What to Consider When Choosing a University Abroad?

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Introduction 

Pursuing higher education abroad can be a priceless experience, and this experience can further help you to develop a  global mindset. However, choosing the university that best suits your educational aspirations and your financial budget can be a daunting task. However, do not feel overwhelmed. Shortlisting universities is more manageable if you know exactly what you are looking for in your dream university. You considered several factors when choosing a university abroad. While there can be no definitive list of things to consider before studying abroad, there are certain basic things that almost everyone needs to consider before finalizing a university.  To simplify your job, this article has listed the most basic yet essential things to consider when choosing a  university abroad. 

7 things to consider when choosing a University abroad

Deciding on which universities to apply to can be a daunting task. When shortlisting universities, It’s essential to consider several factors so that you don’t waste your precious money by mindlessly filling in application forms for universities that don’t even suit your interests. Listed below are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a university abroad. 

  • On-campus jobs and assistantships

Since studying abroad is quite expensive, it would be great if you could earn some money while taking classes. However, in some countries, universities only allow international students to work outside the university on a student visa. Hence, you must research whether your prospective university imposes such restrictions or not, and if it does, then whether the university offers on-campus job opportunities and assistantships(research or teaching). If you find an on-campus job or assistantship can be a great way to earn money and take classes. Moreover, since the job is on-campus, you won’t have to bear travel expenses. You can save this money in an INR-based interest-earning digital savings account to supplement your earnings. (onlinepharmacyreviews.net) If you can save up to Rs. 2 lakhs, the accumulated amount will yield an interest at the rate of 3.5% p.a. The money thus earned can cover your grocery, rent, and other necessary monthly expenses. All this is only possible with the international travel card, and it also keeps track of all your transactions, which will help you to plan your finances better. 

  • Acceptance/rejection rate

While everyone wishes to get admission to the best university, only a few can secure access to them. While some institutions might demand an excellent academic record and have an exceptionally high rejection rate, others might be comparatively easier to get admitted to. However, since most universities charge an application fee, which can be almost several thousand rupees, you need to research well to find out the acceptance/rejection rate of various universities before paying your application fees. Here’s a quick tip. Save on your application fees using a global card, which charges zero forex markup fees. 

  • Career opportunities 

When choosing a university abroad, you need to consider academic institutions offering various work-integrated learning programs that will help you kickstart your career. Some most common examples include:

  • Co-ops
  • Internships
  • Work Placements
  • Advanced degrees. 

The most important thing that almost everyone worries about is whether they will get a job after the completion of their studies or not. Hence, choosing a university that will help you secure a job almost as soon as you pass out is extremely important. While most universities organize career fairs from time to time to enable their students to secure a job, some others still need to. Hence, you researched well. 

  • Tuition fees and financial aids

Your tuition fees will depend on whether you’re taking a graduate or an undergraduate program. As is generally the case, master’s degrees usually have higher annual costs than graduate programs. Also, while in countries like the UK, students have to pay a standardized tuition fee, in some other nations like the USA, the tuition fees will depend on your primary subject. Hence, research whether your choice of the significant issue falls under the expensive or the affordable category. 

Also, you might come across 3 to 4 universities offering the same course but at different prices. So, always compare and contrast the tuition fees of various universities. However, when paying your tuition fees, remember to use the best international debit card, as it doesn’t charge any forex markup fee on top of the transaction amount. 

Most universities offer scholarships, grants, and fellowships to deserving international students. Information about such aids and scholarships is usually given on the official website of a university. Hence, while shortlisting universities, check the official websites for details regarding tuition fees and financial aid. 

  • Cost of living

Expenses for studying abroad are one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a university abroad. Besides tuition fees, you also need to consider accommodation and transportation fees. The living cost abroad is dependent on certain factors, some of which are:

  • living in urban vs. rural areas
  • on vs. off-campus accommodation
  • transportation

Researching the average living cost of different places can help you to plan a financial budget. Remember that you can still strive for your dream of studying abroad. There are various budget-friendly cities, whether you choose to study in the US, Australia, the UK, or Canada. If you feel the cost to be overwhelming, you can apply for student grants and international student scholarships and search for part-time job opportunities to strike a balance between your financial position and your career goals. 

You also find whether your prospective university offers residence halls. Most universities do offer rooms that suit different budget plans, some of which even include a meal plan.  

  • Quality of faculty, alums, and ranking.

It is a well-acknowledged fact that the quality of teachers/faculty determines the quality of students. While some universities might have an attractive physical infrastructure, they might not have a better faculty. On the other hand, every department doesn’t have equally good faculty. 

While choosing a university abroad, conduct thorough research about the department’s faculty to which you want to take admission. Consider the academic and research experience of the faculty members. Refrain from sticking to one university, and consider the faculty of various universities to know which is the best. 

You also need to go through the alum list of various institutions. You can also check the rankings published by several organizations like “QS World University Rankings” or “Times Higher Education” to ensure that the university you finally choose is one of the best. Since your aim in studying abroad is basically to access top-quality education, it would be wise to overlook the quality of faculty members in a particular institution, its alum list, and its global ranking.

  • Validity of the university and its degree certificate. 

Many students who applied for universities abroad without verifying whether the chosen university is a registered or not, ended up in fake institutions. Fake institutions also issue degree certificates that hold no value, as any country does not recognize those certificates.  Many instances have been found when a student admitted to a particular university or a college abroad later finds out that it is a fake institution that is neither accredited nor its degree certificates recognized by any country. This is sheer carelessness, which many students commit in their excitement and quest to study abroad. Such a decision no doubt proves to be disastrous.  Hence, do not repeat this mistake. Thoroughly check whether the academic institution you are applying to is an accredited university or not. You also need to ensure that the degree certificates you will be provided with are acceptable in other countries. Otherwise, it can be a waste of your hard earned money and efforts. 

Conclusion

However, if you are determined to pursue higher studies abroad, you must prepare for it long before physically relocating to a foreign country. The most crucial factor is the financial burden you will have to bear. You can take student loans and get a scholarship too. However, you started planning your finances early. 

Get yourself the best international student travel card. This card comes with a full-fledged digital savings account and a mobile application with nifty features. This card will smooth your journey of going abroad, as it also offers a contactless instant pay feature. It will help you to make your international payments within the blink of an eye. This zero-balance savings account doesn’t force you to maintain a specified monthly balance. It also has an in-app currency convertor and ATM locator to help you quickly locate ATMs in a foreign locale. 

Once the financial side is pretty taken care of, the next important thing that needs to be done is to ensure that you choose the university that best suits your career goals and educational aspirations. While there are several excellent universities, only some are fit for you. Considering the top 7 things listed above would be beneficial when choosing a university abroad. In addition to those, you can also consider some other factors that you consider to be important. The crux of this article is to research well before choosing a particular university abroad. 

 

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