Choosing an overseas education during your university years is one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make in your life. A study abroad experience will benefit you in ways beyond your imagination and expectations. It will offer you an opportunity to discover a unique diversified culture, make lifelong friendships and connections, and receive an education that goes a long way in your holistic development.
Do you aspire to go abroad for your higher education to pursue a particular discipline? Or would like to see a different part of the world? Do you dream of immigrating to a foreign country? The simplest solution is to study abroad. Studying abroad at a school that best matches your criteria and supports your strengths will be a life-changing experience that will open your mind and give you an edge when you enter the workforce.
It is one thing to experience a country’s culture when you visit for vacation, but it’s completely different when you immerse yourself in the culture as you live and study there. Stepping out of your country to study in a foreign country will open the door to cultural experiences, unique customs, new languages and unfamiliar traditions. You become part of your new environment when you study abroad, contributing your own unique background and ideas while learning new customs and discovering new ways of doing things. Seeing the world through an open-minded perspective makes you a culturally aware global citizen, and that is a passport that will benefit you wherever you go.
Until now, you may have lived with your parents or guardians, but when you study abroad, you will be in charge of everything from your well-being to your education. You will be responsible for the decisions and the consequences that you face when you choose to study abroad. This independence will prove useful in the highly competitive career world and you will learn to enjoy the excitement of knowing that you are in control of your life.
One of the most obvious reasons to study abroad is to meet people from different places. Creating an international circle of friends is a huge benefit of studying abroad – imagine having friends both in your home country and in the country you attend university. Imagine having two home countries! You become friends with people in your classes, on your sports teams, in your society, fraternity or sorority, or in your student organization. And these friends will forever be part of your most cherished memories from your time abroad.
You might used to a passive style of learning will get to experience a more engaging and active learning style when studying abroad. This may involve active learning through class participation, dialogue exchange, case studies and practical off- and on-campus experiences that make learning fun and meaningful. Who knows – maybe the key to unlocking your potential is in the way your future professor provides feedback or encourages student discussions in class, or maybe it is the size of the class or how much time you spend in the lab.
Regardless of whether you choose to work in your country or at a company abroad, your experience in a foreign country does matter to your future employer. It shows them that you can thrive and grow in an environment away from your comfort zone. As you open your mind and improve your language skills, studying abroad will also help you develop creative problem-solving skills, adapt to diverse environments and establish outstanding communication skills. These will stand out as your best selling points and will help you get closer to your dream job.
When you study abroad in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland or the UAE, English surrounds you. Not only are your classes conducted in English, but also you use English in your free time when you meet with friends and take part in activities on campus. Whether you study engineering, mathematics, political science or theater, your English skills will improve until you are fluent and your advanced multilingual skills will strengthen your CV. Depending on where you study, you might even pick up an accent!
With so many options to choose from, this can be the most daunting part of your search. Before you have a mini-breakdown, take a deep breath and remember why you want to study abroad. There’s a perfect program out there waiting for you and tons of resources to help you find it. You can start your search for programs based on destination, field of study, and duration. If you need us to narrow down your search, get in touch with our Online Advisors for help!
Don’t forget to take advantage of all the resources you have. Chat up everyone who will be involved in your experience, from your school’s Study Abroad, Financial Aid, and Registrar’s offices to your friends, parents, and professors. Become best friends with Google, delve into program reviews, peruse study abroad articles, sign up and read as much as you can about your chosen destination.
Keep in Mind:
We know what you’re thinking. College is already expensive, so how will you find the extra cash to take classes in another country? It’s true that some study abroad programs are pricier than others, but the good news is that programs exist for every budget.
If you’re not planning to self-fund your trip, be sure to involve your parents early on in the discussion to choose a realistic budget for your program. Remind them of the benefits of study abroad programs and that their investment will last far beyond the semester you’ll be away.
Regardless of who’s footing the bill, below are some tried and true methods for reaching your goals:
Studying abroad does take serious budgeting and planning but it’s not as daunting as it first appears. Saving is much easier with a goal in mind, and what better goal than knowing you’ll be wandering foreign streets in less than a year’s time?
Once you’ve chosen your program and secured funding, it’s time to start planning your trip. This will probably be fun and stressful at the same time, but don’t worry! Your study abroad provider will be key in helping you through this process. Most programs offer assistance with your application, the visa process (if needed), course registration, housing, airport pickup, international health insurance, and even events and excursions. That said, there are still some things you’ll need to take care of on your own:
If you feel like you’re forgetting something, you probably are! But learning to go with the flow and solve problems on the fly is what studying abroad is all about, so think of these preparations as good training for your time abroad.
Studying abroad is all about breaking out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new. It’s impossible to predict the unexpected, hilarious, and memorable situations you’ll find yourself in once you’re abroad.
Academics may be the reason you’ve decided to study abroad, but they aren’t the only thing you should focus on. For a well-rounded study abroad experience, it’s important to balance school with the cultural learning that happens outside of the classroom. Go to class, study for tests, and be an engaged student, but don’t neglect what’s going on around you either!
Going abroad can be challenging because you’re dropped into a new environment with new cultural norms, but learning about your surroundings is part of the fun. Do your research in advance to learn about local customs, but then try to make friends with locals who can confirm what you’ve learned.
Make an effort to immerse yourself. Challenge yourself to only speak your new language and then be amazed with how quickly your skills progress. Spend every weekend you can getting out into nature and exploring your surroundings. There’s a reason you saved your pennies and traveled across the planet – don’t waste a single opportunity!
