Are you at that point in life where you must make a decision about your future studies, and are not sure whether to study abroad or in your own country? Many students ask themselves this question, and it can be confusing indeed. Studying abroad means leaving your comfort zone and stepping into the unknown. You will be far away from the safety of your family and friends, and possibly all alone in a new country that is completely alien to you. But on the other hand, you will have access to excellent educational and research opportunities, and can gain a foreign degree that will be well recognised across the world, ensuring that you have a bright future!
We weigh the pros and cons of overseas study to help you make that all-important decision!
Quite obviously an education abroad will not be cheap. When you add up the cost of tuition, living and accommodation expenses, and your travel up and down it does come to a considerable sum that may not be affordable for many. Today, however, education loans are available which can help you pay up some or all of the costs. Be careful when you take up a bank loan, however—you are the best judge of what you can afford, and you should carefully consider the interest rates, and your capability to repay the loan in the given time.
Bright and deserving students can also apply for the many scholarships that are available, and can get a partial or complete tuition waiver. These scholarships are often given out on first come first served basis, so do your research carefully and find out the dates and requirements to apply for them.
By planning your budget carefully and perhaps taking up a part-time job (if your visa permits this) you can manage your expenses with care.
There are only a handful of institutions such as the IITs and IIMs in India that offer world class education, and admission to these institutions is very difficult indeed. Entrance is granted through highly competitive exams that few are able to clear, and students need to undertake expensive entrance coaching in order to be able to get a seat.
In contrast, there are no entrance exams for colleges abroad, and if you meet the minimum prerequisites you can get admission to a college of your choice.
The degree you will get from a good university abroad will be well recognised and respected in the global industry, and will give you the competitive edge when it comes to your career. Again, if you wish to work overseas then having a foreign degree is usually a requirement. Most countries allow a small extension to the duration of the study visa to allow students to search for a job after completion of their studies. It is no secret that working abroad will help you command a more lucrative pay package as well.
Gain a global outlook
Studying abroad opens up a world of opportunities for you to broaden your world-view and have new experiences. You can develop your personality and gain independence, and will be able to face challenges with confidence. Your exposure to a new culture and lifestyle will help you gain in maturity as well. You will be able to make new friends and perhaps even become fluent in the local language. Connecting with others in your field and keeping in touch with them can help you in your future career. The network you create at this time can stay with you forever.
So, have you made your decision yet? Whatever you choose to do, weigh the drawbacks and benefits carefully and take the right step!