Knowledge creates an unquenchable thirst; the more you drink, the thirstier you feel. And, education has the potential to bring out social and financial transformations and advancements in every sphere of your life. Many aspirants are trapped in the cobweb of interminably escalating thirst, and studying abroad is an aspiration for many to go ahead and live in the career they dream for.
Studying abroad will widen the students’ knowledge and horizons, provide them with a space for burgeoning avidity towards pursuing their passions and meanwhile cultivates their independence and personalities. Studying abroad is the unique opportunity that will not only allow you to see the world in your own eyes but will help you to excel both inside and outside of the classroom.
So, whether you want to spend a summer or a semester or planning to get a degree from an international university while you explore a new country, studying abroad will make you shine out from your pack. You will be going to experience an adventure of a lifetime. It is fun-filled and exciting.
In the present era, every student wants to stand shoulder to shoulder and be competent in front of the globalised world and current technology state. Adapting to the new trends of the world, meeting people from multifarious backgrounds, learning new language and dialects, setting footmarks in novel countries and gaining a new perspective is the new aim for students. A complete transformation in personality and knowledge bucket can be seen after completion of the studies.
Studying abroad is an effective tool to gain knowledge from foreign universities and fulfil your college degree requirements while you travel the world and experience new cultures and adapt to the new environment. Still not sure of studying abroad? Well, listed below are some of the advantages that may help you.
ATTRACTIVE JOB MARKET
It is proved from several studies and researches that studying abroad makes you more attractive at the time of job hunt. All those who have studied from abroad are likely to be employed by renowned companies and the initial payment is higher than others.
Studying abroad not only brushes up your personality but also your language skills, international understanding, and prepares you for challenges. Employers usually appreciate these skills and thus makes you outshine others. The ‘studied abroad’ phrase makes your CV good and if two candidates with similar CVs, the employer tends to pick up the one with international experience and exposure.
But, you need to pay careful attention to where, what and when to choose to study. Studying from a prestigious institution is imperative as well as the course you pursue. For example, if you go abroad to study business, then it will be considered a smart move as many Multinational Companies (MNCs) hire students with business skills and understanding of business systems.
One of the main reasons to study from abroad is because of the availability of numerous courses. If you are from a small country you must be aware of the limited number of courses. Programs such as Medical Education, Design Programs or Music Education are not available in every country. However, you don’t have to give up if you dream about a career in one of those scarce professions when you have the option to apply to such a program abroad.
Studying abroad also includes research options and skill-based training. Adding to this, some of the programs also allow you to take up two different courses at a single time. For example, you pursue your interest in literature while you take up mathematics as a major.
NEW LANGUAGE TO LEARN
Living, studying, learning and travelling all at the same time. Through studying abroad, you can develop a well-informed mindset and gain a wider perspective. You get an opportunity to understand other cultures and people of foreign nations.
Whether you are studying science, politics or finance, you will be equipped to think from a multinational perspective that will help you face the modern challenges with innovative solutions. After you complete your studies, you will get a richer set of experiences along with education.
A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
The experience of studying abroad doesn’t end with the campus gates. On the weekends, you will get the chance to travel to remote places in foreign countries. You can visit the tourist hotspots and get in the track of exploring a new country. And when you come back home to the home country, you will have luggage filled with stories, experiences, and memories.
THE BEST TIME TO STUDY
Studying abroad is like the two birds and one situation where you pursue the career you want while you also fulfil the insatiable itch of travelling to new places. Deciding to embark on the adventure is easy; choosing when to go is another behemoth entirely and depends on numerous factors.
Do I want to go for a semester or a whole year? Should I go in the summer or winter? Which year should I go? Which university is going to be the best? You may know that studying abroad is a life-altering experience but it undoubtedly depends on the way you plan it. Therefore, a well-thought-out plan is necessary.
AS A FRESHMEN
If the college of your choice allows you to study abroad as a freshman, you should seize the opportunity. Typically, freshman year isn’t the time when most students go abroad.
You will get to learn plenty of new things and skills at a young age. You will attain a stronger sense to be independent and manage critical situations on your own. This would not be possible when you would at a school within a driving distance from home.
