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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of studying abroad from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Study Abroad

Some claim that studying abroad has great benefits for a student’s home country.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many believe that studying in another country is largely beneficial for the home country of the students in question. In my opinion, the losses entailed by these students potentially emigrating are outweighed by the expertise they often bring back.

Critics of this contention argue that many of the best and brightest students never return to their country of origin. This is especially the case as it regards developing countries, including both ordinary and famous examples. The average student from a developing nation that studies abroad in the United States or Europe, will likely have the opportunity to pursue a career there. Once hired by a company, there is a clear pathway to residency and even citizenship in the future. Since these students must meet higher admission requirements, it logically follows that a significant percentage will never return and share their newly acquired expertise with their fellow citizens.

Nonetheless, the instances above are rare and there are tangible effects from knowledgeable graduates returning to their home. Such students are capable of contributing novel outlooks and perspectives in society generally the workplace more specifically. One illustrative example of this in Vietnam is Ngo Bao Chau who studied mathematics at Oxford. After his studies abroad, he was awarded the most prestigious mathematics award, the Fields Medal, in 2007. Upon his return to Vietnam, he established a mathematics academy in Hanoi that distinguishes itself from other institutions with an innovative approach borrowed from Western schools. None of this would likely have come to pass if he had simply remained in Vietnam to study like most other students.

In conclusion, despite the risks that talented individuals may choose to reside permanently in a new country, there are more concrete benefits for the home country. Governments should therefore encourage such students with state scholarships.

Analysis

1. Many believe that studying in another country is largely beneficial for the home country of the students in question. 2. In my opinion, the losses entailed by these students potentially emigrating are outweighed by the expertise they often bring back.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Critics of this contention argue that many of the best and brightest students never return to their country of origin. 2. This is especially the case as it regards developing countries, including both ordinary and famous examples. 3. The average student from a developing nation that studies abroad in the United States or 4. Europe, will likely have the opportunity to pursue a career there. 5. Once hired by a company, there is a clear pathway to residency and even citizenship in the future. 6. Since these students must meet higher admission requirements, it logically follows that a significant percentage will never return and share their newly acquired expertise with their fellow citizens.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Finish by adding extra detail.

1. Nonetheless, the instances above are rare and there are tangible effects from knowledgeable graduates returning to their home. 2. Such students are capable of contributing novel outlooks and perspectives in society generally the workplace more specifically. 3. One illustrative example of this in Vietnam is Ngo Bao Chau who studied mathematics at Oxford. 4. After his studies abroad, he was awarded the most prestigious mathematics award, the Fields Medal, in 2007. 5. Upon his return to Vietnam, he established a mathematics academy in Hanoi that distinguishes itself from other institutions with an innovative approach borrowed from Western schools. 6. None of this would likely have come to pass if he had simply remained in Vietnam to study like most other students.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Conclude by relating it back to the overall topic.

1. In conclusion, despite the risks that talented individuals may choose to reside permanently in a new country, there are more concrete benefits for the home country. 2. Governments should therefore encourage such students with state scholarships.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many believe that studying in another country is largely beneficial for the home country of the students in question. In my opinion, the losses entailed by these students potentially emigrating are outweighed by the expertise they often bring back.

Critics of this contention argue that many of the best and brightest students never return to their country of origin. This is especially the case as it regards developing countries, including both ordinary and famous examples. The average student from a developing nation that studies abroad in the United States or Europe, will likely have the opportunity to pursue a career there. Once hired by a company, there is a clear pathway to residency and even citizenship in the future. Since these students must meet higher admission requirements, it logically follows that a significant percentage will never return and share their newly acquired expertise with their fellow citizens.

Nonetheless, the instances above are rare and there are tangible effects from knowledgeable graduates returning to their home. Such students are capable of contributing novel outlooks and perspectives in society generally the workplace more specifically. One illustrative example of this in Vietnam is Ngo Bao Chau who studied mathematics at Oxford. After his studies abroad, he was awarded the most prestigious mathematics award, the Fields Medal, in 2007. Upon his return to Vietnam, he established a mathematics academy in Hanoi that distinguishes itself from other institutions with an innovative approach borrowed from Western schools. None of this would likely have come to pass if he had simply remained in Vietnam to study like most other students.

In conclusion, despite the risks that talented individuals may choose to reside permanently in a new country, there are more concrete benefits for the home country. Governments should therefore encourage such students with state scholarships.

