The international student’s manifesto: how and why you should study abroad
Choosing where to go to University can be a pretty tough challenge without adding international study into the mix. However, before you discount it, and only focus on learning institution in the UK, you should read the advice below. Advice that might just help you achieve your learning and careers goals, as well as have a much more satisfying student experience.
Reason 1: Course Specialism
As anyone in academia knows different institutions pursue different projects, and some get a name for specific types of research. Good examples of this being Oxford, UK, for Modern Languages, MIT, US, for Chemistry, and Harvard, US, for medicine. That means if you want to be successful in a particular field it can really help to study under the folks in these institutions that are currently leading it.
To study abroad, for this reason, the first thing you need to do is identify where the best institution for your subject is. Then you need to look in detail at the entry requirements including the subjects that are compulsory as well as the minimum grades you will need.
Also, email or call the course leader to discuss the content of the course and how involved you can get with their current research before applying.
Remember too to include the most relevant references you can. For example, if applying for psychology course make sure that the person that supervised any psychology or community work experience has provided you with a sparkling report.
Reason 2: Prestige
Certain education institutions around the world have a particular prestige assisted with their name. These include Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, and the Ivy League Schools in America. In fact, such school are famous the world over for training the brightest academic and business minds of each generation. Something that means having a degree from them can open many doors that would otherwise be closed.
So for folks that are keen on networking and having the prestige of a top university behind them, it can be well worth travelling out of their home country to one of these schools.
Getting into the most prestigious institutions in the world isn’t going to be an easy task. Even if your grades are stellar. This is because they look at other factors as well, including your community involvement, as well as your outside interests and other achievements.
If you are applying for Cambridge or Oxford In the UK, it’s best to speak to your tutor at school or college and get them to look over your application before you send it. Also, don’t forget that there are guides on how to go through the application process in most school and college libraries. It may also be useful to ask around and see if any of the teaching staff have attended these institutions and can provide you with some coaching, or a reference for your application too.
For courses running in the Ivy League Schools in America, it’s a good idea to recruit the help of the best college advisors you can find who knows the process inside and out. They can then guide you through it. After all, it’s hard enough to get into them if you are a part of the American education system, let alone a UK student.
Reason 3: Language Skills
Another reason for studying overseas is linked to your language skills. While studying in a different tongue isn’t always easy it certainly helps you improve your verbal and written understanding of that language. Something that is vital if you hope to work in that country, or as a translator for that language once you have graduated.
When your primary motivation for studying abroad is the development of foreign language skills, there are two main things you need to consider.
The first is the language that you want to become fluent in, and the second is where you will be happy living that speaks this language. For example, if you wish to become fluent in Spanish you can choose Spain, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Cuba, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, and Mexico among other places.
Don’t underestimate this last part either, as being in a country for a year is a long time. So you will want to give yourself the best chance of enjoying it as well as just working on your education.
Also, remember that if your motivation is language based, you have the option of including a year of study abroad when picking some UK courses. This means you have can the full UK university experience in this country, and still, have an entire year immersed in another country’s language and culture.
Have you studied abroad? Let us know how it went