The Positive Effect of Studying Abroad on Student’s Competence


Self-efficacy or personal efficacy is the strength of a person's belief when it comes to his or her own ability to complete their task and reach goals, and according to a new research, students who study abroad are known to have higher levels of self-efficacy.

Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany conducted a study involving 221 students where they found out that those who went to schools abroad for education have an increased ability to perform difficult tasks and cope with challenges than those who stayed in the campus, Times Higher Education reported.

But the students who had plans to study abroad but were not able to make it have not shown an increase in their levels of self-efficacy. The students who have higher levels of efficacy are able to cope better with stress and can accomplish goals and targets. They have higher levels of satisfaction in life.

The research also found that because these students study abroad, they tend to meet more social contacts every week and these social contacts also help in developing and improving their self-efficacy. While it is unclear as to the number of social contacts they make, this trend is being influenced by their need to adapt to a new culture.

It is also added that even if self-efficacy is unlikely to become a major reason why students study abroad, this decision has a useful side effect.

In another study which involves Chinese returnees who studied abroad, it was found that their experience is considered highly valuable when it comes to their career progression, according to University World News. These students experienced an improved outlook, improved knowledge and work ethics, improved communication and problem solving skills and better time management skills.

The study said that the research could still be developed to further observe if this side effect is only a short term phenomenon or something that is long lasting.

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