Some educationalists think that international exchange visits will benefit teenagers at the school. To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? (Reported 2020, Academic Test)
International exchange programs provide opportunities for being exposed to foreign cultures and people. This exposure transforms the values of teenagers and it generally outweighs benefits from domestic educational programs. However, teenagers should not prioritize study abroad programs over their career paths.
For adolescents having grown up in their own countries, interaction with foreign students and norms can be a good chance to reconsider their values and lifelong goals. During an exchange program, students face the novel ways of building relationships, organizing societies, and respecting different genders. Comparing these cultural differences, they can take in new perspectives and gain insights into the pros and cons of each norm. To give you an example, having seen many immigrants are integrated into societies in the U.S., a Japanese boy, who has grown up in the homogeneous culture, gains an opportunity to comprehend how ex-pats contribute to economies and what kind a culture and social system attract them.
On the other hand, foreign exchange programs should not be in the way of career development. This is because the latter is crucial for a teenager to gain desirable jobs in the future. Because grades in second and third grades in high school have a significant influence on obtaining addmisson to prestigious Universities, students in these periods should focus on studying at their domestic schools where they have more advantages in career decisions than their counterparts in other countries. To illustrate this, if a Japanese student aspiring to be a doctor move to Zurich, he would face a huge language barrier of Swiss-German and unable to achieve enough grades to enroll in a medical faculty. As a result, he might regret in the future that he should have stayed in Japanese high school where he had more chances to achieve his goal.
To sum up, overseas experiences are generally beneficial in gaining new perspectives and enhancing values. Having said that, the teenager must not plan exchange programs at a crossroads of their career paths.