Foreign Education
26 July, 2012
Foreign Education

Receiving education in a foreign country has become a natural and even indispensable part of the globalized world. Young men and women around the Globe tend to go to school in the countries other then their own. Some of them get involved in various international programs, provided with scholarships; others are simply the progeny of well-to-do families who can afford the pleasure. Georgia is not an exclusion from the rule.

I could certainly have spoken to a group of young people

in Tbilisi to elucidate the issue, but I have preferred to pick among them the one who is fresh from a student’s desk at Manchester Business School of University of Manchester of Great Britain. His name is Ilia  T. Kekelidze, 23. He is a graduate of Tbilisi State University with a major in finance and banking who was directed to UK as a scholar of Georgia’s Development & Reconstruction Fund among many other distinguished youth of the country a couple of yours ago. This interview with him is an attempt to understand what makes foreign education so trendy, attractive and cherished today. Ilia has definitely helped to achieve the goal.


NBR – Why was it good to receive a degree outside Georgia, in Great Britain in your particular case? You could have acquired the same degree here in your own country, couldn’t you?

ITK – Yes, I could but it would have been a little different. To be fair enough, the quality of education in GB is considerably higher than for example here in Georgia. There was nothing ostentatious in my going west. I simply wanted to use the valuable time of my youth on something most meaningful and highly qualitative so that I could operate as a professional in the future with more confidence and also with a better chance to be remunerated accordingly. Was there anything wrong with this? I think not! You know, four years of my Tbilisi State University was as if rationally compressed into only one year of learning at the University of Manchester. In other words, the education I received in Great Britain is intensely useful and easily usable.

NBR – How easy or how difficult was it to be schooled in Great Britain for you? Many young people get depressed as a result of a considerable difference in the two educational cultures – Georgian and British, don’t they?

ITK – Frankly speaking, it was more than difficult to be at school there but thank God, I had enough academic experience from my alma mater to get over with it. The newly acquired complete social and personal independence felt uneasy at first but I summoned up all my internal strengths to straighten up myself and put together my act. The goal was serious and I worked like a horse to achieve it. I even was quite near to a nervous breakdown, but as the saying has it, all is good that ends well. I made it finally – I am today a Master of Science in Finance with a British degree.

NBR – Did you have a favorite teacher in Manchester?

ITK – Yes! And the guy was the professor whom I hated at the beginning but in the end he became for me an epitome of an instructor. I know much thanks to that distinguished gentleman of science.

NBR – Let’s now go to one of my quintessential questions which could be generalized for the rest of the Georgian youth with foreign education.

ITK – And what would be that?

NBR – There is a tendency among those distinguished young men and women of the country to go ahead and get involved in foreign academic systems at any possible costs. Is it a good or a bad tendency?  You may not answer this question if you don’t feel like it, but this is a very straightforward question and I need a very straight answer to it. Do you mind?

ITK – No, that’s fine with me. Going to a good school in a foreign country makes a lot of sense and I think this is a very healthy tendency for Georgia with one precondition though – the more young people go and come back the better. In a word, this is a very positive direction of thought.

NBR – Why?

ITK – Because education is not just a bunch of some knowledge. It is an experience, it is a personal independence, it is a renovated understanding quality, a positive effect on a young life, a new vision, new concepts, new energy and totally new attitudes. That’s what it actually is!

NBR – Are you happy with what you have achieved after having graduated from Manchester Business School?

ITK – Yes and No! Yes because I love what I am doing right now, and I am a banking specialist. I would never have been able to be performing the way I am without the knowledge and experience I have gained in Manchester. No because it always seems to me that the MBS (Manchester Business School) degree deserves more challenging opportunities than I have been faced with so far in Georgia. Incidentally, some of my peers are under the influence of the same sentiment. Georgia’s current job market is a factor too.

NBR – Would that be a reason for you to regret that you have returned to Georgia after having received foreign education?

ITK – Probably not, and let me tell you why. I think I still have a chance to do for myself and for my beloved Georgia all that is compatible with the profound education I have received in the United Kingdom. The potential will never be idle. Just stay assured of that.

NBR – Isn’t this wonderful?

ITK – Yes, it is!

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