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Studying Abroad - Gender Gap

A recent study has found that the number of female students opting to study abroad is more than that of their male counterparts.

Antony Chacko
gender gap

There is a theory that states that female candidates are far more eager to study abroad and are better suited to adapting to new environments and cultures when compared to their male counterparts.

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Even though the number of students aspiring to go abroad to pursue higher studies keeps increasing every year, the ratio of boys to girls seems to have changed drastically. A study abroad survey that was done discovered that there was a drastic jump in total number of students who went abroad to study in 2006-07 was a mere 83,833 whereas in 2010-2011 the number shot up to 103895.

And it was soon found that the numbers were similar in many other colleges and countries as well. Though no one really knew the reason for this gap, it has been noted that in most colleges the female participation is higher than the male.   The research done in 2010-11 also studied the percentage of students who opted for the various streams and those who sought out undergraduate programs versus the postgraduate courses.  About 61.2% applied for a postgraduate program while the number for undergraduate courses was only 13.50%.  As for the state of preference when applying in the United States of America, New Jersey and Connecticut topped the list, closely followed by Mississippi and North Carolina.

The ratio of boys to girls has always remained pretty consistent, with more boys going abroad to study than girls. It has been noted that peer pressure and other development differences, and of course the perceptions of career prospects are key factors in the ratio disparity.  Another factor to be considered is how many candidates are pursuing higher studies to return home and seek employment versus the number who look for opportunities abroad.

There is one theory that says female candidates are far more eager to go abroad and study than their male counterparts. Women are more open to change, adapting themselves to new environment and the fact that they seem to have a natural flair to tackle challenges. While on the other hand, men are not comfortable with too much change or putting themselves in vulnerable situations.  Studying abroad is all about being prepared for anything, and not knowing what to expect. The preparation done will not help settle in or get acclimatized to the situation, the people, the course, the way of teaching, the life and so on, all that needs to be learnt on the go, which comes easier for females than male. But all this said and done, candidates need to know the amount of opportunities that await them if they are willing to go across the ocean and study at a good college or university.

Some colleges even state the changes in lifestyle as a reason for female candidates faring better abroad. They are known to focus on their studies, look towards making new friends, while male counterparts resort to habits or becoming a recluse and sticking to their books. Infact, the percentage of male students who drop out is alarming in some countries.

Remember, it is not about who or what, but all about how and where!

Image Courtesy: Imagery Majestic

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Nupur Verma Nupur Verma,
Study abroad expert.
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