Study Abroad

Austin Brown lists 10 tips to keep in mind before opting for study abroad

Studying abroad is an important aspect of a well rounded off education. Aspirants should be well-prepared to face many things apart from language and cultural barrier. Below are points which you should take into account before you decide to study abroad:

RESEARCH

Choose the right course as per your interest and previous study. The chance of finding the perfect match can be a difficult task as there are thousands of universities across the globe offering similar courses. This will require a lot of research. The research should be based on:

  • Do you want some specific modules to be a part of the course?
  • A popular course?
  • Do you want a course with more practical subjects, theory or research?
  • Duration of the course?
  • Ideal work placement?
  • Subject rankings?

The more research you put in the process, the more likely it is for you to get the right choice for you. Once you have decided the course and university you would want to study in, it is likely that you would put more efforts to get into it.

COUNTRY COMPARISON

Choosing the right country is very important based on below factors which you and your parents would like to keep in mind like:

  • Distance from India
  • Connectivity
  • Safety
  • Climatic conditions

MONEY MATTERS

Before you commit on a course estimate how much you will spend on study abroad. There are various options available to study like public universities, private universities, public colleges and private colleges. The cost of tuition fees will vary for each category of institution. The living expenses will vary depending upon the country and the city.

SCHOLARSHIPS/BURSARIES

Many universities or colleges and external organisations offer various kinds of scholarships in full and part to funds their studies and also the cost of living.

JOBS/EARNING WHILE LEARNING

Look of blue collar jobs which can offer you an opportunity to work part-time while you study and can earn money for your pocket money.  You’ll earn money while you learn new skills to add to your CV and impress future employers

PLACEMENT

Compare universities on the basis of employability support offered to international students and links with industry for your area of expertise. Universities offer one-to-one appointments with their experienced careers advisers via phone, email or face to face to help you choose the right course and career. This support is available to you before you join the university, throughout your studies and after you graduate too. The support given is in form of arranging workshops to help you develop essential job-related skills and make you more appealing to future employers.

SERVICES

Universities offer a wide variety of international student services both before you reach and after you register at the university. These services provide support about visa and immigration policies and help you to settle in a new country.

STUDENT LIFE

Every university has diverse cultural societies to suit your interest. The Students’ Union offers a huge range of societies, from alternative dance, music to animal welfare and also have course-specific societies where you can meet people who are studying similar subjects to you. Any student can join a society, and new members are always welcomed. Being prepared for a completely different culture and way of living is important and these small but supportive communities can definitely help you settle down and make new friends.

LOCATION

Depending upon your interest whether you like to stay in a calm small town, like busy city life or a beach town decides on the place before you apply. These factors play an important role in decision-making.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS/ VISA POLICIES

It goes without saying that a current passport will be required in order to enter a foreign country and to return home. However, many countries require a student visa. If your destination country requires a visa, be sure to apply well in advance of your expected departure. Delay in these documents/visa application might lead to missing important deadlines.

ACCOMMODATION

Once you decide on the university, ensure that you apply for an accommodation well in advance. There are various types of accommodation available depending upon you requirements and budget. Most of the universities offer student accommodation at the campus or nearby but you can also explore options of staying in private accommodation sharing with your friends.

(The writer is regional director, International Development, Anglia Ruskin University, UK)

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