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6 Things To Consider If You Plan On Studying Abroad

May 20, 2016

Studying abroad can be a great way of broadening your horizons, strengthening your knowledge, and developing your language skills. You’ll also be able to use your travel experience to improve your CV and perhaps even become more employable. In fact, there are many different benefits in studying abroad.\r\n\r\nHowever, there’s a lot to consider if you’re planning to study abroad. From finding the right academic institution to getting the right insurance, a lot of preparation will be required before you travel. This even extends to what you should pack when you’re studying abroad.\r\n\r\n

1. How will you finance your studies?

\r\nWhen weighing up your options, think carefully about how you’ll finance your studies. Depending on the country and university in question, some international students may be eligible for scholarships or bursaries which can significantly reduce the cost of the course. \r\n\r\nNot only should you compare tuition fees, it’s also wise to compare accommodation and essential living costs between different towns and cities. If you were to study in the UK, for example, living in London would probably cost considerably more than Manchester.\r\n \r\n

2. What will your course entail?

\r\nWhen comparing courses, it’s vital you look closely to find out exactly what your course entails. Although some courses will share the same name, they may in fact cover very different subject areas depending on the institution. A journalism course at one university may focus predominantly on news while a journalism course at another university may have a more well-rounded focus.\r\n \r\nBefore making a selection, contact tutors, lecturers and support staff via email to learn more about the course in question. Many courses have Facebook groups designed for existing or prospective students. It may be worth joining some of the relevant groups and talking to current students to learn more about the courses available.\r\n\r\nIt’s important that you find the right course for you. Ask yourself whether you’re ready to specialise in a certain area or whether you’d rather keep your options open and study a wider range of topics within your course. \r\n\r\n

3. Does the university have a good reputation?

\r\nResearch the reputation of prospective universities to see what their strengths and weaknesses are. Having a degree from a university that ranks highly in league tables could give you an edge with employers and help you stand out from other candidates. \r\n\r\nHowever, there’s obviously more to your studies than the ranking of your university. The best university may not have the course you need and may not operate in a way that complements your learning style. \r\n\r\n

4. How many graduates find employment after university?

\r\nIf you’re hoping to get a job after university, your institution’s graduate employment rates could give you an indication as to how employable you’ll be at the end of your course. You’ll learn how many students find work after graduation and how many continue their studies. \r\n\r\n

5. Which facilities can you use?

\r\nWhether you require the use of the university’s science labs or would like to make the most of specialist art materials, be sure to find out which facilities are available for you to use. Some universities allow you to use their facilities free of charge as part of your course while others may charge you extra. \r\n\r\nIt’s also worth researching the facilities in the broader area. Are there shops nearby? Is there a park? Are you close to any landmarks or interesting places? \r\n\r\n

6. Which insurance policies do you need?

\r\nWhen studying abroad, you’ll probably need insurance to cover everything from your health to your belongings. If you were to fall ill during your trip, you may require medical treatment in your host country. This could prove costly if you haven’t purchased health insurance.\r\n\r\nYou may also require contents insurance to cover the cost of your personal items in the event of theft, loss or damage. Be sure to research the different options available and read the terms and conditions carefully so you’re getting the protection you need. Take a look at our guide to international student insurance to learn more. \r\n\r\nWhether you’re unsure where to study abroad or you need help finding the perfect institution for you, IEC abroad can help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to learn more about becoming an international student. \r\n\r\n