Learning does not happen only in a classroom. The purpose of learning primarily is to push through barriers of self and grow holistically. If learning is limited to only what the textbook teaches, your development will be lopsided and your views become detached from reality. The need of the hour is to make students global citizens and mold personalities. At Westford University College, we nurture this through international study programs.
The building of people skills, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence are the foundation to personal and professional development as well as in the understanding of life itself. Learning has to take us beyond our comfort zones and leads us to newer horizons. Studies have found that intelligence levels show a sharp increase when people are put in unfamiliar and new contexts and have to cope and function within that. This learning through encountering problems and solving them is the surest way to hardcode knowledge into your internal paradigms or maybe even modify them in the process.
The current education scenario is rich with opportunities to experience new contexts in the way of travel, exchange programs, study abroad programs etc. This trend is definitely key to developing individuals with a greater understanding of how the world functions and working with people from widely different belief systems and cultures. Currently, we have scores of students traveling and living abroad as a part of their education and this helps them discover and go beyond their own personal limitations and boundaries. A great boost in self-development and change in personality can be brought out through such programs, making students independent, self-reliant and mature in their thinking and understanding. This kind of learning is hard to come by in education as we need independent thinkers to further knowledge in every area and an education that results in inculcating this within students is definitely invaluable.
Ability to tolerate and handle diversity is another great benefit that these kinds of experiences bring about. A student understands to live, work with and also accept people and see things from different perspectives rather than stereotyping and judging those different from them as is the usual human nature. In a rapidly shrinking world where the workplace is becoming increasingly diverse, this is an invaluable quality as it helps an individual to function effectively in all kinds of groups as well as hone their interpersonal skills. Technology has brought the whole world on the same platform but working together on that same platform harmoniously is a challenge and we need people who can handle diversity as well as teach others how to handle it too.
In today’s competitive world, we don’t need people who identify themselves by the narrow boundaries of their nationalities or creeds, but as global citizens who can embrace not just their country or community which they belong to, but all people everywhere. We can no longer progress as independent, divided sects. Business and economic growth depend on having the competence and the willingness of a new breed of global citizens who are created through study abroad and international twinning programs.
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