Although studying abroad as a freshman has its own perks, it may inspire homesickness. It may also be disorienting for you to deal with transferring your credits straight off the bat, while you’re still learning the ropes of registering for courses and planning your own schedule.
AS A SOPHOMORE
Sophomores are typically 19 or 20 years old who are still deciding what to do with their lives. Studying the sophomore year abroad will allow you to experiment with your interests and ideas before you choose a career path.
In abroad, students will get plenty of courses and programs to try and build their interest, so the sophomore year is the best time to travel. Therefore, taking classes that pique your interest may influence your decision of major while you return home, and there is no better place to foster your interests in an international community.
The sophomores are also not expected to take upper-level classes which means the classes will be less challenging, leaving more time for travelling, exploring and learning new skills.
AS A JUNIOR
Studying abroad as a junior is the most popular and best time. It is recommended by guides and many colleges too. To make things easier, most of the institutions have their programs that usually start from the 3rd year.
While studying as a junior you must plan professionally and academically. You need to realize that you ultimately acquire credits to graduate at the right time. While the sophomore year was about discovering your interests and exploring, the junior year will be expecting the ‘mature’ you, where you are interning, doing jobs, volunteering and learning a subject of your choice as a major.
AS A SENIOR
As a senior student, you have the independence and the maturity to live on our own. Studying at the last year will make a good impression on the CV and will help in the job hunt. You will be able to take up jobs for making money, make memories while travelling, and get international friends for a lifetime.
As the senior year will be the last year of graduation, you will get ample opportunities abroad for your personal as well as career growth. But there are also some of the downsides. For example, as this would be the last year, you have to write a thesis, or a report to apply in the universities for further studies. Writing an article while staying overseas may impose a threat. Therefore, it is imperative to know where you stand if you want to go in the senior year.
Many institutions abroad have summer opportunities along with the school year. Summer is the best time for students to experience wanderlust to get some experience added in the resumes. It not only allows you to expand your international knowledge but also allows you to explore a new destination.
Summer programs abroad are often abridged. They usually have a period of several weeks. This makes it harder to adjust and immerse in the new environment when you have to do so many things already. This problem doesn’t occur when you are abroad for a school year. Moreover, as summertime attracts tourists from all over the world, travel is often significantly more expensive during the summers.
Other than these years other periods exist to suit a diverse set of goals, financial backgrounds and comfort levels.
Intersession programs or Maymesters take place during college breaks. Depending on the program, students can sometimes gain up to three college credits while undertaking an intensive class.
For those who don’t want to leave their home country there is also a provision of e-learning. You can harness the power of online education. Students now can take online classes from a university abroad.
Intensive learning programs are popular among students who want to learn a foreign language. The programs allow them to develop and raise levels of speaking, writing and reading of the language. Options range from weeks to an academic year.
Regardless of when you choose to study abroad, the best thing is that you have the opportunity. Studying abroad does so much more than fluffing up academic records and resumes. The studying abroad will give a full learning experience both inside and outside the classroom and shape you for life.
TO-DO LIST FOR STUDYING ABROAD
While most students know that studying abroad is very much beneficial and can give an experience of a lifetime, what they usually do not know is where to start? “How to create a perfect study abroad plan?” is the real question.
To ensure your successful admission to your dream university, here is the to-do list you can follow:
- Research, Decide & Plan wisely
If you want to go abroad for studying first you need to make a firm decision. This is the foremost step and should be not delayed. Education and study abroad experts suggest that one should start researching, deciding and planning in class 9th. This would give ample amount of time to research about the different universities and programmes available, scopes and places. This will lead to a sagacious, good and firm decision that you will not regret.
- Qualification & Standardized Tests
While researching about studying abroad you might get to know that there are different requirements for admission process in different universities. You need standardised and qualification test scores from several tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT etc. However, go through the admission process of your university you wish to apply and prepare accordingly. Attempting these tests before submitting the applications to the university will be a wise decision.
- Academic Record
The reason as to why should start researching and deciding where you wish to study as early as possible so that you can maintain good grades and academic record. This will help because the committee at abroad universities and colleges look at your academic record and may even consider you for scholarship opportunities. This will help you in reducing the financial burden while you go for studying abroad.
