Published by Thuy Vo, EGE Staff Writer Friday, December 15, 2017

Careers after 12: Choosing to study abroad for your undergraduate degree, three things to consider

Study Abroad offers the students an opportunity for better access to quality education and research, international exposure and a better future. While traditionally students used to travel abroad for their higher studies, more and more students are opting for studying abroad directly after their class 12th. With the internet and more interactions with universities abroad, information is easily accessible and changing the perception. Students are even opting to pursue engineering abroad instead of picking the IITs. So, how do you start with choosing to study abroad for your undergraduate degree?

Like any decision, choosing to study abroad requires careful planning and research. Perhaps more so because the cost of studying abroad is considerably higher than studying in the country. However, if you factor in scholarship opportunities then the cost of studying abroad (though still more) can be compared to travelling to a Tier 1 city for your graduation from a private institute. Easier access to study loans, better networking opportunities and a far better quality of education can tilt the scales very much in favour of studying abroad. But how do you start?

Choose the Subject or course you wish to pursue

The first thing to do while planning a study abroad is to understand the subject you are interested in pursuing. Most of the students and even study abroad consultants plan it wrong and start with the country. What is more important than the choice of country is the subject you are interested in. The reasons are twin fold. Firstly, every country is a better study abroad destination for a particular subject. For instance, while USA is an excellent choice for technical subjects and pretty much for STEM, United Kingdom, UK would be a better destination for language studies. Similarly, France may be a better country to consider if your inclination is towards Creative Arts, etc. Hence, the first thing a student ought to do is figure out which subject they really wish to study.

The second reason for choosing the subject is that some of the countries abroad have a specific requirement for a few subjects. For example, not all countries would be even offering an undergraduate course in medicine and some may require students to clear another specific examination. Hence, choosing the subject is the first thing all students or aspirants must do.

Understand and choose the country you wish to study in

The next thing to do is choose the country. There are factors that a student should assess. Cost of living and studying in the country, the safety of foreign students, the climate of the country and how the country ranks overall as a study abroad destination. While some countries are usually the top rated because of the popularity, for example, USA, there are other options which students ignore. There are many studies abroad destinations like Singapore, Netherlands, Canada and even Hong Kong which can offer world-class education at a much lower cost. Even European countries like Sweden, Germany, France are offering extended visas to students, making them a more favourable destination. Visas of the country are also an important aspect which should be considered. Student visas for different countries allow students different priveledges. These must be understood before a student finalizes a country.

Go through the top Universities offering the subject and plan a budget

The final thing to do is to shortlist the top universities offering the course in the country of your choice and plan a budget. Every college would have a different tuition fee, there would be a different cost of living and then there is the option of scholarships and education loan. While scholarships cannot be guaranteed, students have to ensure that they select the colleges which would match the budget constraints while offering the best education possible.

These simple three steps are the preliminary steps. What follows is starting the admission process, applying to universities and completing the formalities. So, if you wish to study abroad, start with these simple steps. The rest would be fairly easy.