Studying abroad may not be as easy as it initially seems. Breaking away from your comfort zone, family, friends, and home can be tough. Yet, there are innumerable advantages of studying abroad. From better learning and research opportunities to lucrative careers and intellectual growth, the benefits outweigh the negatives. In fact, international students have been choosing to study abroad in higher numbers over the years and India is no stranger to this trend.
Reports state that a whopping 3,40,000 Indian students chose to study abroad last year. They also spent a sizable USD 12.5 billion on foreign education. This automatically indicates the growing aspiration for quality education, better global prospects, and a higher quality of life.
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Why Study abroad?
The following top 10 benefits of studying abroad will help you clear your doubts about the decision.
1. Travel & exploration
One of the biggest advantages of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel and explore different parts of the world – experience new cultures, cities, and countries. It not only broadens your perspectives but also helps you find new avenues for personal growth.
2. Quality of education
A world-class education is one of the biggest attractions of studying abroad. You can learn from the best in the business, at reputed institutions, and in a multicultural environment.
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3. Embrace diversity
If you’re enrolled at a leading university, you can expect to find students from 30-40 different countries. Global education lets you embrace diversity, meet people from different cultures, and learn new languages. Exposure to people from various countries will help you grow your people skills.
4. Building lifelong bonds
It is an invaluable opportunity to meet new people from different walks of life. You can build lasting bonds which can also help you with future networking.
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5. Find professional avenues
Your global experiences may influence your professional journey greatly. Find new professional interests, avenues, and passions. From learning a new language to entrepreneurship to working in your chosen sector abroad, the sky is the limit. Some may even choose to continue research and education abroad.
6. Unique learning experiences
One of the more interesting advantages of studying abroad is the exposure to a new system of learning. The introduction to unique study modules and instructional methods will refresh your way of learning.
7. Enjoy independence
Leaving the nest is not always a bad thing. Pursuing higher education abroad means learning to live independently. You will gain confidence as you let go of the familiarity and security of your home. Shifting abroad will test your self-sufficiency, sense of responsibility, and decision-making.
8. Enhance professional opportunities
While you may return home after completing your studies, there is no denying the positive impact on your professional profile. Many students stay back and apply for work visas. The foreign educational experience is also favoured by top employers in India. It goes without a saying that you will naturally be more confident and mature in your interviews with a foreign stint under your belt.
You will also have a wealth of real-life examples and anecdotes to share with prospective employers. Your CV will stand out to recruiters, particularly for entry or mid-level job roles. At the same time, shifting to another country for higher studies indicates an aptitude for taking on risks and new challenges. This trait is valued by employers as well.
9. Networking boost
This is truly one of the most unique benefits of studying abroad. Building a solid network of colleagues and fellow students is just the tip of the iceberg. You get to increase your contact list massively while making a few friends for life too. Some contacts may ultimately lead you towards fascinating research, educational, or employment prospects in the future. Some may evolve into professional or business partners as well. The bigger your network, the more likely you are to discover professional and social fulfilment.
Universities often organize special sessions/events to help international students make friends easily. You can make friends from various walks of life and pick up unique skills from them. Another tiny but helpful benefit is that if you have friends all over the world, then you will always have various travel opportunities/destinations to explore throughout your lifetime. From free accommodation to guidance, you can certainly expect to enjoy at least a few memorable trips in the future.
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10. Build self-confidence
Tapping into new cultures, lifestyles, and education systems will help you develop crucial life skills. Independence, flexibility, teamwork, people skills, and intellectual development are major takeaways in this regard. These skills will contribute tremendously towards enhancing your self-confidence. You will face many hurdles and overcome them while developing your communication skills greatly. Learning a new language will also contribute to this newfound self-confidence. Those going abroad should learn to immerse themselves in diversity instead of resisting it.
These are some of the benefits that you can expect while studying abroad. Of course, there will be many other micro benefits along the way. Trying new dishes, learning new songs/dances, trying new experiments or projects, and gaining work experience through internships/part-time jobs are some of them.
Choosing Graduate/Post-Graduate Study Abroad Program
Choosing UG Study Abroad Program
- Look for subjects that motivate you or the ones that are inclined with your own interests. However, keep the job-oriented aspect in mind. Some of the top careers in recent times revolve around disciplines like engineering, technology, analytics, finance, computer science, IT, law, fashion and design to name a few.
- Check all admission requirements at universities. Most institutions will evaluate your scores in Class XII, language proficiency tests, etc.
- Focus on the career you wish to pursue in the future which also includes analyzing disciplines needed by you to get there.
- Examine the language that you will study in. Some majors may require proficiency in a foreign language, especially if the courses are taught in the same. Choose degrees taught in English to avoid this difficulty.
- Plan out your finances and costs of study in advance. Always check everything from tuition fees and living costs to food, living expenditure, miscellaneous costs and more.
- Do your research on the ranking and reputation of the university.
- Find out if your earlier qualifications are transferable or not.
- Look at aspects like safety, campus activities, leisure attractions, etc.
- Research student visa guidelines and application deadlines.
Choosing PG Study Abroad Program
- Do your research on the best universities worldwide for your chosen subject of interest.
- Always check academic eligibility guidelines, including English language proficiency tests, GPA criteria, standardized examinations like GMAT or GRE, and so on.
- Check student visa guidelines along with the probable costs of tuition, scholarships, etc.
- Look for study areas or courses which can get you jobs in the country.
- Find out the scope of a particular field in your chosen country, the job opportunities available, hiring data, and the pathway towards citizenship or work visas.
- Find out more about on-campus part-time work opportunities and overall part-time jobs available for international students.
- Look for internships, industry interface and other perks offered by the university.
- Keep in mind the application deadlines above all else.
Benefits of Pursuing a UG or PG Degree Abroad
Benefits of Pursuing an Undergraduate Degree Abroad
- Getting a full-time bachelor’s degree abroad will increase your confidence and self-sufficiency. You will experience everything from learning how to interact in a foreign country, setting up a bank account, applying for a visa, grocery shopping, fending for yourself, etc. You will become more self-reliant and independent as a result.
- Studying abroad will naturally add special skill sets and attributes to your resume. Your foreign degree means exposure to more cultures and environments outside your comfort zone. You will learn to build relationships with people from multifarious backgrounds, and cross-cultural communication skills will be highly valued in the global job market.
- A foreign degree could be cost-effective in some cases, considering many grants and scholarships as well. Many universities globally reduce their tuition costs to gain more students, while some countries have robust public institutions (Germany, for example), which hardly charge any fees.
- Getting a foreign degree gives you insights into a whole new education system. You will naturally experience a new dimension of learning.
- You will love learning a foreign language when you are studying abroad (only if you are interested), even if your primary course is English.
- You will build and expand your global connections and network, which may come in handy for getting jobs after post-graduation.
- A big bonus is that you will be able to travel while studying. You can explore many new countries (in Europe) or cities and towns. Being a local, you can do it at lower prices than otherwise!
Benefits of Pursuing Post-Graduate Degree Abroad
- You can always aim to do your master’s at a top-ranked global university, meaning better learning, faculty, and infrastructure.
- You can always experience the benefits of enhanced foreign language and communication skills, especially of the cross-cultural variety.
- An international postgraduate degree or diploma will naturally get your CV/resume noticed in the global job market. Wherever you work, you will always be backed by globally acknowledged PG degrees to make it easier to find employment.
- If you are into research and academics, a stint abroad for your PG will open newer vistas to you as well.
- You can build valuable connections, especially if you are studying a job-oriented master’s course.
- You can always work part-time, gaining even more experience as a result. It will also help you offset some of your living costs, at least.