Here are 7 Important Factors to Consider Before Applying to Colleges Abroad.
With learning opportunities from across the globe available in most countries, especially the developed nations of the world, it has become easier for students and parents to pick an internationally accredited study programme. However, the exposure and excitement of leaving the nest to study abroad is in a league and standard of its own. Making such decision is often based on the big picture, but here are a few important details to consider when choosing to study out of your beloved country.
- Be Specific
When one looks to study abroad, you must be specific about where you want to pursue the course you are determined to study. It is not just the country, be sure about the city and the people as well. Also, consider the lifestyle, weather and surrounding you want to experience during your stay. Decide whether you want to live in a cosmopolitan city or a quieter small town where life is more relaxed and suitable. Whether in a place of adventure or a non tourist area.
- Be Informed
A student must consider the reputation of the institution he chooses to attend, along with the research impact and employment opportunities of the desired course of study. Sometimes an institution with an overall high ranking might not be the best option for a particular programme. So, it’s worthwhile to do a thorough research, perhaps from an educational counselor to learn about the best options for a certain programme.
A student must also include his future plans for post-graduation and international working experience in his decision. Countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand offer post-graduation work right, which allow a student to get a job after completing their studies and possibly get permanent residency after sometime having good social record. He should also make research on whether there is racial or religion discrimination in the target area of study.
- New Experiences
Being a student abroad is not just about studying, it is also about living in a new country, enriching your life by learning about local cultures. Try new things, new meals and explore the new environment. Walk around and be familiar with your new residence, manage your use of mobile when walking around, dress in a similar way to people who live there, particularly the indigene.
Get to know a bit about the history of the people and the place. Brief knowledge of their law is also important. For example, in some Muslim countries notably the Gulf Nation (Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates), it is forbidden under the law to eat or drink in public during the day in the month of Ramadan regardless of your faith. This attracts huge fine if found guilty.
Learn a few words of the dominant local language for basic communication.
- Health is Wealth
Before the thought of traveling abroad to study, one should consider his health. You have to be considerably healthy particularly without suffering from a disease, virus, or any deadly sickness. It is an incontrovertible fact that you cannot study when you are not healthy. However, if you must study abroad because of a reason or the other, it is wise to choose a place where there are specialists who can take care of your illness.
Some people are used to a particular lifestyle which makes them find it challenging to adapt to the system of a new environment. For instance, an alcohol addict will be bored in countries where alcohol or beer is not sold or restricted and a clubber will struggle in a country that does not allow clubbing. So, this is worth considering.
- Extras Count
Some students are very clear on their extra-curricular requirements within and outside their study times. It is necessary to weigh the available choices and take into account whether these would be paid or unpaid activities as it can measurably influence the finances. When American-Lebanese athlete Christopher R. Helou Decos, 21, set out to study sport conditioning, rehabilitation and massage at the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK, he commended the facilities at the campus.
“I had to have a fully equipped gym with facilities that would support my passion for gymnastics. I am enjoying the place and adapting to its weather patterns – the cold is a rather small price to pay when this is the only place that offers this unique programme.” He said.
- Budget Matters
When a child studies abroad, parents must be aware of the additional costs that can surface over time. The overall budget is often far more than just tuition, upkeep and accommodation rent. It is wise to consider visa and ticket fares to and from home to the place of learning, time difference between school city and where parents are based. It is as well intelligent to set aside some amount for emergencies. The student too should be frugal with spending.
I hope this compilation of what to consider before taking that huge step help in your decision making process. Best of luck!
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