Mandatory Study Abroad

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General Purpose: To argue

Specific Purpose: I want to argue that the Kuwaiti federal government should require all Kuwaiti students to spend at least six months abroad.

Thesis Statement: The Kuwaiti federal government should require all Kuwaiti students to spend at least six months abroad in an English-speaking country because: (1) studying abroad will help these students learn English; (2) studying abroad will help them learn about new cultures; (3) despite my opposition’s claims, Kuwait can afford to undertake such a proposition.


I.[Attention Getter] If you were able, how many of you would love to go to another country and learn a new language and culture?

II.[Establish Controversy/Justify Topic] Today, I will present an argument concerning the idea that the Kuwaiti federal government should make study abroad mandatory for at least six months for all Kuwaiti students.

  • A. By creating a mandatory study abroad policy of at least six months in an English-speaking country, Kuwait students will improve their English.
  • 1.In addition, studying abroad will help Kuwaiti students learn about a new culture.
  • 2.The information that students bring back to Kuwait is likely to have a tremendous positive impact on the country.
  • B.Of course, some people will argue that the Kuwaiti government is unable to afford to send all of its young people abroad.
  • C. Given its vast wealth, I believe that the Kuwaiti government can afford to all of its young people abroad.

III.[Credibility Statement]In preparing for my speech, I not only drew off of my own experiencesI am one of those students whom the Kuwaiti government sent abroad but I also did considerable reading about Kuwait’s financial situation in various reputable publications like The Economist and The New York Times, among others.

IV. [Preview/Thesis] I contend that the Kuwaiti federal government should make studying abroad mandatory for all of its students.

  1. First, studying abroad in an English-speaking country for at least six months will help Kuwaiti students improve their English.
  2. Second, studying abroad will expose Kuwaitis to new people and new cultures.
  3. Third, despite my opposition’s claims, Kuwait can afford this program.

Transition: To begin, I will argue that a mandatory study abroad program will help ensure that Kuwaiti students improve their English.


I.[First Constructive Argument] The first reason that the Kuwaiti government should make studying abroad mandatory is that it will help Kuwaiti students improve their English skills.

A.Despite the importance of English in today’s global environment, many Kuwaiti students do not speak the language very well.

  1. According to scholar Abdulmohsen Dashti, even though English is shaping Kuwait and the broader Middle East, Kuwaitis still lack behind others when it comes to learning English (2015).
  2. The inability to speak English is a great impediment to the individual Kuwait.
  • A. After all, English is the lingua franca of the world, ensuring that the person who does not speak English will inevitably find it more difficult to communicate with others and interact in a global environment (Kaur 2014).
  • B. An inability to successfully integrate into the global community will ensure that many of Kuwait’s brightest minds struggle to maximize their talents and abilities.
  • 3. To consider the problems that Kuwait will face if its young people are unable to maximize their talents and abilities, think of Kuwait as a large machine.
  • A. When a cog in this machine ceases to function, the whole machine can break down.
  • B. The cog is Kuwait’s young people.
  • C. Kuwait, in other words, cannot expect to be as successful as it has in the past if it does not do everything possible for its young people.
  • B. Unfortunately, learning English in Kuwait is difficult if not entirely impossible.
  • 1. According to scholar Reem Al-Rubaie of the University of Exeter, “the problems of English language training in Kuwait are, mainly, quality and achievement” (48).
  • A. In addition, many English teachers not speak English well enough to instruct others in the language (Al-Rubaie 2010).
  • B. Methodologies are outdated, too, and curriculum is incomplete (Al Rubaie 2010).
  • C. Learning English in a pedagogical system like Kuwait’s is, as demonstrated, effectively impossible.
  • 2. Fortunately, another option exists: sending students abroad.

Transition: Mandatory study abroad will not only help Kuwaiti students learn English but it will also expand their cultural horizons.

II. [Second Constructive Argument] The Kuwaiti government should make studying abroad mandatory so that Kuwaiti students gain exposure to new cultures and new people.

A. Greater cultural exposure helps people become more creative and thoughtful (Crane 2015).

  1. According to Matt Crane of The Atlantic, “In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining…[how] that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change” (3).
  2. Certainly, creativity is important in helping one advance in one’s personal and professional life.
  3. Creativity is also associated with innovation, which can definitely improve Kuwait’s standing in the world.

A.Although Kuwait is rich in oil, it lags behind many countries in the world in terms of innovation (The Economist 2018).

B.Without innovation, Kuwait may fail to provide the high-quality lifestyle that it has managed to provide its citizens thus far.

