Determining if Studying Abroad is right for you

Often students get romantic ideas about studying abroad. To determine if study in another country is suitable for you, as a student, it is vital to look at all aspects and alternatives. The decision is not an easy one, though it can be made easier by examining the reasons why education abroad appeals and what use it will service practically in your future.

*Course options and alternatives.

*Language possibilities.

*Relevance to career objectives.

*Reputation of College or University.

*Cost associated with the study abroad.

Course options and alternatives.

When a student decides to take up studies, they usually do with with a direct goal, aimed towards their future. Looking at what local or country wide colleges and universities offer is a wise move before jumping into the romantic idea that study in a foreign country offers more. It is worth comparing colleges to see what majors they offer and what opportunities. A sound decision cannot be made simply based on searching through foreign options.

Comparing like for like is vital. Make lists of what different academic establishments offer, and checklists which suit the criteria of your career objectives.

Language possibilities.

If the reason for wanting to study abroad is language related, then what is worth thinking about is whether you have the basic language skills to cope with being taught in another language. Often there is a difference between being taught language by English speaking teachers and being submerged in a society which speaks that language. While submersion has its obvious benefits to the language learner, this can be stilted by insufficient knowledge to enable the student to understand, and to make the most of full immersion.

Relevance to career objectives.

Many careers offer more opportunities to students who have a knowledge of language skills, and social awareness of other cultures. Other careers will depend upon which University was chosen and for what reason. Talk to educational resources to find out which choice is the wisest to make, since this may change your mind about wanting to study abroad. For certain subjects, perhaps the best and most respected courses emanate from another country, and these are worthwhile exploring to help balance the decision.

Reputation of college/university.

Looking into the academic background of chosen colleges or universities is vital. While the brochures may be inviting, what is their track record? Look into the past history of successes, and the kind of courses they offer which are relevant to your chosen career. There may be better alternatives nearer to home, which are every bit as viable.

Cost associated with study abroad.

Those students who have adequate funds not to worry are rare. Living abroad will cost money. It is vital to discuss what these costs will be. This isn’t just the cost of university itself. The costs will include a cost of living allowance to cover the period you are away, as well as expenses for necessary books, accommodation and social life.

These are the hardest criteria to establish, and it is worthwhile discussing this with parents, or finding some manner to fund the study, before the study in a foreign country can be considered viable. It is idealistic to guess that you can indeed find work in another country. It may be easy, though remember that in the workplace you will be competing with others who have the language of that country learned from childhood.

Making the final decision should include all of the criteria listed above, before any decision is made. Once these have been explored, the student will be able to make a wise decision based on fact rather than upon speculation.