Thinking of studying abroad? Here’s what you need to know
We recently pinpointed some of the most exotic study-abroad destinations that will undoubtedly appeal to a lot of students, and it seems that a growing number of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are presenting themselves to UK-based academics in 2018.
In our book, studying + travelling = a winning combination.
In this post, we’ll highlight some of the main benefits of studying overseas and we’ll also explain what you need to think about before you make an application.
Why Study Abroad?
As this article by The Economist alludes to, due to language barriers and the high standard of education in the UK, there’s been a long-held reluctance among British students to chance their arm at a foreign university. However, this is beginning to change!
The same report found that unis in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands have all reported an upturn in the number of UK students enrolling on courses since 2010.
Recent research by Study.EU, as reported in this Forbes piece, also reaffirmed the point that Germany in particular has become a hugely popular location for international students - thanks in part to the increasing number of courses that are offered in English.
Interestingly, Poland has emerged as a sought-after destination for students too, with the number of foreign academics rising from 12,000 to over 65,000 in the past decade.
There are plenty of benefits to studying abroad. Here are a few for starters:
- It looks good on your CV - it shows that you’re happy to remove yourself from your comfort zone.
- It gives you a new perspective on life - this sounds a little cliché, but immersing yourself in different cultures at a young age is never a bad thing.
- It opens up new opportunities - learning a new language can provide a serious shot in the arm to your future job prospects.
- You can save money - it’s no surprise that Poland, as mentioned, has become a hotbed for international students, given the low cost of living (compared to the UK at least). Also, some countries have eye-catching tuition fee policies, so it can be a hugely cost-effective option.
- The quality of education is excellent - while the UK is awash with world-class unis, it’s worth pointing out that places like the US, Germany and France (among many other destinations) have some of the finest education institutions on the planet.
International study isn’t for everybody, but we can certainly see why it appeals to those who are keen to satisfy their wanderlust.
Our Top Tips for Studying Abroad
Encouragingly, UK universities are making foreign study, if only for a short timeframe, more accessible. According to UCAS statistics, there were 24,000 UK students either studying, volunteering or working abroad as of 2014/15.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for studying abroad - much depends on your chosen destination and your individual circumstances.
That said, there are certain things that everyone needs to consider before they take the plunge.
1. Familiarise yourself with the modules first
Many students venture overseas either midway through or towards the end of their course, which is great but don’t forget that the modules you take on foreign soil WILL have a bearing on your final degree classification. Don’t bite off more than you can chew just for the sake of scratching your travel itch.
2. Make sure you can afford it
As we’ve already touched on, tuition fees and student loan criteria can vary wildly from country to country. While your eligibility for UK-based student finance shouldn’t be hindered if you enrol on an exchange programme, things can be much more complex if you decide to do your entire degree abroad.
3. Scout out potential part-time work opportunities before you go
Studying abroad is all about absorbing fun new experiences, but you’ve still got to pay the bills. It’s worth checking out how likely you are to land a part-time job before you commit to a study destination.
4. Know the application process
In all the excitement of researching different countries in which to study, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the logistics and admin involved (that pesky admin!) Make sure you know how to apply to study abroad and, even more importantly, when the deadlines are. The UCAS site is a good starting point.
5. Get your accommodation sorted at the earliest opportunity
Your living arrangements really can make or break your overseas studying experience. This should be one of the most memorable and fulfilling times of your life, so make sure it’s not ruined by shoddy housing that you can’t call home.
Need some student accommodation help? The team at Campus Living Villages are always on hand to share their advice.
Should more people be taking advantage of the growing number of opportunities to study abroad? What is your dream study destination? Let us know over on our Facebook page!