Students having a group study session
Studying abroad can be complicated and overwhelming. However, the advantages of studying abroad are so many, such as having constructive group study sessions, traveling, and more. (Source: Unsplash)

Are you planning to study abroad but unsure what it includes? Well, you aren’t the only one. The process of studying abroad may seem a bit intimidating.

However, studying for a master’s or bachelor’s degree overseas is a breeze if you know how to prep and what steps to take.

To help you study abroad, we have penned an easy-to-follow and comprehensive guide. Want to go overseas for higher studies? This guide is for you! Read on!

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Why Study Abroad?

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Why do students study abroad? There are many reasons like it will look good on the CV, they can improve their language abilities, meet diverse people, make life-long friends, discover exciting and new foods, gain independence and more. (Source: Unsplash)

Studying overseas is a worldwide phenomenon, with learners crossing oceans, continents, and countries to obtain the best possible education.

But why do students study abroad? Why has choosing a college or university in another country become increasingly popular?

Believe it or not, the advantages of studying abroad are many, from increasing your chances of securing a prosperous future to enhancing social life and more.

Still unsure? Here are a few convincing benefits of studying abroad:

  • You’ll experience different cultures
  • High-quality education
  • Learn new languages
  • Wide career opportunities
  • International traveling
  • Become independent

Decide How Much You’re Willing To Spend

One dollar and a bunch of coins
Though the benefits of studying abroad are many, you still have to think carefully before applying as numerous factors are involved. The big one is how much you’re willing to spend on your education (Source: Unsplash)

Studying overseas is plenty of things like challenging, life-changing, exciting, empowering, but not at all cheap.

Although indeed, some countries are more reasonable than others, it’s always better to know how much you’re prepared to spend from the start.

The tuition fee for master’s and bachelor’s programs varies considerably, but you can find a program within your budget.

Here’s a tuition fee range for bachelor’s programs:

  • up to $5794.58/year
  • Between $5794 and $11589.16/year
  • Between $11589 and $23178.32/year
  • Over $23178 per year

Here’s a tuition fee range for master’s programs:

  • Up to $6000/year
  • Between $6000 and $12000 per year
  • Between $12000 and $24000/year
  • Over $24000/year

Make sure to add the living expenses as well in the tuition fee to get a complete picture. To save funds for studying abroad, consider working part-time or as a freelancer.

Based on the country and city where you’ll dwell, get ready to spend anywhere from $350 to $1200 and more per month easily.

Studying Abroad Tips & Tricks

Here are some helpful studying abroad tips as well as tricks to consider when planning to study overseas:

  • Some countries with huge tuition fees include the USA, Australia, UK, Canada, and Singapore
  • Student grants are one of the most effective means to meet education expenses. However, you’ve to choose it wisely as most students grieve this decision, primarily in America, because they have to return the money even if they don’t graduate or drop out
  • You can even work during your studies, however only part-time. This increases your stress level. In case you think of doing this, ensure to adhere to the rules as well as norms; in most countries, an international student can work only for specific hours per week
  • Public colleges and universities in some countries such as Germany and Norway provide free degrees (no tuition fee) to international students, irrespective of their ethnicity and nationality
  • Students from “European Economic Area (EEA)” and “European Union (EU)” can pursue free education in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark
  • Some universities (primarily public) in Austria and France provide study programs for under $2900/year to international students

Determine What You Intend To Study

Some students know what they want to become, while others discover down the road, primarily in high school. However, for some, deciding what to study is still unclear even days before applying.  

One thing you can do is to pick from the most prevalent disciplines. This way, you’ll study a program with high demand in the employment market offering an attractive salary.

However, opting for a program you don’t fancy for monetary gains isn’t the wisest decision.

Taking this into account, here are a few widely popular disciplines among international students:

  • Law
  • Psychology
  • IT
  • Computer Science
  • Business & Management
  • International Relations
  • Engineering
  • Medicine

Here are some other helpful ways to determine what field matches your character:

  • Take personality tests to assess the area best suited for you
  • Consider what you love doing even without external rewards
  • Look to role models and consider if you want to do something similar to what they did
  • Read reviews from students of several disciplines to have a better picture of the curricula, the effort needed, and the result of studies
  • Take out the disciplines you don’t like to study; unknowing what you want often frees the room to find what you crave
  • Look at different job descriptions, opportunities available, and career paths. Which ones entice you most?
  • Take a year off! Spend a year volunteering abroad or at home, or get a junior-level job

Determine Where You Intend To Study

Your favorite discipline and budget have a significant influence on where you’ll study abroad. However, there are numerous other reasons you’ve to ponder before opting for a country.

