In the fall, WES Student Advisor asked readers for submissions for our 2014 Essay Contest. The prompt was inspired by a Nelson Mandela quote -- "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" -- and it asked readers to describe how studying abroad can help change the world.
Over the past month, we've shared with you the first four winning entries. Now, in the fifth part of a five-part series, we're showcasing the final winner, a piece by a reader who identified herself only as Nastaran. She took a different approach altogether, arguing for study abroad as a means of acquiring expensive cars, luxury vacations – and even a good husband!
Nowadays having a quality education helps people fulfill their dreams. But there is a big problem that many people in Asian and African countries face: the lack of a good education system for students, even those with great talent. Most of these students, myself included, see only one way to achieve their goals, and that is to migrate to developed countries in Europe or the U.S. that offer the highest quality education. In my opinion, study abroad gives students the opportunity to understand themselves, to achieve their goals faster, to make a better future for themselves. And as Nelson Mandela said, you may even change the world.
One of the main reasons for studying abroad is that it can provide an opportunity for people to better understand themselves. They also understand more about their environment and how the world works. Take, for example, studying the plants and animals of the natural world. A person with a rudimentary education may wonder how insects gather food for winter, or how they communicate with each other. But highly educated researchers and scientists with well-equipped laboratories answered these questions long ago. They can understand the connections between nearly every living or dead thing in the world, and their findings only add to the knowledge pool.
Another reason that many people want to study abroad is to make a better life for themselves. When you have a high level of education, you can more easily get a good job and live a better life. For example, my sister has a Ph.D. in pharmacology, and she has all the things she's ever wanted: a good husband, an expensive car, and even luxury vacations. The only thing that helped her to achieve her goals was her American education at Harvard University, considered by many to be the best school in the U.S.
To sum it up, I think Nelson Mandela was really smart. He understood the value of education. And as my grandmother said, "Studying higher education abroad can help you achieve your goals easily." Therefore, studying abroad can absolutely change the world.
* * *Congratulations to all our 2014 Essay Contest winners, and thanks to everyone who participated! We’ll do it again next year!