On studying abroad or not

There may be an inner desire but weighing the pros and cons it would be better to stay back in this humble setting to be near with the family.

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SANTOSH KALWAR
My very close friend went to UK for his undergraduate studies very recently. I had mixed reactions over his departure. First, I felt sad, simply because I lost one very close friend from my neighborhood. Secondly, I felt happy for his future career and cognizance that he might gain from foreign studies. Thirdly, I too felt like doing the same.

A very recent news report cites that more than one thousand people depart for foreign countries every day from Nepal. Well, that is a huge number, isn’t it? Maybe my friend is one among them. Given the situation in Nepalese villages, nobody seems to want to stay back home. Everybody is searching for safety, security, high-paid jobs, and various services (with no power-cuts, water problem, lack of security, privacy, and medical or health benefits). Therefore, I would rather not decry ordinary people or my dear friend. In-fact, such a trend seems to be growing more each day.

Twenty years ago, people use to ask their children, “What will you do, when you grow up?” They were much likely to choose a high adept profession such as “doctors and engineers”. Today a kid replies, “I would rather study abroad in UK/USA.” Based on my informal observation, apparently a trend of sending your kids abroad for study is also rapidly growing in my poor little neighborhood. The only downside is that I am left alone with very few friends to play cricket with. There is no such thing called, “free-lunch.”

To study in US/UK, one has to pay large sums of tuition fees/college fees, in pounds and dollars. I think, it is like gambling with one’s life. If you are successful, then you will be rewarded with a foreign degree, which might provide you a secure job for your lifetime. However, not all this works in your favor. In my neighborhood, as I see it, some uncle and aunties are building their backyards/ homes. They boast that their children have sent a handful of cash in US dollars or pounds, which are many times more than the Nepalese currency, how is that?

My grandfather used to say, “Money can’t buy you happiness but it buys you some luxury which in-turn bestows some limited pleasure.” Well, I do not know whether I too will join my very close friend to study in UK but I do know for now that life is not like “bed of roses.” To be honest, my dear friend, I love my neighborhood so much so that I will not be able to join you in UK. There may be an inner desire but weighing the pros and cons it would be better to stay back in this humble setting to be near with the family. Good luck to you my dear friend, and all who are thinking to travel abroad for pursuing further studies.

source: Kalwar, Santosh (2012),"On studying abroad or not", The Himalayan Times,24 April 2012   

2012-04-25 | EducateNepal

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