Here are some questions and recommendations that will assist you in narrowing down the search:

  • Are you prepared to pursue your studies in countries where English isn’t the primary language?
  • Do you plan to work while studying? If so, check countries that have favorable rules and regulations for international learners
  • How important are extracurricular activities and social life to you?
  • What city do you intend to dwell in? Quiet city? Or a big city?
  • Are you prepared to commute?
  • Do you plan to continue your studies in a state that’s comparatively closer to your homeland?
  • Do you enjoy traveling? If so, choose a country that has a wide variety of opportunities and connections in this course?
  • Make sure to opt for two to three ideal destinations. Afterward, start comparing their advantages and disadvantages
  • Take numerous country tests

In case you’ve applied to multiple universities in different countries, the final pick may not be at your disposal.

For example, you have sent applications to various universities in Finland, Germany, and the UK. However, only universities in Finland accepted you, even though the UK was your ideal place to study.

Always remember this, and don’t forget to give it a chance! After all, as the famous saying goes: when one door shuts, another opens!

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Choose Your Favorite Study Programs And Match Them

You’ve reached a point where the discipline and country you plan to study are known. Congratulations!

But now, the challenging question: which study program should you opt for? Every university provides one or more study programs in a similar discipline.

Every program has particular curricula and different academic goals. As a result, you’ve to be extra cautious before picking.

This is because you certainly don’t wish to realize, halfway through the first session, that you’ve chosen the wrong program.

The best and the easiest way to prevent this is by checking the program’s overview or courses list. Then, carefully note things you’ll learn and how.

That’s because some degree programs have more emphasis on theories, while others focus on practices.

If you’ve got any questions regarding the program curricula or courses, ask the university staff without any hesitation. University reps will gladly answer your queries.

Some other elements that you need to look at include:

Study Duration

Most bachelor’s degree programs take about three to four years to finish, whereas master’s degree programs usually take one or two years at most.

However, there are a few exceptions! Highly specialized fields can take five to six years. It also raises your costs, so don’t ignore this factor.

Part-Time Or Full-Time

Every method has its advantages. For example, part-time studies provide you a chance to work alongside studies and look out for your other duties.

On the other hand, full-time will take a shorter time to finish and enable you to enjoy the on-campus experience fully.

Apply At Several Universities

Even if you’ve got an impressive motivation essay or letter and high grades, apply to more than one university.

True, you may get accepted; however, what if you don’t? That’s why it’s always best to apply to two or three universities at least.

Apply to as many universities as you like, but bear in mind some countries allow international students to apply to very few universities.

The application process is much easier if you’re applying for higher studies in a similar country; however, it’s common for pupils to pick universities from diverse countries.

Just ensure to read the conditions for admission and adhere to the procedure:

  • Some countries utilize a centralized system through which students apply to several universities; elsewhere, you’ll have to apply separately to every university
  • Some universities require your document’s digital copies only, while others may ask for physical copies as well as digital copies

Here are some of the best international universities to consider:

  • Harvard university
  • Stanford university
  • Yale university
  • University of Oxford
  • Imperial College of London
  • Kyoto University
  • University PSL
  • Monash University
  • Tsinghua University
  • Peking University
  • Cornell University
  • The University of Sydney
  • Lund University
  • KU Leuven
  • Sorbonne University
  • Korea University

Pass The English Language Exam If You’ve Not Already

To pursue studies in English-taught programs at a college or university abroad, the first thing you’ll need is an English language certificate.

Here are some of the popular certificates that most universities require:

  • C1 advanced
  • TOEFL
  • IELTS
  • PTE

You’ve to pass any of the above exams before you apply to a university. However, based on your English language skills, you may give the test within a few weeks of prep.

However, if you believe your English needs improvement, then take some months to prep.

International English tests assess four primary skills:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening

Although the format may vary, it includes listening to orators with diverse accents, writing essays and letters, answering questions depending on various kinds of texts, multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and more.

Don’t treat these exams superficially! All four segments will assess your vocabulary, grammar, understanding, and several other skills.

The best way to ace these tests is to know the exam format and practice long enough!

Apply For Different Scholarships

This stage relates to your university application as well as the budget part. Wondering why?

That’s because, in some instances, you’ll have to apply for scholarships during your application; in some other cases, applying for scholarships will be afterward of your application.

When it comes to scholarships, know that there are various kinds of aid programs that you can avail of:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Military aid
  • Student loans

You’ll have to pay back some of these aids, while others, such as grants or scholarships, don’t. To qualify for grants and scholarships, you’ll need to meet admission requirements, which can vary and involve a variety of conditions.

Some are given based on monetary need, others due to academic achievement or research purposes, etc.

Enjoy Exploring The World As You Study!

The most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun as well! Don’t be afraid to dream.

However, to help kickstart your process and make it more foolproof, consider hiring a tutor from Superprof who can help guide you on various entrance tests for overseas universities.

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