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Study Abroad-Is it worth going abroad for higher studies?

group of international students

Students and parents often ask how studying abroad would benefit an individual.

Going abroad for higher studies is not a new phenomenon. Ancient records show that people have been travelling to foreign countries for knowledge, and with the growth of universities in the 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of international education came into existence, and people from Asia started travelling to Europe for higher education. However, due to globalization, countries have opened their doors, and studying abroad has become easily accessible to students aspiring to study in a foreign land. It is an opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience required to succeed in today’s world.

part time jobs for international students

However, studying abroad is sometimes mistakenly seen as an easy way to make money. The purpose of going abroad to pursue your studies must be perceived as a means to achieve your professional and personal growth and not as an easy way to make money. We often hear about the challenges international students experience in finding employment in a foreign country. We must understand that the main purpose of going abroad for higher studies is to enhance your knowledge in your chosen subject which can help you excel in your career. However, many students often choose programs and universities with the hope of accessing part-time job opportunities. Studying at a university abroad is an expensive affair. However, students are enthralled by the idea of going abroad and doing part-time jobs to cover their tuition fees. As a matter of fact, in recent years, we have seen a spike in the number of students going abroad for higher studies. There is no doubt that overseas education benefits students in many ways. But the question is whether you have done any research on the program you have chosen to study and the university where you want to invest your money. When we invest, we look at the quality of the product, the benefits, and the returns from our investment. The same should be applied in your study abroad preparation as well. Students need to do thorough research on the program that they are going to study. Whether the program is aligned with their career goals, whether the student or the family has the financial circumstances to support them during their stay in the foreign land.

Here is the information you need to gather before deciding on higher studies in a foreign country.

universities abroad

  1. Academic Goals: This is the first and foremost important step while choosing a program. There are many reputed universities abroad known for offering quality programs in a particular field, especially in science and technology. Studying at these universities can be highly beneficial due to their strong academic curriculum and research opportunities. These universities can equip the students using the state-of-art infrastructure and facilities, the skills required to compete in the global job market. Though India has a strong education system, there is a shortage of research opportunities for students, which can hinder their academic growth. In today’s world, apart from academic knowledge, one must have the ability and skills to critically evaluate and analyze a situation to come up with a solution. This can be developed only through research and practical learning. We have seen how students from India who have gone abroad to pursue higher studies have thrived in the job market. To name a few-Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of Pepsi Co, and Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI governor, have all set examples for others to follow their footpath. These individuals have graduated from the top universities in India but went abroad to pursue higher studies resulting in highly successful careers. Hence, choosing the right program and the right university can be highly valuable and will make the trajectory of your career growth.

Cultural awareness for student's personal growth

2. Personal Growth: Studying at a university abroad will widen the scope for your personal growth. The experience will change your views of life, and you will start looking at life from a global perspective, encouraging you to adopt a global outlook that can enrich your academic and personal growth. You will be immersed in different cultures that will help you understand how different these cultures are from your own, and would soon start appreciating the differences. The awareness that the students gain will enhance their profile in the job market globally. These students become more adaptable, independent, and self-confident when they live in a foreign country.

part time jobs for international students

3. Post-Study Work Visa: Most countries offer Post-Study Work Visas for their international students. This visa gives them the right to work in the country for a particular period. This is an opportunity for the student to gain work experience in a foreign country. At the same time, the country where the students are studying must be facing a shortage of workforce, and they can retain these students by offering them the work rights who will contribute their skills to improve the economy of the country. The post-study work visa rights enable the students to work and recoup the money invested in their education. It is an opportunity for the students to work and settle in the host country. However, the post-study work visa rights change from country to country. Hence the students must research and understand the rules and regulations of the host country regarding the right to work as international students after completing their studies in the respective country.

Thus, pursuing your higher studies abroad can be a life-changing or very transformative experience. Most of the famous personalities of India working in India or abroad, have done their higher studies abroad. Whether its politics, business, science, or academia, these men and women have made a name for themselves. Mahatma Gandhi studied at University College, London. Dr Ambedkar studied economics at Columbia University and at the London School of Economics. The great mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan studied and worked in Cambridge. Famous media personalities like Arnab Goswami, Barkha Dutt, Karan Thapar, Madhu Trehan, and several others got educated at universities abroad. These are just a few examples.

The Challenges of going abroad for higher studies.

discuss financial planning  with family

The only challenge we see here is the financial constraint. Studying abroad can be very expensive. Careful financial planning and expense management are essential. The tuition fee, living expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses will incur a huge cost in a foreign country. It is important to understand that covering the tuition fee through part-time jobs can be challenging. There is no doubt that the money students earn working part-time will be enough to meet their day-to-day expenses and can cover a certain percentage of the tuition fees. However, have thorough financial planning before considering your study abroad preparations.

No doubt studying abroad can have a profound impact on your professional growth. You must have clearly laid out academic and career goals to match the study abroad dream. To know more about the programs and availabilities at different universities, consult education advisors who are well-versed in the programs offered at various universities abroad and seek their guidance in your study abroad journey.


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