Answers

largely beneficial mostly good

home country nation you are from

in question relevant here

losses entailed what has been taken away

potentially emigrating possible moving

outweighed stronger than

expertise knowledgeable

bring back return

critics detractors

contention opinion

best and brightest smartest

country of origin nation you are from

especially the case as it regards in particular when it has to do with

average normal

studies abroad studying in another country

likely have the opportunity probably have the chance

pursue a career follow a job

hired employed

clear pathway good route

residency living in a country

citizenship becoming a citizen of a country

since because

meet higher admission requirements hard to get into schools

logically follows makes sense that

significant percentage sizeable proportion

return go back

share give information about

newly acquired expertise learned new information

fellow citizens other residents

nonetheless regardless

rare uncommon

tangible concrete

knowledgeable graduates smart people who have finished school

capable competent

contributing novel outlooks giving new opinions, perspectives

perspectives ways of seeing the world

generally overall

more specifically especially

illustrative shows this point

awarded given

prestigious well-regarded

established founded

mathematics academy math school

distinguishes differentiates

institutions schools, buildings, etc.

innovative approach new method

borrowed from taken from

come to pass happened

remained stayed

despite regardless of

risks threats

reside permanently stay forever

concrete real

encourage foster

state scholarships government grants

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈlɑːʤli ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl 
həʊm ˈkʌntri 
ɪn ˈkwɛsʧən
ˈlɒsɪz ɪnˈteɪld 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəli ˈɛmɪgreɪtɪŋ 
aʊtˈweɪd 
ˌɛkspɜːˈtiːz 
brɪŋ bæk
ˈkrɪtɪks 
kənˈtɛnʃən 
bɛst ænd ˈbraɪtɪst 
ˈkʌntri ɒv ˈɒrɪʤɪn
ɪsˈpɛʃəli ðə keɪs æz ɪt rɪˈgɑːdz 
ˈævərɪʤ 
ˈstʌdiz əˈbrɔːd 
ˈlaɪkli hæv ði ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
pəˈsjuː ə kəˈrɪə 
ˈhaɪəd 
klɪə ˈpɑːθweɪ 
ˈrɛzɪdənsi 
ˈsɪtɪznʃɪp 
sɪns 
miːt ˈhaɪər ədˈmɪʃ(ə)n rɪˈkwaɪəmənts 
ˈlɒʤɪkəli ˈfɒləʊz 
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt pəˈsɛntɪʤ 
rɪˈtɜːn 
ʃeə 
ˈnjuːli əˈkwaɪəd ˌɛkspɜːˈtiːz 
ˈfɛləʊ ˈsɪtɪznz
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
reə 
ˈtænʤəbl 
ˈnɒlɪʤəbl ˈgrædjʊəts 
ˈkeɪpəbl 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪŋ ˈnɒvəl ˈaʊtlʊks 
pəˈspɛktɪvz 
ˈʤɛnərəli 
mɔː spəˈsɪfɪk(ə)li 
ˈɪləstreɪtɪv 
əˈwɔːdɪd 
prɛˈstɪʤəs 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃt 
ˌmæθɪˈmætɪks əˈkædəmi 
dɪsˈtɪŋgwɪʃɪz 
ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənz 
ɪnˈnɒvətɪv əˈprəʊʧ 
ˈbɒrəʊd frɒm 
kʌm tuː pɑːs 
rɪˈmeɪnd 
dɪsˈpaɪt 
rɪsks 
rɪˈzaɪd ˈpɜːmənəntli 
ˈkɒnkriːt 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
steɪt ˈskɒləʃɪps

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many believe that studying in another country is l______________________l for the h________________y of the students i_________________n. In my opinion, the l_________________d by these students p_______________________g are o________________d by they e______________e the often b_____________k.

C__________s of this c_______________n argue that many of the b____________________________t students never return to their c___________________n. This is e_________________________________s developing countries, including both ordinary and famous examples. The a______________e student from a developing nation that s__________________d in the United States or Europe, will l_______________________y to p________________r there. Once h_____d by a company, there is a c______________y to r___________y and even c____________p in the future. S____e these students must m____________________________________s, it l___________________s that a s_____________________e will never r__________n and s_______e their n___________________________________e with their f_________________s.

N_____________s, the instances above are r____e and there are t________e effects from k_________________________s returning to their home. Such students are c__________e of c_________________________s and p_____________s in society g____________y the workplace m_____________________y. One i_______________e example of this in Vietnam is Ngo Bao Chau who studied mathematics at Oxford. After his studies abroad, he was a________________d the most p_____________s mathematics award, the Fields Medal, in 2007. Upon his return to Vietnam, he e______________d a m________________________y in Hanoi that d________________s itself from other i_______________s with an i_____________________h b__________________m Western schools. None of this would likely have c_________________s if he had simply r_____________d in Vietnam to study like most other students.

In conclusion, d_______e the r_____s that talented individuals may choose to r________________________y in a new country, there are more c_________e benefits for the home country. Governments should therefore e___________e such students with s____________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/17/should-more-americans-study-abroad/every-student-should-study-abroad

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Study

  1. What is your major?
  2. Do you like it?
  3. Why did you choose that major?
  4. Which major would you want to change it to?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Compared to the past, more people are now studying abroad because it is more convenient and cheaper than before.

Do you think this is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country?

Will this trend change much in the future?


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