Going Abroad For Higher Education

Outline of the Conversation:

Lokesh and Ishaan are lifelong friends who will soon graduate from the University of Mumbai and pursue master's degrees. Both boys' parents received postgraduate degrees from universities abroad and offer their sons the same opportunity. Lokesh plans to study at his parents' alma mater in New York City while Ishaan prefers to study in India. In this conversation, the two discuss the pros and cons of going abroad for higher education.

The Conversation:

Lokesh: Ishaan, did I tell you that I've been accepted into Columbia University, my parents' alma mater? Can you believe that? You know how prestigious Columbia is right?

Ishaan: Yes, I know. Congratulations! I'm very happy for you. We must celebrate!

Lokesh: I know you were not open to the idea of applying to Columbia before, but it's not too late! I know you will be accepted! Your CGPA is higher than mine, and to be honest, you are probably smarter than me. Come on Ishaan, give it a try!

Ishaan: I'm flattered by your kindness, but I simply have no desire to study abroad. I would like to travel the world when a successful career allows me to do so, but I value a complete education in India.

Lokesh: Brother, we have received an incomparable undergraduate education here in Mumbai, but we should diversify our minds, experiences, and resume. Pursuing higher education in another country can only help us succeed in many different ways. It's time to expand!

Ishaan: I understand, but I want to continue my education here at the University of Mumbai. This school really helped make me the person I am today, and I want to continue to receive everything it has to offer. Besides, attending college in the U.S. will be very expensive for our parents.

Lokesh: You're right. Tuition is expensive. I was disappointed to not get the scholarship that I applied for, but I was awarded many grants which will help bring down the cost. Also, I will continue to apply for scholarships while studying there so my parents don't have to pay too much. I will probably work a part time job to have enough spending money.

Ishaan: But won't you become very homesick and maybe find it difficult to concentrate?

Lokesh: When I get nostalgic, I can Skype my family, and you, and my other friends. The New York City area has many popular Indian districts where I can shop and spend time. I will be too busy studying, learning about other cultures, and enjoying what America has to offer to get too homesick.

Ishaan: That's easy to say Lokesh, but you may find it difficult to adapt to a new social environment. Life is completely different over there, and New York is one of the fastest cities in the world.

Lokesh: If my parents made it, I can too! They have nothing but great things to say about Columbia and actually encouraged my matriculation there.

Ishaan: You will undoubtedly experience tremendous culture shock.

Lokesh: This is my opportunity to meet people from all over the world! It will be a great way to build interpersonal skills. In New York, I'll be in many situations everyday where I'll need to befriend and interact with people of very different cultures and backgrounds. These experiences are very important to personal and professional growth.

Ishaan: Another thing Lokesh is the difference in the educational system. I've heard that higher education in the U.S. is largely an independent endeavor. In other words, you will not have nearly as many people pushing you along as you will here. Over there, nobody will care if your grades are not good. Can you handle this responsibility?

Lokesh: Yes, I'm sure I can and I'm certainly up for the challenge. Columbia has courses that the University of Mumbai does not, and vice versa. Also, courses taken at a university abroad will offer a different cultural perspective on subjects that we've studied here. Wouldn't you agree?

Ishaan: Yes, I agree totally. But I'm sticking with my intuition on this one. I love the University of Mumbai and all that it has done for me. I plan to pursue a master's and a PhD here. In the future, I want to be highly active in alumni activities like the other proud alumni who provide tremendous support to us.

Lokesh: That's excellent Ishaan. I love our school just as much as you. My experience here helped me get into another top university, and I really want the international study experience on my resume.

Ishaan: And you are definitely on your way to get that. Meanwhile, I'll hold things down at home.

Lokesh: This experience will help make me more mature, resilient, and interpersonally adept. My resume will look very attractive to employers. It will be irresistibly charming to them!

Ishaan: Ok Mr. Shahrukh Khan of higher education, I believe you! I could possibly visit you in the West when I manage to save enough money. It would be cool to see New York City and your soon-to-be campus. I wonder how much of a New Yorker you will become.

Lokesh: I'm sure the city will have an effect on me, but I'll always be a Mumbaikar at heart!

Vocabulary:

Incomparable - Better than any other.

Diversify - To change (something) so that it has more different kinds of things.

Nostalgic - The feeling of missing one's home or homeland.

Matriculation - Process of becoming a student at a school and especially in a college or university.

Interpersonal - Relating to or involving relations between people: existing or happening between people.

Endeavor - To seriously or continually try to do something.

Vice versa - Used to say that the opposite of a statement is also true.

Intuition - A feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.

Resilient - Able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.

Adept - Very good at doing something that is not easy.

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