Graduating university without any delays has become hard to see in university campuses. Many students decide to take time off school for one or two semesters to study at foreign countries.
According to the statistics provided by the Office of Academic Affairs, an increasing number of Ewha students obtaining temporary absence from school in 2009 because they prefer to study at foreign countries. 507 students took temporary absence in the spring semester to study abroad before graduation. 663 students left school in the fall semester and this figure represents an approximate 31 percent increase from the earlier semester.
Jang Shin-hae, a researcher of the Ewha Career Development Center (CDC), mentioned that the number of students who visited the CDC to talk about temporary absence and studying abroad has steadily risen in the past few years. When consulting many students for their job careers, Jang found out that many of them have been to foreign countries during their absent years of college.
Jang said that this could also relate to the students’ desire to get a better job after graduating college.
“English speaking is becoming important these days when it comes to getting a job and I thought it was indispensable to go to America and study English. I was also able to experience western culture which I thought was as significant as studying English,” said Pyun Seo-young (Sogang University).
Jang, however, noted that she has seen some students who did not successfully reach their goals when studying abroad. Their only objective was improving their official English test scores without spending time with other foreign friends and experiencing new culture through trips. Ultimately, they did not use their time effectively and did not even improve their English scores after their time abroad.
“Since many enterprises require skillful language abilities, it can be a good idea to take time off college and go to another country to study foreign languages. The experiences in the new environment will also provide students with valuable lessons that will ultimately contribute to their getting a job after graduation,” said Jang.
Jang also mentioned the most important point that students must consider when dropping out college. “University students should not decide to take time off school and go abroad just because other students around them are doing it. Students have to carefully determine what to do for their own career,” said Jang.
The Career Development Center is a place where Ewha students regardless of grade or major can visit and get some advice regarding their career plans. Students can consult the researchers about their decision of taking time off college and studying abroad.
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