Last month, we looked at the things you should think about when choosing your course. But what if you need – or want – to decide on your destination first?
The truth is it doesn’t matter which way to you start narrowing your choices down, as long as it gets you where you want to be.
So, in this article we look at the Top 10 reasons for choosing a specific country to study in. You all have different reasons for wanting to study abroad, different interests and different needs. But at least one of these tips should lead you down the right path, and help you find the right course for you. If you think of some more, post a comment below!
1. You’ve always wanted to live there….
Australia looks like paradise on TV. America will give you the opportunity to succeed. The UK has such great culture and history. For many different reasons, you may have always thought you could live in a certain country – and studying overseas gives you the chance to do just that, even for a short time.
2. You already speak the language…
Studying is challenging enough without have to learn a new language. So if you already speak English well enough to learn in it, why not choose an English-speaking country. It will make it easier to communicate with teachers, students and in daily life, and that can help you get over homesick feelings sooner.
And of course, if your second language is French, Japanese or Norwegian, then studying in those countries gives you a chance to finally test it out!
3. You need to learn the language…
Of course, not all international students arriving in the UK, the US, Canada or Australia are fluent in English. Which is why it makes it the perfect place to learn English. Look for a school with an ‘English-only’ policy (such as ACE), to completely immerse yourself. And many English language courses can lead directly into your degree course – the perfect pathway to success!
4. You know other people studying there…
If you have a friend, cousin, brother or neighbour already studying in that country, and they are sending back excited emails and posting amazing pics on Flickr, then you may want to go there too. And that’s a fair enough reason. Just make sure it’s the right decision for your needs – and also that they will help you settle in.
5. You can afford the cost of the flights/tuition/living expenses…
This is a tough one. Australia may seem appealing, but if the cost of the airfare is putting you off you may need to think again. Likewise, if the cost of tuition in the US is scary, why not look at a more affordable North American education (and lifestyle) in Canada?
6. You have relatives there…
Like number 4, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for you. And although it may help you avoid culture shock, don’t let it prevent you from making new friends from other countries. That’s one of the challenges, but also most life-changing results, of international study!
7. You’ve heard it’s easy to get part-time work there…
Check the details on this first. You may have heard of students earning $10 an hour in America – but is that really enough for you to live on, and will your visa allow you to work off-campus, or will it limit the hours you can work?
Generally, students visas allows international students in the UK, Canada and Australia to work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during term-time – but these countries have all recently been affected by financial woes and jobs are not quite as easy to get as they used to be.
8. You want to work there when you graduate…
It is easier to apply for graduate positions if you’re already in that country, and hold a degree from a well-known institution there. You’ll also get the chance to network with alumni or local companies, or apply for research positions at your university. Plus some countries, including Canada and the UK, have special work visas for international graduates.
9. That country is an expert in your chosen field…
Auto-engineering students are more likely to study in Germany. Digital technology students flock to Northern California. Certain countries or regions specialise in specialised industries. So if you want to study agriculture, Australia and New Zealand may be good bets. Finance? Head to London or New York.
Studying in these countries could lead to better internships, or graduate jobs with world-leading companies or organisations. And that could have a big impact on your future.
10. It’s closer to home…
There are many reasons for not travelling too far – you may want to get home to family more often, or you just feel more comfortable in your own region. But you can still get an international education. Many well-known universities have opened campuses in Singapore, Dubai and China – such as James Cook University in Singapore, and Hult International Business School in Dubai.
Now you’ve narrowed down your destination options. The next step is to choose your course, or choose your university. And the place to start? StudyLink! Just enter your destination in the search field and see what comes up!
And don’t forget to post a comment for us – what’s more important to you? Where you study, or what you study?
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