Choosing a Study Abroad Destination

Studying Abroad Dec 28, 2021

Studying abroad strengthens diverse perspective, offers new ways to look at the world, open up new possibilities, and gives way to different experiences. At the same time, it also requires putting in a lot: committing to a university without possibly even visiting the country in which it is located, researching the application process, making sure you meet the requirements, figuring out the costs, writing essays or preparing for interviews and admissions tests while also taking other school examinations at the same time. So, before diving into what can often be a tedious process, you need to ensure you are making the right decisions, starting from the destination you choose.

Here are some factors you might want to consider before finalising your study abroad destination.

The Entry Requirements

Will you be required to take any additional tests to meet the requirements of most universities at the destination you're thinking about? Do you have enough time before you apply to prepare for and take those exams? A 'no' to the latter question doesn't necessarily have to eliminate your choice, but it can definitely help put things into perspective. You could think about your other options in case of not fulfilling the requirements, such as taking a gap year or a foundation year.

The Costs

The tuition fee and living expenses can vary drastically depending on the country and sometimes even the city you choose. Some countries offer more scholarships to international students compared to others. Do look into your financial sources and explore your options before firmly deciding on a destination.

The Structure

Are you happy with how examinations and assessments work at your preferred location? What about the course workload? While a transition from high school to university will generally be challenging regardless of the country you choose, sometimes, the gap can be much wider than you initially anticipate, and looking into what to expect could help avoid some disappointment.

Also, the length of courses can vary from one country to another. For example, while most undergraduate courses last for around 4 years in Scotland, they do so only for 3 years in the rest of the UK.  So, do think of how much time you want to and can afford to spend at university.

The Prospects

Do you want to be able to stay in the country you go to study or return back home once you're done with your degree? How does your chosen course fare in your home country, or what are the employment opportunities available abroad? Sure, you should be passionate about what you do, or at least, be interested in your course. But at the same time, do try to see the larger picture, taking your future options into account.

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Ritika Singhal

Senior year student passionate about social justice and inclusive reform | she/her

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