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10 Common Study Abroad Myths Debunked

Updated on 10 October, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Many students dream of studying abroad despite lots of myths they hear. But the ground reality is often different than what one might presume. To top it all, the myths around overseas education can cloud their judgment. 

Nothing is more off-putting than a dream shattered into a million pieces. But instead of falling for all the irrational narratives and fears, take a few minutes to debunk study abroad myths and clear your doubts with this article. 


Top 10 Myths on Overseas Education:

The journey to fulfill your study abroad dreams may appear lengthy and time-consuming. But gathering the correct information, proper planning, and keeping a positive mindset can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here’s a list of the top 10 myths hazing your bright future. 

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Myth#1: Only Rich People Look For Study Abroad Opportunities:

Fact: Not at all, considering the ROI

While it may seem like you need to pay more for your education abroad, it really depends on the factors like university, courses, and duration. Further, international education is gaining momentum, and universities are throwing more financial opportunities your way. 

Scholarships are one way to cut the study cost. If that doesn’t work for you, weigh in on the ROI and the prospects of working part-time to support your education. 

About 52% of students work to support their education and living costs in the UK, earning up to GBP 112.20 a week on average. This is just one example, and there are many. You can be among them. 

Myth#2: The Communication Barrier Will Hamper Your Progress:

Fact: The language barrier can be an initial snag, but it won’t last forever. 

Many students struggle with the language when studying in a non-native country. Understandably, the initial interactions with peers, professors, or others can seem scary in a new country. But you will get over it sooner than you think. 

Further, most foreign universities prefer English as a standard medium of instruction. It means IELTS/TOEFL preparation is all you need to vault over this barrier.

Myth#3: It’s Hard To Mingle With Fellow Students Overseas:

Fact: You can make friends from diverse cultures.

While some students may make friends faster than others, it doesn’t mean it’s tough. 

Universities organize extracurricular activities to help students meet new people. You can connect with locals through initiatives like volunteering, internships, cultural activities, events, workshops, and more. Besides, they have international offices to support international students to adapt faster. 

Myth#4: You Won’t Graduate On Time As You Should: 

Fact: Students who study abroad earn slightly more credits in less time.

If you prepare and ensure you complete all your credits timely, you can earn your degree on time. Studies indicate that students who study abroad have a 17.8% higher graduation rate than those who don’t. 

Myth#5: Overseas Education Is No Longer A Safe Option:

Fact: Universities take student safety seriously.

Media is the culprit behind this study abroad myth. There have been some incidents worldwide that caused alarm. Even some parents are unsure of sending their kids abroad to study. But that’s unfair. Only a few incidents can’t outweigh the opportunities you get there. Many committees, organizations, and councils work to ensure the safety of international students. 

Myth#6: Not Many Preferred Major Options Are Available:

Fact: False! Many universities offer exciting courses that align with your area of interest.

Regardless of the degree or subject, options to study abroad for Indian students are endless. You only need to find them. If you find it hard to decide on the courses and need well-researched data about the job market in a specific country, then you can seek the help of study abroad consultants to know the majors offered at foreign universities.

Myth#7: It’s An Expensive Deal:

Fact: A few days’ stays give only a bird-eye perspective of cultural experience.

While traveling to a foreign country is fun, studying abroad boosts your resume and hones your social & communication skills. It allows you to adapt to the foreign culture, making you self-dependent, skilled, and more reliable. 

Myth#8: It’s Hard To Find Scholarships In Foreign Universities: 

Fact: Deserving students get enough scholarship options.

Scholarships are readily available for students based on merit and needs. Governments of countries such as the USA, UK, Japan, Australia, etc., offer monetary support and scholarships to encourage global education. During 2021-2022, institutes granted USD 22,000 in financial aid to a typical international student in the US. 

Myth#9: Overseas Education Is For Academically Brilliant Students:

Fact: Universities welcome students with well-rounded personalities. 

Reports suggest that 50% of applicants get rejected even after scoring high on SAT, GRE, or GMAT. Universities abroad accept students who have versatile abilities. Academic performance is only one among many criteria evaluated by the admission committee. For instance, if you volunteered at an NGO, it indicates your desire to help needy people. 

You’re more likely to secure admission with a holistic experience and character than top-notch grades. 


How to Prepare To Study Abroad? – A Checklist:

As you have debunked study abroad myths, are you ready to leap? If yes, here are a few self-assessment questions to reflect on before going overseas for education. 

  • Can you survive living on your own?

If you’ve lived in dorms or hostels, you already understand the responsibilities of living alone. Such experiences translate well about your preparedness to build your life in a new country.

  • Are you respectful of different cultures?

Living in a foreign country can be a cultural shock for many students. If you can’t respect these differences, it will make it harder for you to adapt.

  • Can you stay away from your family and friends for longer?

You’ll be away from home and the country for months and even years. Staying far from your family during difficult times and joy can impact your emotional health. If it makes you feel homesick, consider a shorter program to study. 

  • Have you reviewed the safety aspect?

No doubt studying abroad can become daunting. For this, you need to leave the safety and comfort of your home country. However, proper planning can prepare you to feel safe in a foreign environment. You can research and select a study destination having:

  1. Surroundings
  2. A low crime rate
  3. Quality healthcare
  4. Political relations between the new and native country

Your study abroad consultants can help you filter the options and find the best suitable study destination. 

Get Over the Fear:

Though the prospect of treading uncharted territories is unnerving, studying abroad is not merely about getting a foreign degree. It’s about navigating new cultures, and lifestyles, making friends from diverse cultures, and experiencing new things! 

If you’re relieved after learning the facts about studying abroad, you are ready to live your dream. 

Myth#10: Foreign Studies Don’t Make A Difference To Employers:

Fact: The skills you gain during foreign studies improves your employment chances.

As per QS Global Employer Survey 2011 survey report, it was established that 60% of employers consider candidates with international experience valuable to the organization. The exposure you get from studying abroad reveals that you are comfortable working with people from different cultures, a risk-taker, and self-reliant. 


How soon should you start to plan to study abroad?

You need to keep an eye on your university options. If you aspire to study for an undergraduate degree, start planning in 11th standard. For a postgraduate degree, start applying once your bachelor’s degree results are out.




Where to check the admission requirements of your preferred course?

Visit your preferred university’s website and check their courses or programs section. Then, click on the course you want to apply to, and you will find the admission requirements.








Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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