How to choose a Study Abroad Program

If you think choosing a study abroad program is easy, then think again. A plethora of options from an unlimited number of universities all over the world has made it difficult for students to choose a study abroad program that is just right for them. Most of the Indian students still feel that by simply getting a degree from a foreign university, it will add great substance and value to his or her resume. It might be true in some cases, but if the degree does not teach you anything or if it doesn’t have any value in the Indian context, then it becomes just a useless piece of paper. You need to do a lot of research if you wish to study abroad and pursue your higher education. NNE has developed this roadmap which will help you select not just A Study Abroad Program but The Right Study Abroad Program:

Choosing a Country

The first step even before deciding upon the program is to choose the location for your study abroad program. Choosing the right country of study is very important as they will shape your personal and professional life for years to come. Indians generally study in the UK and the US and the quality education they get in those countries is unmatched in most cases in India. However, new study destinations like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy are now attracting many Indian students. Keep the following points in mind while deciding upon the country:

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  • Big city or small town
  • Distance from India
  • Political relationship with your country
  • Economic condition of the country
  • Safety of international students
  • Dominant religion of the country

Language

It might seem that the language factor might not play an important role while choosing a study abroad program, then you are not entirely correct. If you are planning to choose a specialized program which is taught in a non-English speaking country, then you need to see if the program for which you are planning to enroll is offered in English or not. For example, if you want to study music, Germany is one of the finest countries that offer some excellent programs in art and music. However, German is not a language too popular among Indian students. So, it is advisable that you learn the language either in India or enroll in the university itself and also ensure that the program is taught in English.



Read: Entrance exams to study abroad

Cost of the Program

Price is an important factor that you need to keep in mind for a career. Do your homework in a smart manner and make a list of the desire program in various universities of your chosen country and also of the other countries. If you find that the curriculum of the program is more or less similar in more than two universities, then choose the program that is more cost effective.

Curriculum

You should carefully go through the curriculum details before deciding upon the program.

  • Does it offer you technical / practical training
  • Is the program and the university recognized in your home country and elsewhere
  • Length of the program
  • Interactivity of the program

Types of Program

While choosing a study abroad program, you also need to decide on the type of program you want to do. It could be a master’s degree, a diploma program, certificate course or you can even pursue your research. Different terms are used for the types of programs in different cities.  For example what we know as diploma in India is different from Diplom in Germany. Diplom in Germany is equivalent to Master’s degree.

Read: Study abroad scholarships

Where to live

This is an important factor that you should consider once you decide to study in a particular country. Check for accommodation facilities within the campus or in the neighborhood. A university in a small place might not have too many accommodation options.

Faculty of a Program

Most universities give a background of the faculty of their programs. Go through the brochure and get a good idea of the kind of lecturers you can find in that university.

Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad


Pros

  • Studying abroad will give a boost to your career
  • Make new friends from varied cultures and background
  • High demand in the industry after your return
  • High standard of living after finishing your studies


Cons

  • Extremely expensive especially if you do not get full scholarship
  • Have to stay away from home and family for long
  • Have to deal with lot of issues like racism, different grading system and course structure


Note: The US or the UK are not the only destinations for higher study abroad. Many European countries like France, Germany and Switzerland also offer quality programs. Places like New Zealand and Australia too offer an array of courses unavailable in India. Click here for our Study Abroad Section and learn more about foreign universities, programs and admission procedure.

World's Top Universities

  1. Harvard University United States 100.0
  2. University of Cambridge United Kingdom 99.6
  3. Yale University United States 99.1 4
  4. UCL (University College London) United Kingdom 99.0
  5. IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom 97.8
  6. University of OXFORD United Kingdom 97.8
  7. University of CHICAGO United States 96.8
  8. PRINCETON University United States 96.6
  9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (m... United States) 96.1
  10. California Institute of Technology (calt... United States) 95.9

Click here for a complete list of World's Top Universities and their rankings

Checklist Before Choosing a Program
  • Type of course you want to take
  • Type of topics you want to study – whether it will be an interdisciplinary topic or one specific subject
  • Can you take the course in language other than English
  • Length of the program – can you afford a long duration program Does the program give you flexibility to work while you study
  • How will the program contribute to your long term goals



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