Thought opting to study abroad was the biggest decision you would ever have to make? Wrong! Get ready for an even harder one of where to be heading for it.
Be warned-this could require even more time and effort than the latter! All study destinations might seem equally appealing to you at this point and you might be tempted to just haphazardly pick one from the list and get it done with! Right? We would like to stop you right there and give you a few pointers to guide you out of your state of confusion.
Don’t Rush It!
It is quite common that when it comes to studying abroad, your first impulse is to pick the country and think that this is all there is to it. If only it were that simple! There is more to location than that, you have to realise that you will have to live in this place for the next three to four years and the personality of the place should be one that you will enjoy. For that kind of right fit, you will be required to do a ton of research before jumping to a conclusion. At this day and age, you will find numerous sources online so don’t hold back — Google away for basics about the country! Take your time; this is definitely not something that can be decided overnight.
If it has been your long-held dream to live in a specific country or location, such as The Big Apple (NYC), USA, you can go ahead and start your research about that area and the various popular institutions and programs there to see if they have what you are looking to study.
The Destination Personality!
Would you prefer taking up study in a common destination that has been preferred by Indian students over the past few recent years? Top ten destinations that Indian students prefer presently are found to be the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Singapore, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
If you’re not interested in these, we suggest you have a look at some of the less conventional destinations from across the globe in countries such as, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. You will experience a tantalizing mix of culture, history, languages, and food — each country has something special to offer. It is up to you to decide which is better, depending on your preferences such as big cities or small towns.
The Native Language!
Would you be comfortable being in an English speaking environment or a non-English speaking environment? Depending on this, you can narrow down your list of destination countries. It is crucial that you run a check and see if your program preference or subject area is available in popular Universities in the countries you have shortlisted.
Let’s now get down to the Universities-search. How do you determine which Universities are the best? The QS World University Rankings are one such reliable source. This is not to say that you should rely solely on these rankings, you must combine this data with your research, your interests and ambitions for the final pick.
Are You Funded?
The USA, the UK, Australia, Singapore or any other country that you choose will have varied living costs so know your facts well before making your pick.
You must also consider how much the University will be able to help you financially, in terms of scholarships or financial aid. Get all details of the education loan sorted out, based on program fees and living expenses. You might want to check how many hours you will be able to work part-time in the country the University is in, or if the University offers students on-campus part-time jobs (which could be very helpful for you financially).
If you need any details and are not sure of how to acquire the information, you can e-mail the University or just give their international admissions office a call. List down your choice of programs, their respective fees, and the kind of funding available. Some Universities even help you get in touch with students of the same nationality as you, currently studying in the University, for you to talk to, regarding accommodation, fee structures, and many more important aspects.
Start planning your finances well — approach banks and check their interest rates. If you have reliable contacts in your study destination, see if you can arrange for a local loan there and pay a lower interest rate and in the same foreign currency (to stay worry-free of the constantly changing exchange rates).
For programs you are interested in, check out employment prospects. What kind of career options will be available to you, on completion of the program? What would the average starting salaries for these options be? Analyse all these factors well and generally take an effort to know what the job market is like and the current career trends in your study destination.
Your academic performance and your scores in various tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS will play an important role in determining which University you are going to get into. If you are unhappy with any of your scores and are to retake any of these tests, you can still apply with the score you are expecting and make arrangements for the University to get to know your score, once the results are out.
You can also enrol with an embassy and get reliable information to base your decision on.
In short, we advise you to check out the current list of popular Indian student destinations, consider if English is the native language there, keep your test scores in mind, and know the job market of the specific country, while choosing your study destination. Simple enough? And you thought picking out the best study abroad location was a nearly impossible task! Well-what can we say- sometimes it’s good to be wrong.
If, however, you still find yourself going endlessly in circles and unable to arrive at a decision, we, at Hotcourses India, will be happy to help you find the best course and University in line with your interests.
We’ve been helping students with finding the right course since 1996 and work with over 200 Universities around the world including US, UK & Australia. Waste no more precious time and get in touch with us NOW!