Things to consider if you want to study abroad
You’re officially out of high school, and you are now waiting for your SPM or STPM results to be out with this question at the back of your head “So, what’s next?” Whether you are pursuing a foundation course of a degree course, there’s always another question after you have decided on what course you will be studying, and that is – “Should I study in a local college/university or should I study abroad?” Studying abroad can be a powerful and life changing experience. With so many courses available to you out there, it is crucial that you take time to carefully think about what you want to achieve out of this experience, if studying abroad is what you want to do. Use these following questions as a guideline to help you consider your goals and motives of wanting to study abroad.
Why do you want to study abroad?
Don’t be surprised when I tell you that not everyone who decides to study abroad is solely because they want to pursue their education. There are many reasons as to why students choose to study abroad. Some may be motivated to learn a new language or improve language skills, while the others may want to study abroad to enhance their resume, experience new cultures, meet new people, travel, or to fulfill certain course requirements. Think through your motives, and consider which is most important to you.
What academic subjects do you want to study?
Certain universities specialize in certain subjects. What subjects are you planning to take? Do a thorough research on the web to see if the course you are interested in is available in which university/country. Examine each program in which you are interested in, then check if that program offers you the courses or subjects you wish to take.
What is the language of instruction?
While most of the programs are taught in English, some programs will require fluency in the native language of the host country. Be sure to check the language of instruction for the program which you are interested in, and check if you are required to take up any foreign language courses before entering into their university. This will help to prepare you for what’s to come by bridging the language barrier, should there be any.
How long are you planning to study abroad?
Many students know very well that they want to study abroad, but have no idea how long. There are many options available to students these days. Students now have the option of choosing to be abroad for one whole academic year, a month, a 5-week summer session or a 15-week semester. Decide on how long you are willing to stay abroad for studies purposes, and decide on a program which suits your decided duration.
How much is the program fee?
One of the reasons why people take a longer time to decide to study abroad compared to the time they take to decide on pursuing their diploma or degree locally is mainly due to the cost of the program. A program fee is an important factor which every student should take into consideration when reviewing study abroad options. It is important for you to carefully research and examine what is and what is not included in the program fee. Know what you are paying for. Every university offers different subjects and courses in their programs. Take time to compare program costs to see which is more reasonable and affordable according to your financial capability.
Ask yourself the questions above, and start short listing the programs in which you are most interested in. It is also a good idea to seek your parents or school counselors/teachers for advice while you make the decision. But never forget that ultimately the decision is in your hands, because you are your own future shaper.
Don't foeget to check out all the pros and cons for Study in Malaysia vs. study abroad.
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