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How to choose where to Study?

Having an experience abroad is seen as indispensable for a student’s resume. More and more students decide to take their studies in a different country. It has been long since universities started to realise the importance of internationalization and the potential it has for both universities and students alike. Choosing where to study abroad is probably the most important decision that students make in their lifetime. There are many details to put into consideration when choosing your study destination. Choosing your subject area can be relatively easy, consider choosing the area you are interested in, or have prior experience in.

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So how do you choose where to study?
You should think about the next set of questions when deciding where to study:

  • What language do you want to study in?
  • What form of education are you looking for?
  • How tough will it be to get a visa?
  • What are the University entry conditions?
  • Which destinations are more cheaper?
  • Are there opportunities for employment after study?
  • Will culture shock be a issue?
Once you have reduced your options based on the language and style of the education you want it’s important to consider the factors that you cannot control. One of these factors is student visas. To put it clearly you can’t travel from home without one!
A student visa is necessary for gaining entry to your chosen destination.
The application process can vary depending on your chosen destination, your citizenship and your intended course of study.
Study language is the most important factor in choosing where to study is the language in which you wish to complete your studies. Making your mind on the language will help you narrow your choice of available study destinations.
If you have picked an English speaking destination you will probably be interested in the top 3. USA, UK, and Australia respectively have the highest number of international students. The UK and USA have an excellent reputation, their institutions account for the top 10 universities in the THE rankings.
Also adding to the top 3, Germany and France are popular destinations for International students. Malaysia, China and Singapore are more recent destinations that are actively chasing International students and have study programmes in English.
The other characteristics outside of your control is your admission to your chosen university. Throughout the application process, you will come across a lot of competition to get entry into the institution of your choice.
If you are seeking an English language education make sure you research the English language requirements. You will be expected to write a language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL.
4) Study Costs
For many students the decision of where to study will simply depend on costs. An overseas education can differ greatly in cost. Not only can the cost differ between country, but also between regions in the same country of study.
It is important to remember that tuition fees are only one of the costs involved with overseas study. You must also put into consideration about accommodation, travel, cost of living and other costs like health services and insurance.
Some destinations such as the UK and Canada offer free health services, so you should also make your research and allow for factors such as these in your calculations.
You can find postgraduate work through overseas education around the world. An education from the US and the UK is highly regarded and will surely improve your chances of finding work.
However, finding work in your destination of choice following your studies can be more difficult. Some countries just like US have strict restrictions on work visas.
The UK have made it easier for international students to work following their studies with the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa. This allows postgraduates to live in the UK for up to 2 years after their study. However, the new UK government are trying to abolish this visa so it is important that you research what visa, if any, you can get following your education in your chosen destination.
Often the most overlooked factor when deciding where to study is culture shock. While culture shock should not put you off pursuing an overseas education it is important that you prepare for it, especially if your chosen destination’s culture varies greatly from your home culture.
Experiencing different cultures is one of the most exciting aspects of an overseas education. This experience can be both personally and professionally rewarding.
Good luck on choosing your study destination.
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