If you have ever dreamt or aspired to study abroad, the good news is that there are thousands of universities across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia that can provide you with a great platform for education, personal development and fun. The bad news is that the top universities are highly competitive, expensive to attend and require a lot of hard work to get admitted into, but are worth every minute and every dollar of your investment.
If you are looking into study abroad programmes, there are a few questions you must consider: 1) Why do I want to look into study abroad programs? 2) How much can I afford to spend for my study abroad education? 3) What are the right programmes and right universities to attend? 4) How do I prepare for admission and get an aid? 5) How do I get a good outcome and achieve my goals?
Study abroad has always been about risk taking and broadening your horizons by venturing into a new academic, social and cultural environment. However, assuming that the act of study abroad alone is your ticket to a high-flying career has become a thing of the past.
Know why the country is in news
In times of geopolitical changes like today, it is also essential to keep an eye on the study abroad destination and review its economic state, political events such as elections, university budget cuts and hiring trends across the industry. It is very important to have a good clarity around why you want to study abroad.
Once you have made up your mind on studying abroad or giving a shot at the opportunity, it is always good to have an idea on how much are you willing to spend on education. Over last 10-15 years, the cost of education in many countries has increased. However, budget should not be the only criteria dictating where to apply.
Many universities have a number of tools such as aid, in-state tuition and loans to help academically strong students. Also, some offer scholarships to support bright minds. Look at a number of factors when you decide on your study programme, study location and country choice.
Make a list
The next important thing is to create a shortlist of colleges based on your interests, profile, grades, test scores etc. A good counsellor should be able to guide and help you in the shortlist process, as there are thousands of colleges and options, and not all colleges and programmes are equal. Key is to get a good list of aspirational colleges, good colleges where you have a healthy chance and a few backup colleges. You will also have to see which colleges match your study programme and may even offer your financial aid. College location, reputation, environment and placement play an important role.
Plan it early
You need to make sure you start early preparing for your study abroad process and work hard towards achieving a good outcome. Many students do not pay enough attention to the process or give their best shot. Education is an important stepping-stone for your future career so it is always good to start early and take it seriously. This is the only way you can achieve good outcomes.