Monday, January 4, 2010

Maybe they should stay at home

The ties between Australia and India are threatened due to a murder and India's almost impossible demands for a quicker murder investigation.

Most policemen acknowledge that a murder where the killer and victim don't know each other or are related is difficult to resolve. Regardless of the ressources put into such an investigation a lot of cases remain unsolved.

But this case does also raise the question whether it is the best possible solution for students to study abroad.

In Denmark a lot have been done to avoid students to take a gap year where they travel abroad and make themselves familiar with foreign cultures and school systems. We have a very advance school system. It is the best in the world - second to none. It is a system where both the professional and social aspect of creating an adult fit to face the challenges of a life are carefully weighed, so we avoid the suicides and school shootings seen in school systems where only the professional factor is considered.

But regardless of giving the social factor importance and allowing access to alcohol for youth aged 16, the professional standard is superior. As of 2010 a year in a United States High School cannot be accredited. In a superior society like the Denmark we live in today living or studying abroad must be seen as waste of time.

It is here both India and Australia can learn something. It would be better that the students coming from India would stay at home. If India took time to improve their school system, removed requirements about school uniforms so the poor could afford going to school they could improve the living standards overall in their country.

Australia on the other hand should consider how the overall performance in their schools are lowered due to the presence of foreign students. Danish research does show that it is the case.

If this traffic of students studying abroad is stopped both countries could benefit on the long term.

Then there is the risk of being framed for crimes which is real for a student who choose to stay in a foreign country. Webpages like Exchange Student Info which advice students and their families about studying abroad points out that a student is at risk of being named as scapegoat if a crime or accident occur near them. Cases like those of Louise Woodward, Camilla Broe and Amanda Knox should scare future exchange students.

We live in year 2010. We are in the time where we are supposed to live in a society based on information. But the tragedy is that we don't react on the information we receive from the media.

Think about all that suffering we could be spared for if we started to think about what we are reading.

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