Want to make the jump to study abroad, but not sure where to start? When deciding where you want to study, what subject to study, and how you’ll afford it, the options can seem endless. To help you out, here are five factors to consider that will get you one step closer to your study abroad dreams!
1. Location, Location, Location!
Stuck on where you want to study? If you’re on the fence, narrow down your options by asking questions such as:
- Do you want to study somewhere picturesque?
- How far do you want to live from your home country?
- Do you have a dream educational institution you’d like to study at?
- What sort of climate do you prefer living in?
At the end of the day, there are many highly reputed academic institutions throughout our destination countries. For a more balanced approach, it’s important to consider your personal preferences when choosing your study location. For instance, if you like picturesque views with a hot climate, you may choose an institution such as Miami University in the United States.
Cost is an important factor in deciding where you’d like to live. Certain factors can determine the cost of living in different countries, including:
- Living in rural vs. urban areas
- On- vs. off-campus accommodations
Researching the average cost of living can help you set a budget for your study abroad journey. Remember: you don’t need to choose between affordable living and a great education! There are many budget-friendly cities to consider, whether you choose to study in Canada, the US, the UK, or Australia. If you feel discouraged by the cost, there are many ways to make the most of your budget. Whether you apply for international student scholarships, choose to work part-time, or apply for student grants, you can find a balance between your career goals and financial well-being.
3. Academic Rankings
Unsure which academic institution is the best fit for you? Looking at international university rankings can help you decide which one meets your specific needs. At the end of the day, you’ll be spending the majority of your time at your educational institution, so it’s important to find the options best suited to you. Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE) provides performance data every year on its World University Rankings. THE ranks universities by:
- Teaching (the learning environment)
- Research (volume, income, and reputation)
- Citations (research influence around the world)
- International outlook (diversity in staff, students, and research)
- Industry income (knowledge transfer to business and industry)
Decide which factors are most important for you so you can best narrow down your options.
4. Family and Friends
Do you know any family members or friends who live abroad? If you have some people you know and trust in the area you plan to study in, it can be helpful. Having loved ones around in a new country can make you feel less homesick, and potentially save you housing costs if you have the option to live with them.
5. Career Opportunities
To jumpstart your career, consider academic institutions that offer specific work-integrated learning programs. Some common examples include:
- Work placements
- Advanced degrees
Every country has their own visa eligibility requirements for international students wanting to work while studying abroad. Consider what career opportunities you may want access to later, and choose a country and academic institution with that in mind.
Although choosing an educational institution can feel daunting, breaking it down into five different factors can make your choice feel a little easier!
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