- Seek Guidance
While you are planning to study overseas, you might not possess all the information. The education systems of foreign are different and sometimes difficult to understand. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek guidance from experts or people who have gone there before. This way it will clear all the doubts and obstructions in the way.
- Fill the Application Form
The next step is completing the application form correctly and providing full information to the college or university you are applying. No mistake should be made during this process. Any mistake can invite ordeal for you. In the worst-case scenario, you may not even be allowed to apply to the university again. Therefore, careful attention is needed when filling up the application form.
- Scholarships & Financial Aids
Studying abroad may sound cool but requires a lot of money. To tackle this situation you may look for scholarships and financial aids that the university or college offers. Many of the institutions abroad release scholarships every year. Keep yourself updated with the latest information. This may help you reduce the financial burden.
POPULAR STUDY ABROAD DESTINATIONS
While studying abroad may look a pretty easy process, the search for the destination may not be. It can be overwhelming with so many good facilities and top-notch education that each place provides. Recently, the Institute of International Education has released the 5 top areas that are good for international education.
- United Kingdom
The environment of the United Kingdom is somehow similar to America but there are many variations and differences to make this place exciting and new. Some of the best and top quality universities can be found on this small island that makes it an attractive spot for students.
Students who have a keen interest in ancient Roman often fly to Italy. This location is best for humanities-related topics like art, history, architecture, sculpture, painting, religion and Italian language.
If you want to explore cultural and historical centres such as Barcelona and Madrid or charming places like Valencia, Granada, Santiago de Compostela and Pamplona, Spain is filled with rich heritage and culture. Besides this, the universities centred in the country have suitable rankings and also offer different courses and programs to study abroad.
Whether wandering at the streets of Paris after class or at Louvre or taking a glance at the history-filled nooks in Lyon, France will prove to be attractive for all. It is known as the birthplace for culture and also has many great universities along with facilities.
Germany is known for providing distinct universities that have top-notch education quality. More than that, it also has a rich culture, a thriving international student population, scrumptious dishes and the chance to pursue different courses at the highest levels.
COURSES/PROGRAMMES AT ABROAD
The decision of which educational program to choose is tuff. You need to research, plan and know your interest before applying to any course overseas.
There are many areas of study you can explore. Choosing a subject that will have relevance to your future and catches your interests is imperative.
Some of the popular courses offered by the renowned colleges or universities are listed below:
- International Relations & Business
If any student chooses this area, they will get the opportunity to gain knowledge in language, politics, sociology, and business skills. The subjects will prepare you for jobs in Multinational Companies, non-profits, or in the public sector.
There will be various classes like for example; International Financial Management, International Marketing, Globalization, or International Political Economy.
- Media & Communications
Students who have a keen interest in knowing the system of media and communication may explore this field This area has a focus area on writing, communications, journalism, ethics, and politics. It will be a holistic academic experience with a lot of learning.
You will find classes of Communication across Cultures, Global Politics and The Media, Global Networking, and Media, War and Peace.
- Pre-Med & Global Health
Students who want to work in medical settings can benefit from this course. It has a central focus on public health, clinical study, practicum experience. Students with interest in indigenous diseases and global epidemics may find particular discipline in this field.
There are various classes like Health And Community Development, Global Healthcare Policy, and International Human Rights.
- Engineering & Information Technology
Aspirants who have a curiosity of growing engineering and information technology can immerse themselves in this field. The coursework and research-based work, this field will make the students competitive for international placements.
You will find classes like Computer Science, Global Technology Ethics, Chemical Engineering, International Information Technology, and Biotechnology.
- Digital & Creative Arts
This line is for students who are highly interested in contemporary arts. The course defines the role of digital media through graphic designing, visual arts, photography, drama, sound, original art and culture studies.
In this course, it includes stagecraft, international media arts, photography, and performance skills.
- Environment & Sustainability
Young students who want to learn about the dynamic global environment can take up this field. It will highlight the emerging technologies, environmental conservation principles, green energy research, and climate change.
The subjects may include Global Environmental Law, Landscape Climatology, Pollution Control, and International Environmental Engineering.
