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Your life as a student in a foreign country, what to expect!

Academics VS Holistic Development

If we really look into the factors that make student life different in India compared with that of other countries, one major factor that stands out is that we Indians give lots of importance to academic success. Our courses prioritize learning a subject and getting high scores on exams, while in western universities it’s often about the overall performance of the student where academics plays only a part, though an important one.

So a student who is performing well in academics in India has to undergo a subtle transformation in recognizing the importance of holistic development in his curriculum and act accordingly. He is not directly placed on a high pedestal just because he is very good in his subject. He has to earn his grades and success by transforming into a better student by actively involving in many social & cultural activities that are directly and indirectly related to his course.

This emphasis on holistic development is evident when we look at the possibilities that are offered to a student. There are student unions and clubs in which he can be a member whereby he can explore various interests and engage in events & activities. It’s an ideal place to learn about cultures and network with students from various countries. For example, he can join a music club or pursue his passion for modern art or cookery by joining and following the corresponding clubs or associations. The possibilities are vast and the benefits are immense. Often one can even start a club by himself if he has five subscribers to that activity or program. So you have an interest in stamp collecting? No problem, gather round people who share the same interest and you are done.

In a nutshell, academics do not sum up your entire education. It’s an active & important part of your education for sure, but it’s through engaging with people and following your passion that you become a better student. A right balance between academics & the socio-cultural activities is of prime importance. This helps in building character and awareness. Often our students rediscover themselves and find their latent hidden potentials when they get these types of opportunities while studying abroad.

Ultimately when you mingle with people from various cultures and backgrounds, you develop a sense of self-fulfilment because of your increased exposure and understanding. You learn to get along well even with differences. You become more tolerant and empathetic. You evolve into a better person and then into an amazing student with international exposure.
About Ms. Nicy Binu, Director, Santamonica Study Abroad
With over a decade’s experience in international education, Ms Nicy Binu is the brain behind Santamonica’s overseas student program and has steered the organization to a position where it figures today among the prominent overseas education facilitators in India. You may contact her at +91 6282 903 703 for overseas education queries and doubts.