Making a decision to study abroad is a like any other major life decision for college students. There are a lot of things that factor in when considering where to go for studying abroad. The decision requires a lot of thought and self-reflection. And with a large number of study, abroad programs available for college students there is a lot of confusion among students. Often, a lot of them can be seen asking the question, 'which one's best for me?' If you feel that you are one of these people then worry not. For, in this article, we have discussed some important factors to consider in when deciding upon the right study abroad program for yourself. Remember, making a well thought-out decision before choosing your study abroad program can help ensure that you get the most out of your endeavor.
Why do you want to study abroad?
The first question that you need to answer when deciding upon the right course for yourself is, 'why do you want to study abroad?' A clear, well-defined answer to this question will help you identify the type of experience and program you are looking for. It will also help you form a clear image of what you are looking to gain from your time abroad. Try to come up with at least a minimum of 4-5 reasons that are your motivation for studying abroad.
Once this question is answered now is the time to shortlist colleges or universities on some broad factors like the ones mentioned below.
Choose the course
The first and the foremost thing to decide upon for studying abroad is to shortlist the course that you want to study. You need to be absolutely clear upon this as there are a lot of factors to consider in when going to study abroad. And if you are unclear even about the subject that you wish to study then you are highly unlikely to decide or shortlist any colleges or universities in time for starting the admission process. And if you feel like you are having a hard time deciding, then try to answer these questions -
• Which subject do you enjoy the most?
• What skill-sets are you hoping to gain from your higher studies?
• What career field are you looking to build a career in?
Answering these questions will automatically rule out a lot of colleges and universities thus, reducing your options manifolds. But the good thing is that you'll be able to pick a college based on the course that you are interested in.
Identify your essential requirements
You can further narrow down your search by listing down some essential consideration points unique to you. Like for some people, it could be the teaching language. For example, you are looking for an automobile engineering course, now what better place there could be than Germany to pursue such a course. But mind you, most of the colleges and universities in Germany teach in the German language even the best of them. Sure, there are universities that teach in English but they are few and not such big names. Other reasons could be that you are looking for a country where you know a local person, the cost of living, or the hours it takes on the flight back home etc. Since these factors are unique to your personal requirements you have to decide upon which ones are non-negotiable for you and where there is scope for compromise.
Attend University Fairs or Open Days
This is a very common event at a majority of international universities. Choosing a university is quite a tedious task especially for international students as for them most of the research is done online or through university brochures and talking to university representatives over the phone. But, there is no doubt in the fact that the best option is always to see the place for yourself. And attending university fairs or open days gives you this chance to experience the university culture first hand. But this can be a little difficult for international students. However, if you have narrowed down your choices are looking quite confidently at one or two options then if possible it's always advised to attend their open day's session. But remember to inform the university beforehand and reserve yourself a seat.
Location is one of the biggest aspects when looking at study abroad programs. Make sure that you have researched about the country and the city that you'd be going to. Look up the language spoken there are you comfortable with it for not every country has English as their main language. Look up its culture, the food available there, and also the cost of living there. Talk to people who have stayed or are living in the countries that you are looking to. Ask them for the advice about choosing a study abroad program there, what challenges would you face and some useful tips to overcome them.
Scholarships are one of the major concerns for a lot of students going to study abroad. Make sure that you check out the scholarship rules of the college or university that you are deciding upon. Different universities have different rules and regulations when it comes to scholarships for international students. Check if you are qualifying for one, how much GPA would be required to maintain to be eligible for scholarships. One can also explore private scholarships offered by a lot of big corporates, government and even NGO's and such. Like, for example, if you are looking to study in UK then you can visit the British Council website for some attractive scholarships for Indian students.
This is another major factor to consider in, 'how much of independence do you desire abroad?' Although many college students consider themselves independent and are quite eager to explore the world on their own, the challenges of studying abroad are many and not easy. You are moving to a different country, a new culture, an environment completely different to what you are used to. In such a scenario, its often good to know a local person it could be a family friend, relatives living abroad or even a senior in college. While some students prefer to go to places where they know someone others want to steer completely clear of them. You have got to decide what's your preference.
Hope these tips and tricks will help you pick the right study abroad course for yourself. And for more such tips and other information on study abroad program and benefits please visit, www.jagranjosh.com/college. Do share the article with your friends to help them with their queries on study abroad programs.
DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.