Should you study abroad? There is a general perception that studying abroad is somewhat superior to studying locally. However, what people don’t realize is that it isn’t a competition – preferences, among other factors, also play a major role in deciding whether you should study abroad or not. In fact, there is no such thing as the “best” school, only the best FIT for you. So how do you know if studying abroad is fit for you or not?
Here are some questions that may guide you in deciding just that!
1. “Do I want to work or live abroad?”
A basic question, but just hear me out. To see whether you want to study abroad, you would need to consider your long-term goals. Now, many changes occur in life, and you can still have plenty of opportunities to work abroad even with a local degree. However, studying and acquiring a degree from your country of choice would make it significantly easier to be able to work there right away, so if this is the route you prefer, you might want to consider studying abroad.
2. “Can I afford it?”
One of the biggest deciding factors for parents to send their children abroad are the costs. It’s simple: to study abroad costs money. In fact, the number one factor that stops people from studying abroad is the expenses. But don’t fret! While reviewing your financial situation can help you narrow down your choices, this does not mean you should limit yourself because of it.
Before you cross ‘study abroad’ off your list because of how expensive it can be, do research because there are so many financing options out there waiting. In other words, depending on your destination country, school, and standard of living, studying abroad may not be as expensive as you think.
3. “Am I capable of adapting to new situations?”
To study abroad in a new country entails a whole world of change: new environment, people, culture, and even a lifestyle. Given all these factors, do you think you would be able to adapt to these drastic changes?
Studying abroad means studying a new culture and norms, all while being away from family and friends. You may have to break away from the everyday rules you’ve been so used to following your entire life. You will probably experience homesickness. In order to be prepared for these, be sure to do extensive research and be open-minded about your experiences. Otherwise, you’ll end up being miserable while you’re abroad.
4. “Is it necessary for me to take up my desired course there?”
People often have the misconception that study abroad guarantees a future of success, but this simply isn’t true. If one were to study business at a local college and another would take the same course in Singapore, the possibility that both of these people would end up at their profession of choice with roughly the same amount of opportunities would still be likely. Remember that at the end of the day, education is just one bullet point in your resume. Other factors like character and experience are equally (or even more) important than education.
This is because education is ultimately what you make of it. The things you learn at a school or college can only be of use to you if you choose to utilize them.
So… should you Study Abroad?
Studying abroad definitely has its advantages. Living alone in a foreign country definitely builds character and working with people from all walks of life can improve your adaptability and network. Universities abroad also tend to have connections to the industry you’re after, which would give you advantageous opportunities. However, none of these mean that you cannot attain similar (or even better) opportunities otherwise, so it all really comes down to you asking yourself if you even need this kind of advantage.
Studying abroad can be a very difficult thing to decide on. While these few questions can provide aid towards your decision, everyone’s situation is different, so always remember to do your research, re-evaluate your choices, and, most importantly, look for an education that’s suited to you and your needs!