Why should Romanian students come back after studying abroad?
We can see an increase in the rate of discussions about the exodus of Romanian students to universities in Europe and the US and a decrease in the numbers of students that are coming back to Romania after that.
Without going astray, we can conclude that the stories of Romanian students that remain abroad are mostly success stories while those who come back to the country of origin are sometimes daunting.
Undoubtedly, the fact that Romanian students have access to more and more stipendiums, scholarships and university exchange programs is a positive phenomenon. This opening of university borders has been the goal of extensive integration efforts and brings benefits to the students, the teachers and the society as a whole.
It is less important from the society’s point of view if the study experience became a reference point in the student’s life or if this enlarged their spiritual horizon. Of vital importance though is if the time spent at other universities (spending state public funds and European funds) has created specialists in a specific field, specialists that once integrated into the labour market will increase the value invested in them.
Public opinion says that this does not happen or is not happening as often as it should in order to produce benefits for Romania. When we joined the EU we had to give up on geo-centrism and to cope with the fact that the investment is not returning in a direct manner.
Even though these young people do not become active on the Romanian labour market, the fact that they are working somewhere and they are using the years of studying as efficient as possible by their own standards is a good enough benefit on its own.
Unfortunately, the present situation in Romania makes it hard to rely on the fact that if you come back after studying abroad you will have a suitable job, within your field of expertise, as it might be the case in other countries.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that this job will serve the interests of the society and not just the petty interests of a particular firm that will export the value produced to their overseas headquarters either way.
The Romanian students that don’t come back serve the interests of Romania by becoming ambassadors of the intellectual specificity of Romanians, or the Romanian strive to follow their dreams and desire to fulfill themselves professionally as efficient as possible.
Those who do come back, do it because they feel that opportunities are better here in their field and therefore are applying the same strategy as those who don’t come back.
On a decentralized work market like the one we have today, the behavior of both those who do come back and of those who don’t, brings a tribute to Romania’s image regardless of the position they occupy, seeing that their studies in Romania and completed abroad are further used for the intended purpose.