You probably know someone who has started their University degree outside their home country or maybe you are the one considering it.
Now before you make any sort of decision you need to think what is your reason for going abroad to study and what do you want to gain from it.
Our educational consultants have all studied in different countries and we’ve asked them to come up with 10 reasons why they went abroad.
Wide range of specialities
You might be very passionate about a specific field, let’s say…sports. You want to have a career in that field but not as an athlete but rather behind the scenes.
There is a problem though; in your country sport is not a big industry.
Achieving your goals will be difficult since there is a limit to what you can do in a small industry and getting the knowledge and experience in that field is also not an easy task in your country.
So why not consider studying in UK where you will have the opportunity to study Sports Business. During your studies you will gain theoretical and practical knowledge. Sports industry is big in the UK which can allow you to grow and reach your goals.
Why settle for less only because it is convenient, familiar and within your comfort zone when there is a whole world of possibilities and opportunities out there.
You just need to be willing to make the first step and put the necessary work in.
Style/method of education
Different countries have different styles of education, some are more similar than others and some are drastically different than others.
Perhaps you are a person who learns better when you actually do what you are learning, so this would mean that you need a more practical approach to actually understand what you are doing and most importantly to enjoy the educational process.
Perhaps in your home country higher education is more academic and heavily based on learning the theoretical aspect of your field. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for some subjects you need that but let’s imagine that you want to study Business.
In the Netherlands for example if you study business you will have a module within your degree where you and your team will need to start a student company that will offer a product or a service and you will be given a starting capital. Now your task is to put the knowledge that you are getting during other lessons to practice and make your company profitable. You have the constant guidance and support of your lecturers and you are doing with other passionate and goal driven people who are in the exact same boat as you.
Now think about it, would an employer (a company that is hiring) prefer to hire someone with theoretical knowledge or someone who has both theory and practice?
It doesn’t matter if you will stay in the country where you studied, move back home or to a new country; the fact that you studied abroad opens a lot of job opportunities; employers do look favourably at applicant who studied abroad.
While at University you will grow your network or in other words you will meet a lot of different people from different countries that could help you with your career prospects.
Why you may ask? Well it’s simple. Those candidates are showing determination, that they are goal driven, not scared to take on a challenge and will manage the situations that might come.
How are they showing it? It’s simple! They went abroad to study. They moved and in a sense started over in a new place and they managed.
Of course there are other factors to consider when it comes to career prospects. Perhaps a certain industry is not evolved or is not existent in your country. So why just accept that you need to work at a job that you are not passionate about and do something 5 times per week for 8 hours a day that you really don’t care about?
Universities in such countries like UK, Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are very employment and development oriented which means your course will provide you with knowledge and experience that is required to make it in todays job market.
Opportunities to experience new cultures
You might think “I travel a lot so I think I have experienced new cultures! I’ve been to USA for 2 weeks, I’ve been to Japan for a week and I’ve visited most European capitals for a few days multiple times” Great, but you didn’t really experience the culture. You were there as a tourist, you experienced the country from that perspective. When you actually move somewhere it’s a different story. It might be scary at first or it might be confusing but you will get a hang of it :) You will become a lot more open minded, tolerant and it will be a lot more easier for you to understand the point of view and opinions of others because you will understand where they are coming from. These attributes will come very handy when you will be looking for a job, moving somewhere else on in general working with people. We would specifically like to bring attention here to what our consultant Anna from Estonia said: “ When I was still living in Estonia I was quite, reserved, shy and….it might sound silly but I did not smile a lot. I would always get comments about it, even from strangers and my answer was always that I need a reason to smile. After I moved to UK I’ve changed a lot. I’ve become a lot more outgoing, a lot more friendlier and I’m still shy but I learned to over come it. I smile all the time and I don’t need a reason any more. These changes in my character were needed so much and they are helping me to reach my goals.”
Opportunities to travel
Not only will you be able to travel within the country where you will study but you will have a lot of cheap opportunities to travel around the world.
Going to a University in your home country and going to one abroad are very different experiences in a lot of ways.
Let’s imagine you live for example in a country where local fashion industry is very small. You can study fashion design at 1 or maybe 2 Universities but the lecturers and professionals from the industry will all be local which unfortunately will limit your understanding of the industry and the experiences that you could get within it.
Now imagine you go to UK to study fashion, maybe it will be fashion design but maybe it will be fashion promotion and marketing or fashion journalism. You will be able to work and get knowledge and experience from the world leading designers, brands, magazines, buyers etc.
Your final collection was outstanding? You might get invited to showcase it at London Fashion Week in front of international press. Sounds fantastic! Now think, if you studied the same subject back home, would you have these opportunities and experiences that could open the doors for you in other countries?
Meet new people
We’ll be honest in our experience a lot of students are scared that they will not make friends when they go abroad but that is simply not true. You will meet a lot of different and interesting people from all over the world, some will become your life long friends, some will be useful job contacts and some will just be fun to hang with.
This might sound scary if you haven’t gone abroad to study yet.
Think about it; you were born in one place, you have lived there until this moment with your family, went to school and had more or less the same friends for a long time. Perhaps you are used to that your parents make all your doctor appointments or maybe your used to having your friends always around and constantly relying on them for help.
In other words you are in a very familiar and comfortable position but to grow and develop we need change and becoming independent is one of those changes.
You will make mistakes, everyone does but you will be learn how to sustain yourself, how to navigate through a lot of situations that life throws at you and learn from it. This is probably one of the most valuable things that you will get from your experience abroad. No one is saying it’s going to be easy but it will all be worth it.
Improve your language skills
This will happen automatically since you will be studying in a different language but this will be beneficial for you. Not only in terms of communicating with others but also in terms of jobs.
Enjoy coming home
You will start appreciating your country ,family and friends a lot more. Coming home and seeing familiar faces and going to favourite places are truly pleasurable and heart warming moments, not to mention that your relationships with the people who really matter will get better.