Pic. from inchemistry.acs.org
Evaluating various options to study in foreign countries extra effort has to be applied to make sure all the pros and cons are properly weighted. Quite often the importance of studying abroad is obvious. On one hand, for those interested in getting the first-class business degree local colleges often can’t offer the right blend of classes. Or domestic colleges could focus more on local specifics while the comprehensive business program requires a global approach with invited professors from all over the world. On the other hand, young people who plan to make a brilliant career might simply want to get a degree of some world-famous university like Princeton or Harvard which will guarantee their future success. The challenge though is that the number of people who can get enrolled in these schools is relatively small and the competition is really tough. It will be safe to assume that getting to a world top school is like winning a lottery or a singing contest like ‘America got talent.’
While the advantages and future benefits of studying abroad are usually understood well, the part often overlooked though is study dangers that students should keep in mind when applying to a college or university abroad.
In terms of expectations setting students have to be prepared that the rules of the university they are about to apply as well as the studying process might vary significantly from the one at the home country. For example, let’s take a closer look at British universities and the UK system of higher education. Compared with other countries they often offer students more flexibility with their schedule and classes they can choose from. Some universities may have their own traditions and other requirements for newcomers who are often unaware and unprepared for that.
Fortunately, program providers always offer on-site orientation where students are explained all the basics they need to know in order to get along. Such tips and tricks help them quickly adapt to new conditions and avoid common mistakes.
Students might also need to make sure they have enough funds to cover not only the tuition costs but the living expenses as well. Having moved to another country, they may suddenly realize that the cost of living is very high or at least way higher than they had expected. Quite often after careful consideration, students decide to study in less expensive places like Australia instead of UK where the price level is 15-20% cheaper than in the UK. That might be a smart move indeed as the quality of education in Australia, the culture and many other things are similar or very close to the UK ones, and all these things way more affordable.
The best way to avoid huge tuition expenses is to apply for various educational programs which offer student grants and generous financial aid options. This is undoubtedly the most popular way to get a high-quality education abroad at minimal costs. Students might also schedule their education program in a way that would allow them working part-time on or off-campus.
Next thing that students should remember that the education process itself may be a lot more difficult than at their home university. A lot of newcomers find it difficult to get accustomed to another style of education or quickly overcome language barrier which may cause some difficulties in comprehending the information at classes or assignment writing.
For example, a student from Nigeria was admitted to an Australian university. The student had sent a message to his friend saying “Buddy, I can use a hand. It seems the homework is a bit overwhelming here. Please do my assignment for me Australia. I’m struggling to make sure I attend all the classes and submit my papers on time. It turned out that study in Australia is quite a tough thing”. The friend was busy and could not help him with the assignment. Instead, he shared a list of internet resources which might help in cases like this.
Having said that, it is usually just a matter of time before a student gets used to the accent and the rhythm of life. Indeed, dozens of thousands of students come to study abroad every year. They all come back with a bag of positive emotions. The trick here is to understand that many people somehow address these challenges every year and enjoy the success and nice careers after that.
Last but not the least — security matters. Although it is unlikely that students face any dangerous situations in most developed countries, it is still worth to take every precaution. It might be a good idea to make physical and digital copies of the government issued ID and the driver license. In case it gets lost or stolen, it will be easier to restore it as quickly as possible. The same thing applies to debit/credit cards. Another important advice is to find out embassy location and share the university contacts with relatives in case of an emergency. Finally, it makes sense to read the terms and conditions of the life and accidents insurance that are available from the university. From the expenses’ standpoint, it is sometimes cheaper to purchase the insurance policy from an independent provider or an insurance broker. Make sure you shop around and compare prices as sometimes it might be 15-20% difference. Special attention has to be paid to coverage amounts, available hospitals and clinics, and any other requirements, so it is clear how to act in case anything unforeseen happens.