You may be thinking, “Why do I have to think about returning home already? I’m still just trying to get there!”, but we firmly believe having the end goal in sight will help your overall study abroad process run smoothly. And while we hate to break it to you, you typically do have to come back home.
Your return home is when the real work begins. With new eyes and new perspectives, you now have the unique task of stepping into your global citizenship and creating impact in your communities. Use your new-found confidence to become a campus leader or join a conversation group to keep up your language fluency. And don’t forget to add your experience abroad to your resume!
Use these end goals to motivate yourself to stay productive, sharp, and intentional during your time abroad. The return can be bittersweet; you will bring many things back home, but also leave much behind. Try to actively connect your study abroad experience with your life back home in creative ways, and then start planning your next trip!
Unlike a single intake in the Indian education system, colleges and universities abroad have various intakes in an academic year. Thus, when you apply for any of the universities in countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the UK and US, you can choose from more than one intake each year. For instance, if you missed the September 2019 intake this year, you can always try for the next intake in January instead of waiting for a complete one year.
Most universities and colleges abroad offer two intakes – Fall and Spring. The fall intake usually starts in September whereas as the Spring intakes begins in January.
Certain universities and colleges also offer a minor intake in Summer that begins in April.
Intakes may vary basis the program and institution. In certain institutions, intakes may also be referred to as terms or semesters. You must always check the official website of your preferred institution to confirm the available intake.
When choosing which intake to opt for, it is important to consider the availability of your preferred program, your academic records, entrance test scores, acceptance rates, job opportunities and your readiness on joining the course. We recommend you to start with your applications at least 10-12 months before the date of commencement of your program. For the Fall semester, ensure to have your score by April and for Spring, start no later than August.
Most students opt for the September intake since it works in line with the completion of school or under-graduation in India. Students going for research programs often prefer the Fall/September intake since many professors choose to start their research in the beginning of the year and thus acquiring an internship or assistantship is easier in this intake than the Spring/January intake.
Your study abroad application is the most important step of your journey and so it is crucial to plan it ahead. It is important to start working months in advance to be able to get admission in your desired institution or course.
Major documents that you’ll need in order to apply to universities abroad will include:
This will include all your personal and professional details.
Statement of Purpose (SOP)
The most important component of your application, this essay will mostly talk about your background, reason to pursue your program in the stated university and your career goals. Invest a lot of time in writing your essay as this is what will help your application stand out in the crowd of thousands of candidates
This is basically your academic record, similar to a consolidated mark sheet like we have in India (easily available from your respective university), which will include all courses you’ve taken with your grades, credits and degree received.
Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
An LOR is an academic letter of recommendation from any of your professors or managers that talks about skills, achievements, experience and contribution in your college or professional organisation. This letter enables the admission council to get an insight in your life and accordingly decide your admission.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume
A CV or a resume will give a comprehensive insight into your academic and professional timeline. Ensure to mention all of your degrees, certificates, internships and relevant work experience, but don’t go overboard. Discuss with your counsellor for all the necessary pointers.
As mentioned earlier, your scores will affect your chances to get into your preferred university or college. Therefore, it is mandatory to send your test scores with your application.
Earning an international degree is not only about expanding your career and personal horizons but also about having an experience of a lifetime. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider studying internationally:
Studying internationally offers a wider variety of courses, some also including research options and skill-based training for students. This helps expand your horizons and opens up a world of new educational opportunities. Not only this, certain programs abroad also allow you to take different courses at the same time. So you can pursue your interest in literature whilst studying mathematics as your major. We can help find the best fit for you.
2. Makes you more employable
Graduates who’ve chosen to study internationally are highly sought after by employers. Pursuing a degree overseas signals employers that you have courage, flexibility, cultural awareness and an understanding of how other people work and think. This experience puts you ahead of the pack when it comes to internships and job applications.
3. From learning a language to living a language
Studies have shown that immersion is the best way to become fluent in another language and understand a new culture. Since you’ll be interacting with English language speakers every day, it would be easier to grasp the language in relevant cultural context.
Living, studying and working in English might seem to be challenging at first, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes your second nature. Communicating confidently in English will help you to excel in your studies and make new friends from other parts of the world who may even become professional connections down the road.
Studying abroad helps you learn new approaches to handle different situations, manage time between your studies and part-time jobs, experience international methods of instructing and deal with a cosmopolitan crowd. This in turn also helps to increase your acumen on the subject and life, in general.
Students who study abroad develop a well-informed mindset and wider perspective towards other cultures and people. Whether you’re studying science, politics or finance, being able to think from a multinational perspective will help you face modern challenges and come up with innovative solutions in future. You will graduate with a richer set of experiences that will allow you to think more openly and creatively. As you learn to view the world through different lenses, you’ll also learn new things about your own country and culture.
Your study abroad experience doesn’t end at the campus gates. During weekends and holidays, you’ll have the chance to travel to tourist hotspots or get off the beaten track in your chosen country. That means you will be able to experience geographies different that from India and come back with interesting stories for your friends and family. You never know you might end up finding an activity that you enjoy doing and make a career in it.
Benefits of pursuing an undergraduate degree abroad
As a student just out of school, it gives you an edge because:
Benefits of pursuing a post graduate degree abroad
This reinstates that you are committed to: