Are you planning to study abroad but don’t know the right study abroad program to pick? Let’s help you with that! This article clearly outlines the factors you need to take note of that’ll help you pick a preferred study abroad program. However, before we explore the tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for important updates.
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Important tips to help choose the right study abroad program
There are many benefits students enjoy when they make up their minds to pursue a degree in universities outside their home countries. However, this doesn’t mean that prospective international students should opt in for any course or any program just to show that they have a degree from any university. Moreover, the education systems in countries differ, so prospective international students will have to be intentional when it comes to picking the right course and the right destination. We have outlined proven steps that will help you choose the right study abroad program in the right destination.
Read also: 5 Challenges Of Studying In The USA
1. Define your goals and objectives
In the words of Dr Greg S. Reid, goal setting is important as “a broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” Having a clearly defined goal helps you make the best decision when you’re faced with different choices. It’s not just enough to hop on the study abroad bandwagon without having what you hope to achieve with it. Your actions should be carefully thought about to help you properly plan. As yourself the questions below to help guide your decisions:
- Why do I want to study abroad?
- How will studying abroad help my career?
- What program should I apply for? (If you’re done with your bachelor’s degree, then you apply for a master’s degree, and if you already have a master’s degree you can opt-in for your PhD)
- What are my career goals for the next 10 years?
- Will my proposed program be useful in helping me find a job when I get back?
- What type of program will help me: Semester, year, summer, or short-term?
All of these and more are some of the introspective questions you should ask yourself. Afterward, write down your goals and your objectives. Let them be clear and achievable. They’ll serve as a reminder along the way.
2. Research Destination Options
Picking the right study destination is also as important as picking the right program to study. You can make a list of the countries you desire to travel to, then proceed to pick the best option. Alternatively, you can research the best places to study your desired course abroad and then pick the best options that suit you. Also, you can pick a study-abroad destination based on university rankings. After choosing the destination and the school, you must read about the country to familiarize yourself with the culture. This will help to mentally prepare you on what to expect when you get there and how best to fit in.
Read also: 5 Benefits Of Studying Abroad
3. Financial Consideration
Furthermore, another important factor to consider when choosing a study abroad program is the financial aspect. Education thrives on money. A scholar pursuing a PhD interested in research will need lots of money. A student pursuing a master’s program or an undergraduate degree will equally need money. Some of the things international students will need to pay for include:
- Tuition fees
- Accommodate fees
- Application fees
- Monthly allowance
- Book fees
- Payment for standardized exams where necessary
- Other miscellaneous expenses and so on.
Prospective international students use the international students calculator to get an idea of the cost of their education. This will help when looking for a funding source. Some of the funding options available include:
- Student loans.
Some funding sources like scholarships, fellowships, and student loans may cover all the education expenses. However, applying for a student loan means you will have to pay back over an agreed period. Scholarships and fellowships on the other hand will not be paid back. If you desire to fund your study through scholarships or fellowships, then you’ll have to search for the scholarship options that fit your course and your study abroad destination.
4. Language Requirements
Language requirement is another important factor to consider when choosing a study abroad program. A student from an English-speaking country studying in a non-English-speaking country will not find things easy at first and vice versa. They will have to take language classes and first of all, learn the language before any academic activity can take place. You must consider the language before sending your application and processing your visa.
5. Housing and Accommodation
Also, do not forget to consider the housing and accommodation options when contemplating your study abroad program. If you are unable to afford private accommodation or rent a place, then pick a program in a school that offers accommodation in the form of a hostel to students. This will be cheaper than taking an apartment outside school and furnishing it. If you’re considering taking accommodation off campus, you must consider proximity and safety.
6. Application Process and Deadlines
After making a decision, you must consider the application process and the deadline. Applying to a school after the application deadline has closed is of no use. It becomes a waste if you have to pay the application fees. Ensure you do thorough research on the school and the program to keep you informed on the processes. You can also reach out to the support services of the school and the resources available to aid your application process and your study abroad journey. Below is a list of some of the top documents required to study about. It is important to note that these requirements differ based on the school’s request:
- Official Academic Transcripts
- Application Form
- Letter of Recommendation
- English Language Proficiency Test Scores
- Statement of Purpose
- Test Scores
7. Making the Final Decision
Finally, after settling for the most suitable program and school, it’s time to act! Start sending out applications. It’s possible for you to also apply to more than one school so you have a variety of options to pick from. Remember that it’s important to thoroughly consider all the factors listed above before making a decision. This will help you prepare for emergencies and enhance your study abroad process.
Do you desire to start a career in STEM? The first thing is to pursue a degree in STEM. Wondering how to go about pursuing a postgraduate degree in STEM courses abroad? We can guide you through your journey and make your dreams come true. Reach out to us at EdXtra to access opportunities that will help you on your journey.
Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to study abroad due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career.
MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require any cosigner or collateral before application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consultancy services for international students to help make your journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey.