International exchanges take place all over the world and can be either full or partial programs which allows you to choose the amount of time you want to spend abroad. These exchange programs allow students from one university or college to study abroad at another university or college. Countries such as China, Sweden, Australia, and Mexico offer exchange programs through their embassies and consulates, and so does the UK and Norway for dental students, as is the focus of this website. Read on to discover some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a dental exchange student.
The Upsides of Enrolling in an Exchange Program for Dental Students
Exchange programs are a great way to learn new skills and get a taste of a different culture. You will get to meet new friends, explore a new country, and gain a new outlook on life. Furthermore, you will learn how to live on your own and take responsibility for yourself, without the direct aid of your parents or other relatives.
A lot of people, especially young people, dream of going overseas to experience a different lifestyle and learn more about the world. Going abroad will increase your cultural diversity, awareness, and acceptance, meaning you will become a more worldly individual. If these things excite you, feel free to read more about our exchange program on our front page and our blog.
Possible Downsides to an Exchange Program for Dental Students
Over the past few years, exchange programs have become increasingly popular among universities around the world. As mentioned above, these programs provide students with opportunities to live abroad and gain skills in an international education environment.
However, there are some possible downsides to these programs that dental students should be aware of before joining one. Some of these downsides include cost, inability to find a job for newcomers after returning home, and having less time for family and friends back home.
- Cost: Despite the fact that many exchange programs provide free tuition, it can still cost a lot of money to pay for living expenses and travel – expenses that wouldn’t have occurred in your home country. In Norway, for example, tuition is free from the outset, and many students live home with their parents during studies, meaning they don’t have much costs associated with either living or studying.
- Inability to find a job: Gaining international experience might actually work against your favor if you spend too big a part of your education abroad. Niclas Berggren, owner of a Norwegian dental clinic (see website: Tannlege i Hønefoss), confirms this in a press conference where he says that, although he naturally encourages dental students to join exchange programs for a semester or two, he thinks they should complete the bulk of their education back here in Norway, since this is where they will be practicing once they start their career.
- Having less time for family and friends: Needless to say, going abroad to complete your dental studies will separate you from your close ones for long stretches at a time. This can be tough on some people, depending on how used they are to this kind of situation.
Just as for any other student, it is important for dental students to weigh the pros and cons of an exchange program before deciding whether or not it is worth it for them.