The process of going abroad for pursuing further studies is one that is fraught with challenges as well as rewards, if done properly. The process starts pretty early depending on when it is that you want to go abroad, whether it is at the bachelors level, or the masters level or the doctoral level, or sometimes, even later (post-doctoral and the like).
In each case, the process is so lengthy, that it commensurately starts almost a year before the actual commencement of the classes. What makes it even more confusing is the myriad of different terms used by universities in different countries essentially for the same thing, the arrangement of funds and the process associated with that, and the fact that you are most likely going to visit a country that is very far from your home country and for most people, this poses a huge challenge as well, and rightfully so – who wants to leave their family and go?
Still, if we consider the number of students who move from their home country to others for pursuing further studies, and this is particularly true for home countries that are developing as against home countries that are developed (although students going abroad from developed countries to pursue further studies also constitute a significant number), it’s quite a large coterie indeed.
So what influences the decision of going abroad for further studies? What are the factors that people think of while making the decision and taking the plunge? This article aims to provide you with the pros and cons of studying abroad.
First let us look at the pros:
- The tuition fees can be covered using funds obtained in many cases. Grants, funds, scholarships, whatever you call them, are available in significant amounts. These generally help to cover the tuition fees or part of them and also help to cover living expenses to a great extent. As a result, a lot of the anxiety associated with arranging funds is removed and it becomes easier for the student to concentrate on the courses and obtain a world-class education (the reason for choosing the university abroad in the first place).
- Employment opportunities may be improved. This is particularly applicable to students from developing countries. After pursuing their studies abroad, it generally becomes easier for them to procure a much higher paying job that they would have been able to do had they remained in their home countries. The currency in which they will earn may also be stronger, and this most definitely can act as a lure.
- Developing a stronger social network. If you go abroad to study, chances are you will have a more diversified peer group than what you have in your home country. You will get to experience a wider variety of people, cultures and practices. This most often has a very good effect on people in not only making them more mature and worldly-wise, but also more complete human beings with well-rounded experiences. You may also be able to develop international professional contacts with greater eas
Now lets look at the cons:
- The cost associated may be higher than if you had remained in your home country for your education. But like mentioned in the pros section, if you can obtain funding, this cost is reduced to a significant extent.
- If you are going to a country where the classes will be taken in a foreign language, you may have difficulty in coping up. This is obvious. However, this problem can be side-stepped if you plan early and learn the language of the country you will be applying to, before applying.
- There may be difficulty in adjusting to a new place. Some people thrive in a varied peer group, some find it difficult to cope. If you are among the latter, you may need to take serious steps if you have indeed set your mind upon going abroad to study.