B.Other than creativity, traveling abroad also helps build tolerance and acceptance for difference (Crane 2015).

  1. Tolerance and acceptance are especially important in Kuwait, a homogenous society where difference is often looked at skeptically.
  2. Understanding the broader world and one’s place in it can help alleviate some of this skepticism, which will then make for more peaceful society (Stephens 2017).

Transition: Making study aboard mandatory will have a number of positive benefits on both the Kuwaiti young person and the larger Kuwaiti society, though some believe that a program of this sort is impossible to create given the vast amount of money that the government will need to fund it. This claim, however, is untrue, as I will demonstrate.

III.[Refutation] Finally, even though the opposition states that the Kuwaiti government cannot afford to send all of its students abroad, the government actually has enough money to do so.

A.[Denial] First, Kuwait already sends many students abroad, primarily to English speaking countries like the United States and England.

  1. 1.In 2017, there are currently 14,000 or so Kuwaiti students studying abroad, all of whom are full-time students (Zong and Batalova 2018).
  2. In 2016, the most recent year for which information is available, Kuwait spent 9.5% of its roughly $60 billion budget on student education (Oxford Business Group 2017).
  3. 2016, however, was a difficult year given that oil prices hovered at $25 a barrel (Oxford Business Group 2017).
  4. Since then, oil has risen to $80 a barrel, allowing Kuwait to once again have a large budget surplus (Trade Arabia 2018).
  5. Kuwait spends a smaller percentage of its budget on student education (Oxford Business Group 2017).
  6. Given this reality, it follows that Kuwait will be able to spend more money on spending students abroad, especially if at least some of these students enroll for only six months prior to returning home.
  • B.[Minimization] Secondly, even a downturn in oil prices such as the one that occurred in 2016 will not disrupt this reality.
  • Kuwait has one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
  • This sovereign wealth fund has “grown more than 34 percent over the past five years” (Reuters 2).
  • Given this growth, Kuwait clearly has enough money to fund a mandatory student abroad program even during difficult economic times.
  • Again, not every student will study for 4-years, ensuring that Kuwait does not have to spend as much money per student as it otherwise would have

Transition: Now that we know that Kuwaiti can afford to institute a mandatory study abroad program, I will review the primary points of my argument.


I.[Restatement] In conclusion, the Kuwaiti government should make study abroad mandatory for at least six months in some English-speaking country.

  1. First, this program will help students improve their English skills.
  2. Second, this program will help students gain exposure to other cultures.
  3. Finally, though my opposition claims that the Kuwait government cannot afford this policy, this is not true.

II. [Closing Statement] In a globalized world, Kuwait cannot afford to overlook its students, a reality that must reflect in its commitment to education.

Works Cited

Al-Rubaie, Reem. “Future Teachers, Future Perspectives: The Story of English in Kuwait.” [Thesis] University of Exeter, September 2010, /bitstream/handle/10036/119730/Al-RubaieR.pdf?sequence=1

Crane, Matt. “For a More Creative Brain, Travel.” The Atlantic, 31 Mar. 2015, travel/388135/

Dashti, Abdulmohsen. “The Role and Status of the English Language in Kuwait: How Is English Used as an Additional Language in the Middle East?” English Today, vol. 31, no. 3, 2015, pp. 28-33.

Economist. “Arab States Are Losing the Race for Technological Development.” 12 June 2018, for-technological-development

Kaur, Paramjit. “Attitudes toward English as a Lingua Franca.” Social and Behavioral Sciences 118, 2014, pp. 214-221.

Oxford Business Group. “Kuwait’s Ne Plan to Move the Education Sector to the New Level.” 2018, sector-move-next-level

Reuters. “Kuwait Wealth Fund Assets Grew Over 34 pct in 5 years.” 26 Sept. 2017, over-34-pct-in-5-years-finmin-idUSL8N1M71EG

Stephens, Brett. “The Dying Art of Disagreement.” The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2017,

Trade Arabia. “Kuwait’s Budget Surplus to Soar on Higher Oil Price, Says Moody’s.” 08 June 2018,

Zong, Jie, and Jeanne Batalova. “International Students in the United States.” Migration Policy Institute, 09 May 2018, united-states


Major Premise: All Kuwaiti students who study abroad learn English.

Minor Premise: Ali is a Kuwaiti who studies abroad.

Conclusion: Therefore, Ali learned English.

Major Premise: All Kuwaitis who study abroad are intelligent.

Minor Premise: Noor is a Kuwaiti who studies abroad.

Conclusion: Noor is intelligent.

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Mandatory study abroad. (2019, Nov 17). Retrieved from

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