When it comes to furthering your education and experiencing a new country as a student, there’s no better choice than studying abroad.
What does it mean to study abroad?
To “study abroad” means to pursue an educational programme in a foreign country - usually at a tertiary institution for a Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate degree. Many students pursue international studies as not only a means to expand their knowledge but to further develop foreign language skills, meet new people, or explore new countries.
What is a study abroad program?
A ‘study abroad’ programme is an opportunity to continue your existing education or to start your studies in a foreign country. Many universities offer study abroad programmes as a means for students to attend lectures or conduct research at partner or foreign universities as part of their ongoing enrollment in their home country. Often, universities will showcase programmes that can include opportunities to study abroad.
Alternatively, many foreign universities have established postgraduate programmes to encourage international students to seek higher education and achieve a Masters or Doctorate degree. This typically involves students relocating to their host country during the tenure of their studies, where they can either live in private off-campus accommodation or on-campus housing.
Benefits of studying abroad
Why study abroad? When considering embarking on a study abroad program, there are many benefits to consider that can not only enhance your personal life but also enable you to progress in your professional career.
Some common benefits of studying abroad can include:
- Improving language skills: Living abroad can help you quickly master a foreign language
- Experiencing new learning opportunities: A new school with new tutors can help you access an international education
- Finding overseas employment opportunities: Many overseas student visas enable you to work part-time during your studies
- Travelling: You can explore your country of study or nearby countries depending on your study visa
Why studying abroad is important?
Studying abroad isn’t just a great avenue to expand your horizons and knowledge in a new country - for many universities around the world, attracting international students is vital to ensure ambitious new research projects and course outcomes can be completed and that local and foreign students can both be exposed to new standards of work, research, and participate in new international collaborations or projects.
How does studying abroad work?
To study abroad, international students are required to apply to participate in a degree structure where they can satisfy not only academic requirements but further their personal criteria (such as their career ambitions, past research experience or projects, and their country of origin).
How to study abroad
The first step candidates are required to fulfil is to select a degree programme which is relevant to their experience, past qualifications, and interest. This can be done by either searching for suitable degree programmes or exploring what course options are available at research institutions of interest.
Once you have identified what degree you’d like to pursue, your next step is to begin your application to your chosen university and program. Once your application has been completed, you can then begin the process of applying for a student visa, should you need one.
How to go abroad for studies: Financing your degree
Many international programmes either begin accepting applications a year in advance of the intended programme’s start date, which enables students to complete their visa applications, fund their studies, and find student housing in a sufficient amount of time.
Students can fund their studies themselves, apply for a bursary or scholarship, or can even apply for funding through a student loan to enrol and begin their study journey.
Is studying abroad worth it? Why should students study abroad?
Studying abroad can not only empower your academic career but can make a lasting impact on your personal life. Your reasons for studying abroad might be based on your career prospects, personal enjoyment, or both.
Some of the advantages of studying abroad can include:
Working and networking
Many study visas will permit international students to both study and work abroad during the course of their stay, with certain exceptions and restrictions. While this can enable students to fund their education or make early progress in settling their student loan, this can also be an important advantage for students seeking to start a career in their host country, where they will now be able to build professional networks.
Even if you don’t plan to start your professional career in your country of study, many employers worldwide favourably consider job applicants with international exposure. In a study conducted by AIM Overseas, 61% of employers agreed that overseas study experience is positive on a resume, while 72% of employers agreed that fluency in a second language can add to a prospective employee’s CV.
The academic benefits of studying abroad
If you plan to craft a career in academia or are passionate about furthering your research at a foreign university, studying abroad can immensely benefit your knowledge and understanding of your chosen field.
Seeking an international programme enables you to not only seek a higher quality of education at a leading research university, but can offer you access to the most highly developed or respected laboratories, research universities, and academic personnel.
Thanks to this exposure, this can in turn assist you in cultivating great employment opportunities - regardless of whether you plan to remain in academia or pursue a professional career in business sciences.
Living in a different country
Expanding your horizons to live and study in a foreign country can dramatically improve your language skills, in addition to enabling you to foreseeably emigrate should you wish to make your host country your home in the future.
Exposure to new languages and cultures can enhance your soft skills, which can in turn empower you to access new and exciting personal and career opportunities and ventures which you might not otherwise have had exposure to.
Creating lifelong friendships with peers in your class, in addition to those who surround you in your home country, and also be fulfilling.
While the effects of moving to another country might be challenging to adjust to in the beginning, you can ultimately benefit from expanding your horizons and seeking out a life-changing experience abroad.
Should I study abroad?
Studying abroad is a massive decision with many opportunities and challenges - and the choice of whether not to pursue an international education is yours. Studying in a foreign country isn’t for everyone, and is neither a decision to be made lightly.
If you require help to unpack your international study abroad dreams, we’re here to help!
Fund your international studies with Prodigy Finance
Prodigy Finance provides loans to international students pursuing their Masters and MBA degrees abroad - to see whether you might qualify for funding, you can begin your application and be presented with a conditional loan offer should your application be successful!
Need funding for your masters abroadl?
Prodigy Finance can help you with that. We provide student loans for an international master's education. We support 850 schools (Graduate Engineering as well as Business schools) in 18 different countries.
If you want to go ahead and know the difference between a master of science and a master of engineering, how to get a credit report, or if you want to know what and where to study, try our Study Centre which is filled with expert opinions on a range of topics.