It is no doubt that studying abroad, in a foreign country, has a lot of perks; one gets to experience the new cuisine, new culture and traditions, new things to learn and new people to meet and interact with. It seems that it is a fresh start when you go to study in a foreign country, right about the time till you receive that email in your inbox, which has been aimed to remind you of the renewal of the Iqama or the residency permit, expiration of the re entry or exit visa and what seems to be the worst is when you see your family enjoying their vacations on social media while you are stuck behind classes. It is more of a problem than it sounds.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has never left any stone unturned while providing for excellent quality education to their people and the society. Some of the best of the schools in the entirety of the Gulf region can be found inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These schools provide some of the best education available on this planet, to both the local populations as well as the expatriate students. However the real problem arises when these students finish their high school and head towards undergraduate studies.
4 Major Problems Expats have to face for Higher Education
- Most of the non-Saudis or expatriates head towards the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States to attend college due to the limited number of seats available in the Kingdom. Zaffer Shahid , a Pakistani expatriate in the Kingdom had completed his A levels from Jeddah, however he wanted to study Computer Sciences from California, he however was rejected from the American university, and was later accepted into a British University as his qualifications were internationally recognized.
- While the usual educational year lasts up to 9 months, the exit/ re entry visa which students have to apply for is a real hassle. An Egyptian student in Canada, Khaled Al Shareef stated that his exit/ re entry visa expired right in the middle of his examinations; hence he had to let it go and now visits his family in the Kingdom on a temporary visa. Saudis and expatriates alike suffer.
- The Saudi students studying abroad come home to different atmospheres due to difference in Holiday timings.
- Those students living and studying in Australia have the worst luck of all, since Australia goes directly opposite to the natural weather patterns experienced by the rest of the world. this means that while most of the world experiences summer holidays in June, July and August, Australia has summer Holidays in November, December, January. Even when they get vacations in their summer months, the rest of the world is celebrating the arrival of winter, and in most places the winter vacations do not last even half as long as the summer vacations. Hence all family and friends back home have school and other things on their schedule while you are on vacation.
Source: Arab News