If you are someone looking to study abroad, now is a better time than ever. However, it also comes with its fair share of complications. Choosing the right program and institution is the first of them. There are thousands of great programs in hundreds of colleges and universities. So how can you find the best bachelor, or masters or PHD program for yourself in a foreign country? Here are 11 tips to find the best college/University to study abroad.
Pick your college/university abroad: Some essential tips
Choose your discipline
This shouldn’t be confused with choosing a subject or a major. Many students wishing to study abroad plan on changing their discipline. While typically people stick to their high school discipline, you might have a change of heart or wish to explore something new. Either way, you need to decide whether you’re going to switch disciplines. This will play an important role as some colleges or universities require you to stick to your discipline. However, most institutions across the globe will allow you to switch.
Choose your subject
Done with your discipline? Now you should move onto choosing your subject. People will tell you to follow your passion and study the subject that you like. But you need to consider the reality as well. Try to find the middle ground between your passion and a subject that will ensure a good career. Do your research to find out the pros and cons of your major.
Choose your desired country
Studying abroad sounds exciting at first, but getting used to a new country isn’t everyone's cup of tea. A new country will bring a lot of new challenges with it. Whether it's adjusting to the culture, weather, learning a new language, or even the food, you need to consider all of them before you choose where you want to pursue your study.
Besides these, during the pandemic situation, you need to compare the recent status of COVID-19 contraction rates to pick your desired country or region.
People will tell you that QS ranking is the absolute metric to decide on a college or university. However, that’s not the case. The ranking shows the overall performance of the institution, not the individual discipline. So, you must dive deep to research institutes based on your chosen subject. For example, Studee.com is a great platform to find all of this information.
Every major college and university has its international student wing. These wings operate various seminars and webinars across the year to familiarize students with their university and its courses. If you are someone who isn’t good at digging, these webinars can be a good start to get more information about your prospective school. However, still we suggest you do your additional research as most of these webinars will highlight only the good stuff.
Find your local admission fairs
It's common for international universities to hold admission fairs in many countries. These programs are usually held in collaboration with several universities. As a prospective student, you can get first-hand knowledge about many universities from their representatives. You can also find out about the culture, financing, as well as job prospects after graduation. These fairs are a great way to compare between universities and countries to choose your desired destination.
Check your eligibility
Most universities or colleges have certain requirements for the admission of international students. Whether it’s the English language proficiency tests like IELTS or standardized entrance exams like SAT. Most universities will require one or both to be even eligible for application. In addition to that, there are other certification-related eligibility criteria. You need to check each admission portal properly for the eligibility requirements. Based on the requirements, you can start to prepare yourself. We suggest you get going with this at least a year before your application deadline.
Academics and Research
The academics and research determine the ranking of a university in the global scenario. A university with better accessibility to academic research is desirable if you want to build a prospective career. In this regard, you can check the number of publications of your desired university to grab an idea about the current research and lab state.
Cost and Finance
Studying abroad isn’t cheap. From the tuition fees to living expenses, things can easily get out of hand if you don’t plan properly. Luckily there are tuition reduction and scholarship opportunities across numerous universities. You can easily find a suitable scholarship program for yourself given your qualifications match their requirements. You can check more about scholarships here.
Almost all the universities across the globe take in foreign students. That’s the good part. However, you need to consider the acceptance rate to the university as well. The well-known universities get thousands of applications against a limited number of seats. Naturally, they accept only a handful. Sometimes the acceptance rate is below 1%.
If you are someone without a stellar academic record or a host of ECAs, you need to reconsider applying to certain places as it simply might be a waste of time. If you can do a small research on the acceptance records of universities before applying, it would save your time, and energy.
Retention rate is the opportunity to find a job and settle in that country after graduation. While most universities have a good retention rate. Others might require you to shift back to your home country after graduation. A good number of people choose foreign universities to build a career and settle abroad. If you are one of those people, you should check for the retention rate of the graduates. In this regard, you can also check for job availability and acceptability for prospective foreign graduates.
The prospect of studying abroad is as lucrative as it sounds. You can build a great career or pursue your academics at a reputed institution that many people only dream of. However, if you aren’t careful enough, you can't make much progress or might find yourself in a precarious position. In this article, we have highlighted some of the most essential tips for international students to choose a foreign university or college. We hope that these tips will help you to better prepare for the selection and application to your desired college or university.