Learning abroad presents life-transformative opportunities – CES


The Centre for European Studies (CES) has underscored the life-transforming opportunities that come with pursuing a higher level of studies in Europe and America, urging Ghanaian students to take advantage of the various scholarships and grant programmes available.

The centre stressed that employers are increasingly looking for candidates with international experience and language skills, and studying abroad demonstrates that a graduate is adaptable, independent and able to work in a global environment.

Director-Centre for European Studies, Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante, speaking at a recently organised one-day exchange programme at the University of Ghana by the CES – in partnership with the European Union in Ghana, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD Ghana) and Campus France – emphasised that such programmes offer valuable experiences that enhance personal growth and cultural understanding amid career opportunities in an increasingly interconnected world.

He added that the demand for global education has skyrocketed, but most often students find themselves wanting when it comes to their application process and documentation – especially in meeting the relevant requirements and identifying the needed funding streams, hence the initiative to assist students interested in furthering their education in Europe.

Employers are also seeking employees who can solve problems independently and think critically.

“Studying abroad can help you develop your ability to solve problems independently and think critically. These skills, along with resilience and creativity, make you a more valuable asset to any organisation.

“It allows you to explore new cultures, languages and academic opportunities. It can be an extremely incredibly rewarding and transformative experience that offers numerous personal and professional benefits,” he said.

Provost-College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, commended organisers of the conference – which aimed at facilitating direct interaction between students aspiring to pursue higher education in Europe – and representatives from EU-member countries in Ghana, while noting its potential contribution to addressing unemployment challenges in the country.

He urged students to pick up useful tips that help them navigate the challenges of applying and studying abroad.

Representing the European Union Ambassador to Ghana Irchad Razaaly, Head-Cooperation, European Union office in Accra, Massimo Mina, pledged support for the CES and encouraged students interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in Europe to take advantage of the CES’s resources and collaborative relationship with EU member-countries.

He reiterated that studying abroad provides a unique opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Students who study abroad can uniquely contribute to a rapidly changing, increasingly interconnected world – as well as leverage contacts to open doors to future opportunities and collaborations, both personally and professionally, he added.

“Experiencing a new country and its various systems such as education, healthcare and legal, among others, will give students a broader perspective and higher level of cultural competence. They will develop a better understanding of global issues. Students with an immersive international experience are likely to be more flexible, comfortable working with diverse teams, and positioned to develop an international network,” he further explained.

Participants at the event were given some tips for a successful study-abroad experience, including the need to start planning early and choosing the right country and city for study.

Stakeholders at the event concluded that post-graduate studies abroad come with academic enrichment, as students can access different teaching styles, perspectives and applications. Students are exposed to different educational resources and structures.

This can provide a unique opportunity for students to understand and apply their knowledge in a different cultural context, demonstrate adaptability and consider their discipline or major through a different lens.

Data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicate that the number of Ghanaian students at tertiary level studying abroad was estimated at over 20.3 thousand in 2021 – the highest amount since 2010. This represents an increase of 1,518 students compared to the preceding year. Internationally outbound students from Ghana increased in number between 2010 and 2021, recording an estimated boost from 9,413 to the 2021 figure.

This figure is expected to increase significantly due to the youths’ desire to study abroad, especially in Europe and America. While some see this as having a negative toll on the country due to brain-drain, others believe it is a great opportunity for individuals to better their lot.


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