Higher Education: Out of the Box

My husband went on a mission trip to Tanzania last spring and came back with pieces of ebony carved animals wrapped up in old newspapers.

While going through the beautiful pieces, I noticed an advertisement in the old paper:

“Gain UK degrees in Malaysia. Meet the University Representative at the Education Malaysia Kenya”

This is Daily Nation, a Kenyan English newspaper widely circulated in the eastern part of Africa.

For many years the only option to really excel in ones career or wellbeing in developing countries like Kenya or Malaysia was to pursue higher education in ‘western countries’. Countries like United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

But, why are they shifting their focus to Asia now?

Two years ago, I was exposed!

My ideals of the American Dream were challenged by Dani Johnson. She said, “98 percent of us are either dead broke or dead by the age of 65”.

Are you being exposed too? Your career is quite unstable? Is the piece of your pie getting smaller? Your home price is now lower than what you paid for? How about that children’s education fund? Is there one at all now?

Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus just published a very timely book called, “Higher Education: how colleges are wasting our money and failing our kids”. They said, our nation’s young deserve better than the overpriced and undernourished diet (education) they are being fed…it’s about how we view our obligations to our next generation.

So, what are some of our alternatives for higher education?

Do we think out of the box…?

STUDY ABROAD!

There are seven reasons why study abroad is a great idea:

1. Getting out of the box. By getting out of the comfort zone we can find our own strengths and weaknesses, and we stretch our imagination.

2. Learn or improve a new language. If we are already learning a second language in school or college, why not master it at a faster pace at the native country. In today’s globalized economy, knowing a second language is an added advantage to job seekers or business professionals.

3. Meet new people, new cultures, try new food.

4. Get to see the world while getting an education.

5. Improve our resume because we have added value to ourselves.

6. Set ourselves apart from other job seekers for the same job because we demonstrate independence, exposure and experience outside of the norm. Employers are also looking for uniqueness and achievements that are different from the vast majority.

7. Network with people in different cultures. Imagine all those jobs that have been outsourced to the Philippines. Could there be something from us that they need in the Philippines?

The American psychologist, Rollo May said, the opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. Do we exist and act like everyone else without knowing exactly why and what we are going for?

Sure, studying abroad is ‘scary’ to some. But which is scarier? Raising a generation that are no longer relevant to the coming economic shift or raising a generation that is armed and ready to take on the coming economic shift

There are a small group of young Americans who are already taking advantage of education overseas. My good friend, Dr Ah Hiok Sia is the Associate Vice President of INTI International University Malaysia. She said, there are about 2,500 international students in her university and some are young Americans who are pursuing summer programs. They gain credits toward their college degree at a cheaper price, get to experience the Malaysian life and travel around Asia.

My mother who speaks no English recently went to the American Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a visitor’s visa interview. Instead of hoping to get an interpreter, she found herself speaking with a young American who is totally fluent in Mandarin.

This young American gentleman will not lack work when he plans to come back to the American soil. He is bilingual and well traveled and has work experience that is quite unique compared to the majority.

These are just some examples of the fruits of studying abroad.

Would you think out of the box for your children too? For more information, please go to our site and get a free report on “7 Little Known Strategies the Elite Few Use to Educate their Children without Breaking the Bank”. We would love to hear from you.

Claudia is a mother of 2, wife and stay at home and work from home mom for 16 years. She desires to see parents stepping up to be their best and raising up a generation of uncompromising, relevant and purposed driven adults. She believes traveling, volunteering and learning another language in addition to English are important tools for educating children.

You can find her at http://www.uncommongeneration.com. You can download a FREE REPORT: 7 Little Known Strategies the Elite Few Use to Educate their Children without Breaking the Bank!