Studying abroad is an experience that can change the course of your life. Not only are you exposed to a different education program, but you also learn about the local cultures, languages, and etiquettes. Living in a different country means you have to overcome different obstacles that you may not face at home. However, when you look at the experience and knowledge you gain from the education, studying abroad is an excellent option.
Most people don’t know how to choose a college for their studies and instead opt for a college that a family member recommends. Unfortunately, that is not one of the wisest methods. Best Places to Study Abroad is a broad list that needs to be narrowed down.
Read through this article to understand the five critical steps you should take to find the right university.
Tip 1: Determine what discipline you want to study.
There are over a thousand universities in any given country, each with many more courses. The first thing to do is to determine what course or program you want to pursue. Are you interested in mathematics, or do you enjoy finance? Marks, grades, and CGPAs are not the sign that you should study a particular disciple. Instead, it would be best if you looked at courses that interest you.
It is also recommended that you go through the general course guidelines of each disciple. This will help you understand what the course entails, and what future career options look like. Before you decide which course you want to pursue, you should do two more things:
- Research the pros and cons of enrolling in the course.
- Read through online forums to understand what difficulties current graduates are facing.
These will help you understand what difficulties you may face.
Tip 2: Find out which country has the most robust program
Among the most popular study abroad countries are Japan, Finland, Denmark, South Korea, and the UK. Each of these countries is famous for different programs or courses. For example, Japan is most well-known for having well-funded Nanotechnology programs. On the other hand, Finland has an exceptional AI program.
Therefore, deciding which country to study in is essential. Do thorough research to understand which country has the better program for your discipline.
Checking the scope of your degree in the country is also important. Does the same university also provide a strong Master’s program? Will you be able to find a job, or will you have to travel to a different city/country?
For example, New Zealand is looking to expand its city construction. Therefore Civil Engineering students can find a job in the country. Ireland and Australia have invested more in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Therefore, pharmacy students may find a job here. Looking at the future career options will ensure you don’t have to return home after completing your course.
Tip 3: Create a shortlist
Narrowing down from a long list of options is difficult. You can use these two factors:
- The international rankings.
You can look at university rankings by well-known publications like QS World University Rankings (Times Higher Education) and Quacquarelli Symonds. You can then choose the top universities in your chosen country to create a shortlist of 10-12 universities ideal for you.
- The course details
While most colleges offer the same final qualification, their examination patterns, credit requirement, and syllabus patterns are different. Once you’ve narrowed down the list according to international rankings, investing time in looking through course catalogs is worthwhile. What units do they teach in the course? What are the assignment requirements? The answer to these questions will help you understand how much pressure you will have during the term.
A more straightforward method to evaluate
The simplest way to create a shortlist is to create a pros and cons list. You can also include other deciding factors about the university or the country. For example, the university provides direct admission to the Master’s program. The university is in an easy-to-travel location. These pros and cons can help you find universities that are suitable according to your requirements.
Tip 4: Decide according to your budget.
For all students aiming to study abroad, budget is a deciding factor. When you first search for “best country to study abroad,” you may get a million hits, but only a few of these will suit your budget. Therefore deciding your financial standing is an important step that should not avoid.
You should ask yourself two questions:
- How many funds do you have?
This entails determining your current financial standing. Can you fund the living costs in the country along with the tuition? Is your family ready to invest money for your education?
- Are you ready to get an education loan?
Anyone can apply for an education loan. But are you eligible for one? You should visit your local bank to determine your eligibility for an education loan.
Instead of looking at the total tuition, you should look at the expense of living in each country. You should include day-to-day living expenses like food, accommodation, transportation cost, etc. This will help you get a clear idea of how much you’re expected to spend.
Tip 5: Understand the eligibility criteria for each university
Universities in the US, UK, and Canada need students to complete English Proficiency Tests like IELTS and TOEFL. On the other hand, German and Japanese universities require students to pass proficiency tests for national languages. You may need to give other international examinations like SAT, GRE, or GMAT. Research which examinations you’re required to pass for each university.
Most universities also have cut-offs based on CGPA or percentage. These may not be the same for local and international students. When you visit a university’s website, you may find a different section for international students. This section will give a gist of what the requirements for admission are.
If you don’t find a separate section, don’t assume the requirements are the same. Instead, contact the university using an e-mail or phone to confirm these details.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list and understood the basic requirements, you can start the application process. Completing the five steps given above ensures you’ve made a well-informed decision. And now, you can rely 100% on the decision you’ve taken! So, you can start preparing for the examination and start packing your bags!