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Study abroad : Subject Guides

5 reasons to study a master’s degree abroad

Wondering if a master's degree abroad is right for you? Here are 5 top reasons why a postgraduate course in another country could benefit you.

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Studying abroad can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, broaden your horizons, experience a new academic culture and learn more about yourself. But studying abroad at undergraduate level is not a possibility for everyone, mainly because of the cost for international students. This could also be because not everyone can commit to a full three years of study in another country. But a master’s degree abroad could be exactly what you’re looking for. To help you decide we’ve explored five key reasons why a postgraduate course abroad could be the right move for you.


1) Gain an international perspective

Studying abroad means mixing with lots of different people and developing an open-mind approach to new ideas, traditions and cultures. This kind of life experience is invaluable for your personal development and also when applying and interviewing for jobs. Many employers’ look for candidates who can demonstrate this cultural and international awareness, so it’s a great asset to have on your CV.


You will also get the chance to network with people from all around the world who share your interests. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and gain inspiration from other peoples’ knowledge and goals. You may even find that studying abroad changes your perceptions and values, therefore altering your ideas of what you want to achieve and who you want to be. Overall, studying abroad exposes you to new ways of living which will develop your acceptance of people and perspectives, which is going to benefit you and those around you.


2) Experience new teaching methods

Every country has its own curriculum, teaching quality and academic standards. This means that your current experience of education could be quite different from someone else’s. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to experience new teaching methods and expectations. At postgraduate level, students are generally expected to work more independently than at undergraduate level which could be a shock at first if you’re not used to that. However, each university will differ in its approach to teaching master’s degree students.


Some classes may encourage debate, critical thinking or independent research. You may also need to adjust to the teacher-student relationship. For example, some universities may encourage close relationships with lecturers, having small class-sizes with regular open discussions, whereas others may have a more formal approach. Adjusting to a new learning environment is excellent experience for broadening your mind and breaking out of your comfort zone.


3) Gain work experience in a new country

In some countries, graduates are awarded the opportunity to remain in their study destination to find work. In Canada for example, if you have studied a course lasting for at least eight months, you may be eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit. Gaining work experience within Canada can then be used when applying for permanent residency if you decide you want to settle there. Want to find out more about international student work rights?


Many students choose to study a master’s degree with the aim of staying to work after graduation as this kind of experience is highly valued by employers. You may also prefer the new lifestyle, average salary, job prospects and quality of life in a particular country as reasons to study there. Of course, it’s not guaranteed that you will be allowed to stay to work after your degree as this does depend on other factors but so long as you meet the country’s requirements, you should stand for a good chance. 


4) Improve your language skills

Of course, it depends on where you choose to study but many universities offer courses to international students in English. Therefore, studying abroad will mean developing your English language skills both in written and spoken form. Although it might seem daunting at first, studying a master’s degree abroad will push you to communicate with others in English.


This is one of the best ways to improve your language skills as you will be surrounded by other people who are also conversing in the language. While it is tempting to socialise with people who speak the same language as you, make sure you do try to mix with local people and speak English as much as possible during your time abroad. This will be hugely beneficial when it comes to applying for jobs or graduate schemes in different countries.


Gain more advice on IELTS and TOEFL English language testing and how to improve your English writing skills.


5) Explore a new country

Moving to a new country can feel like a fresh start. New streets, food, experiences and people to discover. This is a very exciting part of studying abroad as you can spend time outside of lectures soaking up your new home. For example, if you choose to study in the US, you can enjoy the large portions of fast food or if the UK is your destination of choice, visit the famous landmarks and enjoy a cup of tea in a café.


These experiences are just as important as gaining a top grade and should factor into your decision of studying a masters abroad. What kind of experience are you looking for? Are you keen to study in a country with warm weather? Do you want to live somewhere with plenty of museums and art galleries? If you have an interest in visiting a particular country, studying a master’s degree might be the perfect opportunity to get you there while gaining a qualification and improving your employment prospects. Have a look at our guide to finding a student lifestyle that suits you.


So, you might now be feeling inspired to apply for a master’s degree abroad. But what’s the next step? Use our course matcher tool to align your qualifications and preferences to a university and course to begin the process.


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