Most prospective international students may desire to take up a graduate study in a country other than their country for the fun of it.
However, there are convincing reasons why one should aspire to study abroad. Many people are motivated to study abroad by a strong desire to develop a career in a specialized field which may not be available in their home country at a particular time.
However, others desire to enhance their career prospects, upgrade present knowledge and skills or take a career change or engage in research.
The following points lend credence to the need to study in an international institution of learning.
Availability of financial Support for International Students
It might interest you to know that the British Council, international universities, funding organizations, and Study abroad consultancies, record high volume of applications annually from international students who desire to obtain advanced qualifications in various universities around the world especially within Europe, America, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia amongst other developing countries.
Admitting that this is a very good intention, international prospective students are faced with the great challenge to secure funding for their intended undergraduate or graduate studies either for taught or research studies.
This issue is further compounded by the fact that international students pay higher fees than the local students or European Union students.
While the local Masters Degree programme student in the UK pays £3,500 as tuition fee, the international counterpart parts with a minimum of £9,000 or more depending on the programme of study and the institution of learning.
This fee does not include the cost of living as accommodation, books, feeding, travel and other miscellaneous expenses.
In the Netherlands, an international graduate programme student pays between €9,500 and €11,500 per year as tuition with another €755 per month for accommodation and living costs.
This huge financial outlay hinders many international prospective students from realizing their dream of obtaining an advanced Degree in international universities around the world with a global learning and research reputation.
More so, the exchange rate of the developing nations’ currencies to the international currencies as the Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euro leaves the cost of studying abroad running into few millions, which the low income earner may either not afford or find it difficult to invest such large sum of money into his/her education.
Availability of funds for study which is the main challenge for a student is of utmost importance to all prospective international students.
This is because choosing to take up studies abroad is a major investment and a commitment to yourself, your career and your future but most international student lack the fund to achieve this ambition.
Many international universities realize this challenge and have attracted funding for international students from donor organizations, private companies and the Government to enable them study for their advanced qualifications. These funding opportunities come as study loans, fellowships, grants, scholarships and studentships.
Most universities have earned highly prestigious awards in recognition of their commitment to providing educational and financial support for their students, especially to the students from the developing countries as Nigeria.
Some of the universities disburse scholarships worth well over £4 million annually.
The Career Service
One remarkable change in studying abroad is the opportunity to take up paid job after graduating for those who would want to obtain an international experience before going back to their respective countries.
Also, there are provisions to take up part time jobs while undergoing your studies abroad.
The career service plays an important role in the employment success both during and after your graduate studies. This is another area of disparity between studying in your home country and abroad.
Most universities in your home country do not have such service which means that the student must sought himself out during and after graduation in terms of securing either a vacation or full time job.
The career service offers services such as.
• CV construction
• Provision of vacancy bulletins
• Career counseling
• Skills workshops
• Provision of career leaflets and information booklets
• Career talks and presentations
• Career guidance programme
• Support after graduation through a vacancy mailing list.
Foreign Language Support
Another fascinating thing in studying abroad is the opportunity to learn another international language be it French, German, Arabic, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Polish, etc.
This programme offers the international student the opportunity to study and even secure a certification in at least one other language, regardless of his degree programme or year of study but by simply choosing the appropriate level for him/her.
This is very important in universities where other international languages are adopted as the language of instruction such as in Sweden, Austria, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Greece, China, Japan, Russia, Spain, etc.
These universities use reference materials in several international languages, audio and video workstations, where students can watch videotapes and broadcasts and listen to audiotapes in a variety of languages, as well as use multimedia facilities for interactive learning.
The universities of Westminster, Nottingham and Surrey respectively in the UK run these programmes.
See you at the top of your career.
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Baruch Okpulor, Author of Study Abroad Funding for International Students: The Easiest Way to Get Funding to Study Overseas
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org