A large number of students these days want to study overseas but with the mind-boggling choice of courses and the promise that each one makes, they are left confused and undecided. Before applying for admission in Abroad Universities, you must have complete knowledge about Right Course, University and Which country is best for you to Study Abroad.
How would you decide which course is the best for you as it suits your interests or assures of a better future?
Clarity on this issue is important as the courses can be rigorous and might demand a lot of your time and energy. Thus, the simple rule should be:
If it does not interest you or does not seem to be of any practical use in future, drop the idea of pursuing it.
Choose the Right Course, University and Country to Study Abroad:
Let us not discuss the cost of studying abroad and look at the other factors which can help you decide what and where to study.
Search for Employers’ Choice
Spend some time looking at job advertisements to understand what skills employers are looking for. It may be helpful to look at the areas for which there are frequent job adverts. The greater the number of advertisements for a particular job or area, the greater is the demand for it. This helps you predict the market and can be the factor for your selection of the course which tops the list of employers’ choice and is also within the range of your own interests.
Look for the Unusual Course
Engineering, business management, law and medicine are traditional streams which limit your opportunities. There is an endless choice of work profiles in demand today. It is better to research thoroughly and look for an occupation or a career in something which interests you, and yet is off the beaten track to put you in the queue of just a few who know that work.
- For example, a student who has not been successful in clearing the medical entrance a few times, might as well do a Bachelor in Science (B.Sc.). He can think of other choices available to him in related fields like microbiology, biochemistry and pharmacy etc. He can think of pursuing a master’s in Medical Microbiology from Middlesex University, London.
- Similarly, the Duke-NUS program at Singapore offers you a US-style medical school not only at a much lower cost, but also without the predefined cut-off for GPAs and MCAT. Check with the people you know who have followed non-traditional courses. Learning from others’ experience saves you time money and effort.
Check University Rankings
The ranking of the Universities and colleges is an important factor to be considered. The universities with better rankings generally have
- Wider choice of courses and subjects
- Bigger choice of programs and combinations
- Industrial partnerships
- Greater funding
- Favorable campus atmosphere
- Better faculty profile
These can give you a jumpstart when you apply for a job. In such academic institutions, it is not unusual for students to get a job even before they have graduated.
The duration of the course you wish to pursue is another aspect you need to look at before you send in your application for admission. Look at the relation between the duration of the course and the gains accrued from it. Plain arithmetic says the longer the course, the more thorough is the understanding or practical experience you get from it. But it is you who has to decide how much time and energy you can invest in a course.
United Kingdom: If you choose to do a PhD in the UK, but midway decide that you do not have the heart to complete it, the university gives you the option of doing an M.Phil. instead. In the other universities, however, you could be labeled as a drop-out in such a case.
Australia vs India: Australian universities offer many post graduate business courses of one year duration as compared to those for two years in India. Similarly, you can do your honors in a subject in three years in India but it takes four years to do the same in Australia. Yet the Australian universities give you the choice of pursuing a PhD right after it. As opposed to that, in India, you have to first get a Master’s degree with a research component before you apply for your Ph.D. program.
This is where it gets tricky: a four-year honors course offers you greater research opportunity and theoretical knowledge but it is rigorous and intensive.
Besides the above factors, there are always personal choices or compulsions which have to be kept in mind as they can have a lot of weight in the decision-making process.
- If specialization is offered in the area of your choice or not
- Language skills
- Family obligations
- Relatives living abroad
- Financing studies
Piece of Advice: Plan in Advance
The wisest way is to start researching and planning your study overseas at least a year in advance. This would also be helpful in finding a backup option in case the best one does not work out. You would not want to put all your eggs in one basket, after all.
Sources to consult in the context of the examples given above:
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