A Japanese government survey has found that over half of Japanese youth and young adults do not harbour dreams of studying abroad.
According to The Japan Times, the survey, which was conducted last year, received 7,500 responses from those aged between 13 and 29 form seven nations: Japan, South Korea, the US, Britain, Germany, France and Sweden.
A total of 53.2 percent of Japanese respondents said they do not want to study abroad in the future – the highest of all nations. Conversely, the figure was 35.5 percent and 34.8 percent for Germany and Britain respectively.
Interestingly, 42.7 percent of Japanese respondents answered no regarding whether they want to live abroad in the future. Again, this makes them the highest among seven countries.
More than half of Japanese young people not interested in studying overseas, survey shows. Which in my opinion is really sad and disappointing. So many missed life-changing opportunities.https://t.co/7QhFvI4jtm
— magdalena osumi 💁🏼♀️ (@jt_mag_os) June 18, 2019
On nippon.com, Professor Kobayashi Akira of Meiji University wrote that some of the potential reasons for the decline in Japanese students studying abroad include economic restraints; time conflicts with students’ foreign study calendar and Japanese companies’ local recruitment seasons; students’ linguistic anxiety about their English proficiency; and the “latent belief among educators that studying abroad is only for elite students”.
Over in the UK, some of the reasons British students have shied away from studying abroad include the financial costs and their perceived lack of foreign language skills, among other reasons.
Meanwhile, a Forbes report also notes that more American students need to study abroad.
Studying abroad can offer students myriad opportunities for personal and professional growth.
This includes getting acquainted with new cultures and languages which can help develop global citizens, provide networking opportunities, among other benefits that can build talent ready to embrace an increasingly interconnected workforce.
While it’s perfectly understandable that financial difficulties are often a major hurdle faced by many students, regardless of their origin, students can still stand to gain some benefits from living away from home and experiencing new cultures and people from different backgrounds, even if it’s for a short duration.
Here are some suggestions on what students can do to get a taste of being abroad without paying expensive tuition fees:
If you’re an ardent volunteer, you can combine your love for helping others while contributing to your personal and professional growth by doing short volunteer-abroad stints. Whether your passion involves teaching children or helping animals, you’re bound to find the right programme that will help suit your interests.
Join a work abroad programme
Getting paid to work abroad might be a more appealing option for cash-strapped students. Scour the web and you’ll find a plethora of websites that offer such programmes, including AmeriCamp and ACLE, among many others, where you can teach students English, work in a summer camp, among other jobs.
Just be sure to check if the programme is specific to any nationality.
Do an internship abroad
Internships are typically more formal when compared to the work you might do in a work abroad programme. There are plenty of resources online for students looking to rack up some international experience for their resume, so regardless if your interest or area of study involves finance, fashion or even business, you’re bound to find an internship abroad that suits your needs and interests.