The term “study abroad” holds a unique charm and appeal, particularly for aspirants who wish to get the best education from a foreign university. After all, who would not want to travel to a faraway country and explore new cultures and cuisines while receiving quality education from a reputed institution!
Although leaving one’s comfort zone and starting a new life from scratch in an unknown country may seem like a daunting task, there are numerous perks to studying abroad.
When you opt for pursuing higher studies abroad, you:
1. Become self-reliant and independent
As you step into a new country, you have to be responsible for yourself from day one. This is both exciting and challenging since you get to explore and push your limits. With a positive attitude and a little time, you might even surprise yourself at what you can achieve! You will learn new skills, life hacks and grow as an individual.
2. Meet and connect with a diverse peer group
You will meet peers from different nations, cultures, ethnicities, and educational/professional backgrounds. Naturally, your network will expand, and you will open up to unique perspectives and POVs. A shared international learning experience will help broaden your horizons, enhance your communication skills, and even expand your employment prospects.
3. Explore more about yourself and your culture
All the experiences you make and encounter in a foriegn land will serve as a learning curve for you. They will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to improve your strong suit and rectify your flaws. As you mingle and engage with your peers from across the world, you will gain a new perspective about your culture. You will develop a unique viewpoint and look at your culture from an outsider’s lens.
4. Gain a global mindset
One of the biggest focal points of study abroad programs is inculcating a global mindset in the learners. The course curriculum and related activities (projects, assignments, case studies, networking, etc.) are designed to tune students to thinking critically from a global standpoint. This plays a significant role in shaping and re-shaping your beliefs, opinions, and arguments. You acquire a deeper understanding of how the world around you works.
5. Enhance your employability prospects
Besides obtaining an international degree, study abroad courses also make you eligible for numerous global job roles. It opens up new and exciting avenues for you to explore as an international student. You can extend your stay by applying for a work visa and acquire industry experience. Needless to say, a few years of experience overseas will spice up your resume and make you an attractive candidate for potential employers.
How to start your international learning journey with a study abroad program?
The best way to answer this question is to start from the international student’s journey that consists of multiple touchpoints and stages. Let us take a look at this journey in detail:
The first stage of a student’s journey is awareness, wherein they try to discover the best colleges/universities and study abroad programs. Usually, students hop online to find out about different programs that align with their interests, career goals, and financial bandwidth. They read articles and blogs highlighting a country’s standard of living, education quality, safety index, and employment prospects, and so on.
In this stage, international aspirants have already narrowed down their choices to a few countries and courses. With that information ready at hand, they can now compare and contrast the pros and cons of living in those countries and course offerings. This is where they pay attention to feedback, including student and alumni testimonials, peer recommendations, industry influencers, and institution rankings. By comparing different programs, they get a clearer picture of what is best suited for their career aspirations and budget.
3. Accessing detailed information
In this stage, students try to gather detailed information about the programs they’ve shortlisted, including admission requirements, tuition fees, course duration, scholarship opportunities, etc. You must make this choice after careful consideration, keeping in mind the living costs, employment prospects, and the institution’s reputation. Germany, Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK are some of the most coveted study destinations for international students.
4. Know the entry requirements
The entry requirements for study abroad courses vary according to the country and institution you’re applying to. Go to the college/university website to get the details for admission and eligibility criteria. In English-speaking countries, the standard requirement for non-native English speakers is IELTS or TOEFL, two standard and globally acknowledged English-proficiency tests.
5. The interval between post-application, acceptance, and enrolment
The wait process can be long, ranging anywhere between 6-9 months. Once you’ve applied to the desired institutions, you have to wait to get the acceptance letter, after which you can enroll in the international program. You can make use of this interval by looking for an internship or part-time job prospects.
So, as you can see, the journey from discovery to enrolment is pretty extensive. Apart from meeting these academic criteria, you also have to apply for a visa and get it approved, which further lengthens the process.
But what if we told you that there’s a better way to obtain an international degree with both online and on-campus learning experience in a foreign country?
Yes, it is possible with upGrad!
Study abroad: Take the upGrad advantage
upGrad study abroad initiative is specially designed to help students chase their dreams of learning from a globally reputed university. Given the present pandemic situation, international travel is primarily banned, but that shouldn’t dampen your spirits.
upGrad has crafted a unique learning model wherein students can pursue study abroad courses from the safety and comfort of their homes while gaining the requisite credits. For instance, the Bachelor Accelerator Program requires you to study the 1st year online with upGrad. On completion of the 1st year, you can get direct admission to the 2nd year of Bachelor of Business degrees with top-ranking universities in Australia, including the University of Tasmania, Swinburne University of Technology, and the University of Canberra. So, you can complete the 2nd and 3rd year of the Bachelor’s program on-campus!
What an interesting and pioneering learning model for international aspirants!
The best part about choosing upGrad’s study abroad programs is that you will receive complete support and guidance from trained mentors and instructors. Right from helping you prepare for IELTS to getting your visa approved and arranging accommodation for you in the destination country, upGrad promised to be with you in your learning journey, all through! Besides the dedicated English coaching for IELTS preparation, you also enjoy personalized mentorship to guide you with university applications and GTE preparation. The program also offers post-study work visa opportunities to deserving students.
Completing the first year online also has a significant monetary advantage. Usually, the cost of living in a foreign country can be anywhere between INR 20-30 LPA. Thus, if you choose upGrad, you save a significant sum of money while continuing your studies.
Learning overseas could not get any easier than this!
If you are looking to pursue study abroad courses, how about joining hands with upGrad and take advantage of this unique learning opportunity amid the pandemic?