greater luxury, beyond the reach of everyone except for the bright scholarship holders and the rich. Nowadays, however, there are more students going overseas to study. Higher education is seen as essential to secure a good job. Parents are willing to use their hard-earned money to give their children an overseas education, especially if their children could not make it into the local university or polytechnic.

Those who are fortunate usually head for western countries like the United States or Britain which have established institutions of learning. Australia and New Zealand are also increasingly favored. Graduating from these universities would usually mean an edge over their local counterparts who have not studied overseas as an overseas education is seen by some employers favorably.

Many of these institutions and those which conduct courses for secondary or primary levels, have a less regimental study culture. Unlike Asian countries which assess students heavily on the grades obtained from the all important examination and tests, western institutions encourage team and project work and a climate of creativity and open discussion. Teachers are seen more as collaborators of learning rather than authority figures and transmitters of knowledge. Asian students therefore find it very liberating to have this atmosphere where they are free to air their views. Also, they are free to set their own timetables on when they intend to graduate. They are allowed to drop out of their courses to go to work and then resume them at a later date.

The responsibility is placed on them to dictate their studies. Free from the mollycoddling and interference of well-meaning parents, many Asian students, who are hardworking, have obtained a degree in a period faster than they would have done in their homelands. My cousin obtained a Masters in Engineering in four years of studying. He was working as a checkout cashier in a supermarket and even had time to backpack across America. All these accomplishments would not have been possible to achieve in his hometown in Malaysia. He was constantly annoyed by the restrictive classroom methods, experienced stress as a result and was spoilt by his mother and maid at home.

That brings me to the next point. My cousin had a sudden taste of independence thrust on him. Like most overseas students, he had to learn to rely on himself for his daily household needs, meals and budgeting. He learned to be responsible for his own time and to prioritize his activities. Like many students, he realized that it was a privilege to study overseas and that he was consuming his parents' hard-earned savings. It was his responsibility to study and to use his time wisely so as to earn his parents' faith in him.

Not all overseas students are Asians however. Non-Asians, like Westerners and Africans, learn the cultures of their host nations to survive. Hopefully, by the time they head back to their home countries, they would have understood and appreciated the cultures of the lands they were studying in so that they would be good ambassadors of these. However, studying overseas has its disadvantages. It involves considerable expenses and many families have to scrimp and save to finance their loved one's education.

A student who is not social may also be homesick. It is not easy to adapt and live in a foreign country, and to be suddenly torn away from the comforting network of family, relatives and friends. Some lonely students, who are under stress to perform well in their studies, may develop developmental disorders. Recently, there was a case of a mainland Chinese who felt ridiculed by his peers and teachers. He was lonely and lashed out by shooting several of his peers and teachers.

Some students may miss the moral guidance of their parents and friends. Left alone, they might mix with the wrong crowd. There have been cases of students partying, taking drugs, neglecting their studies and exceeding their budgets. Some students indulge in dubious moral practices, especially in the more liberal climate of Western campuses. Ultimately, whether students benefit from their overseas studies depends very much on their characters and how they use their new-found independence. Like many of life's matters, there are always pros and cons to an issue.

     
mollycoddling   pampering
     
thrust   force
     
scrimp   be frugal
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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