COST OF STUDYING ABROAD
If you are going to study abroad then calculating the cost is one of the important things. Studying abroad will make you spend a lot of money than you spend in the home country. However, there are a lot of factors that the cost depends on, like the country you are going to or the university/college you choose.
The first and foremost expense for study abroad is tuition fees. Different universities have different fee structures and also the fees highly depend on the program/course you choose. The tuition fees also depend upon the country. For example in Germany many universities are funded by the government thus they charge less from students yet provide world-class education.
Another huge factor is the housing cost for anyone going abroad. Many universities abroad have the accommodation charge included in the overall fees but not every student is lucky enough to get university accommodation. Thus, extra money is required for staying in a rented place.
This type of cost includes every type of expense you are going to make for a living. It could include buying groceries, toiletries, clothes, food etc. Thus, all the day to day expenses are included in it. Most of the students can try to cover this cost by working a part-time job or doing a paid internship.
Down below is the average tuition fee and living expenses of major study abroad destinations.
TIPS FOR STUDENTS ABROAD
The travelling and studying part may seem to be a pretty easy job for you. But that is not the case for all the students. Some of them may be scared, feel homesick and start having second thoughts on moving abroad. Although it is safe to go to a foreign country to study, being prepared would not harm. There are some of the tips written below that will help you out:
Carry All The Important Documents
It is always wise to have several copies of the important documents you are carrying. In addition, make sure that you carry all the travel documents so that you don’t fall into any confusion/requirements such as passport, airline tickets, health insurance, student ID, and all other information. Plus, make sure to store them in a safe place so that they are not lost.
Make Yourself Acquainted to The Country
Make a thorough research about the country. Get acquainted with the area’s customs and traditions beforehand. “Is it rude to speak loudly”, “Is there special clothing style”, know about the environment so that you don’t make any mistakes and attract unwanted/negative attention? Moreover, knowing about the host country is good to avoid offensive, illegal, or questionable acts.
Keep a Group Mentality
It is always advisable to not go alone during the initial days abroad. The reason is that you might not be familiar with the roads and lanes and get lost. So, trying to travel in a group with your friends. Spend the first few weeks getting to know the city as a team. It will not help you to build friendship, but you will be secured in an unknown place. You will be able to make memories and using location services will help a lot.
Keep in Touch
Let your family, friends, and relatives know about your whereabouts and location. You could also purchase a cheap local phone with a data plan. This will restrict your parents from worrying about you and will help in the long run when you will require help.
As soon as you arrive at your destination, start to get blended in. Make some friends, buy some guides and get familiar with the host country. This will make you less of a target for pickpockets and scammers, but you also learn more about the culture by emulating local dress and customs and becoming immersed in the crowd.
Get Around… Safely
As you are going to a foreign country, you won’t be having access to private transportation. Thus, you have to rely on public trains, trams and buses. Public transport is a good option and cheap for getting around, but you must also keep an eye on the surroundings.
There are a lot of unlicensed cabs, so make sure to choose one that you have researched about. Additionally, try not to look lost or new as this will make you an easy target.
Know the places you are going to visit and identify the good and bad places in the country. Get the local news to avoid unsafe areas.
Whether mace, pepper spray, or a whistle, it never hurts to have these items within easy reach should the worst happen. A good idea is to keep them on the key chains for better reach.
Students who want to pursue their areas of interests, consider studying abroad to be the best idea. It is like a golden opportunity where you can find stupendous universities and quality facilities. So, abroad education helps a lot of students achieve their goals of life.
However, studying abroad requires intensive and critical thinking. There are a lot of steps to follow and actions to be taken before you fly off. Following each step with paying careful attention will avoid mistakes. Thus, although maybe studying abroad paints a beautiful picture, there is a lot of hard work underneath.
Studying abroad will welcome new challenges in your life. The new ambience and the environment is a real challenge. There is a probability of being treated differently and new eating habits can cause discomfort. You may take time to adjust and make new friends is not an easy job. The financial crisis is a hurdle, the different language is a daunting obstacle, and the feeling of being lost or alienation is a major problem.
But, despite all the challenges and difficulties, studying overseas can be a phenomenal opportunity for international exposure, learning a novel language and culture, travel aficionados, employment opportunities, scrupulous knowledge and research activities. When knowledge is broad, why not study abroad?