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How to Decide Where to Study Abroad?


The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing the Perfect Study-Abroad Destination 

Studying abroad has been a dream for many growing up. There is a plethora of options today to pursue your desired course of study at any nook and corner of the world.

While it is an admirable development, it could get overwhelming if you're not pragmatic about your requirements and expectations. This is where a study-abroad guide comes in handy, and we're here to give you a few tips on the do's and don'ts of deciding the perfect study-abroad destination.

Once you understand the focus areas and the academic objectives, it automatically becomes easier to decide on the study destination. 

How to Decide Where to Study Abroad - What's in it for you?

Several factors impact your choice of study destinations. From the desired course to career development, a perfect overseas study destination plays a crucial role in helping you achieve your academic goals.

You could plan to study abroad in the USA to pursue fashion design just as well as in Paris or Milan. The options are aplenty. But that's also what makes it more important to research your choices first and decide on the destination that best meets your academic objectives.

Listed below are a few pointers you should consider before choosing the ideal study destination. 

1.Evaluate the worthiness of studying abroad

The first and foremost thought before diving head first into choosing the study destination is to evaluate the worthiness of pursuing a higher education abroad.

Ask yourself questions, like whether the course you're interested in is worth the investment in terms of career growth, lifestyle preferences, training, specialisation etc., to validate the costs and optimise the experience of pursuing education abroad. 

2.The course you want to pursue

The choice of study destination depends largely on the course you want to study abroad, and whether it satisfies your knowledge requirement, improves career prospects or allows scope for further studies in the country.

Start by listing your strengths and analysing the likelihood of leveraging your strengths with your preferred course. If you're good at designing, analyse which would make more sense - to pursue interior designing or core architecture, and then choose the destination that supports your choice. 

3. Scope of the course

The next step would be to analyse the scope of the course in popular study destinations by exploring further study options and career growth in related fields in these countries.

For instance, if interior designing (a popular field in many destinations) is your preferred course, it'd be prudent to choose the destination that promotes career growth and offers specialisation courses and industry training as well.

Also, research facilities are yet another factor to consider if your preferred course is research-intensive. 

4. Analyse the course structure and style of tutoring

Another critical factor to consider is the course structure - its relevance to your academic objectives in terms of the curriculum, subject formats, tutoring style, mix of practical learning sessions and theory, etc. This would help you decide on the right university and as a result, the ideal study destination.

For instance, if your choice of specialisation is data science, you need to have state-of-the-art facilities and industry-relevant training to make the most of your study-abroad experience. For a field as dynamic and technology-intensive as Data Science, it'd help your career only if you have the expected practical skills.

5. Check eligibility requirements

Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for a particular course or program that interests you. Verify if it's a diploma, a master's, or a short course, before applying for it so that it satisfies your academic objectives.

Also, ensure that you meet the minimum qualification mentioned and if there are additional requirements like proficiency tests that you need to take before applying for the desired course. 

6. Cost of living in the preferred study destination

Undeniably, one of the most important factors to consider while choosing a study destination has to be the living and study costs, right? Here's a list of things you need to consider before budgeting for your study-abroad expenses.

  • Before you apply for a particular course or university, estimate the tuition fees and ancillary costs such as rent, food, clothing, electricity, internet, entertainment, conveyance, public upkeep, etc., to compare the costs of living in different destinations.
  • For instance, living costs in the UK are a bit expensive compared to destinations like Singapore, Malaysia or Australia. However, there are other benefits in the UK like a one year MBA program and embedded honours which would save a year of tuition.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of studying in a particular destination by analysing the costs and benefits to make an informed decision.
  • Also, hunt for scholarships and bursaries to reduce your financial burden. If a university offers better scholarships and student discounts, check if you're eligible for the same.
  • Most countries also allow international students to work part-time to manage their study-abroad expenses. 

7. Decide on the suitable intake

Universities abroad accept international intakes at different periods and semester options. Before deciding to apply for a particular intake, ensure you have the necessary documents ready, such as the letter of acceptance, statement of purpose, proficiency certificates, etc., to ensure your application for the selected term gets through.

8. Employment opportunities

The ideal study destination would offer opportunities for career growth in the selected field, and scope for further studies in related areas to help enhance your skillsets.

For instance, if you're opting to pursue MS in Computer Science in the USA (one of the top countries to study abroad), it'd be an ideal choice as they have a thriving technology hub with places like Silicon Valley and New York, offering tremendous employment opportunities in the tech field.

The perfect choice of study destination would be the one that offers industry-skills training and practical experience to enable students to discover their niche and hone their skills based on their area of expertise. 

9.Student visa guidelines

Understand the visa requirements of the chosen country and the processing time for the same to plan and get your visa in time.

Also, before applying for the same, ensure to meet the requirements specific to the destination you're applying for in terms of financial sufficiency, education qualification, valid identity proof and travel documents to eliminate the chances of visa rejection. 

10. Lifestyle preferences 

If you're someone attracted to the buzz of city life or someone who would rather prefer the quiet countryside high on culture, choose the overseas study destination that aligns with your expectations to make your study-abroad experience a delightful one.

Naturally, the ideal destination would be a country that supports the growth of international students in an equitable community that enables better utilisation of opportunities and encourages students to optimise their learnings in the best possible way. 

Mistakes to Avoid While Choosing the Ideal Overseas Study Destination

Y'all would have read several blogs on choosing the ideal study destination, but here's some detailing on the mistakes to refrain from making while deciding on the study destination.

1. Don't choose your study destination based on a whim.

Yes, Paris and London might be on your travel bucket list, but if your preferred course doesn't hold much value in these destinations, it'd not make sense to pursue your higher education there. Ensure that your choice of destination aligns with your career and lifestyle goals as an international student to make the overseas study experience worthwhile.

2. Don't choose the university based only on rankings.

True, university rankings are just as important as the destination itself, if not more. But what use would studying in a top-ranked university be if the chosen destination doesn't promote the selected course in the country? If the preferred program doesn't provide opportunities for employment and growth in the country, choosing that university wouldn't fulfil the purpose of studying abroad.

3.Don't choose the destination without analysing the ROI.

Doing a proper return-on-investment analysis on the costs of studying the course against the estimated earnings from completing the course would give you a better picture of the foreseeable benefits of doing the course abroad. Deciding on the study destination without a proper analysis of the return-on-investment would be in vain because you'll invariably end up overspending.

4.Don't ignore inclusivity and minority concerns.

Ensure that the study destination you choose supports your individual lifestyle preferences and is conscious of minority communities' rights and privileges. Understand if the selected destination and the university provide student support and career support services to help international students experience a hassle-free education abroad.

5.Don't ignore the value of the course in your home country.

Understand if the course holds value in your home country if you're planning to return home in the future. For instance, you should ensure that fashion technology has scope for employment and career growth in Indonesia if you're planning to further your career in your home country.

Why Choose AECC Global?

AECC Global Indonesia has partnered with some of the most prestigious universities worldwide with the objective to provide the best-in-class education and career opportunities for Indonesian students.

If you're confused about deciding where to study or what course to pursue,  get in touch with our experts at AECC Global right now to get the best education counselling for free!


4. What problems do students face while studying abroad?

Language barriers and culture shock are some of the most common problems faced by international students pursuing education abroad. With some language learning and lifestyle adjustments, living abroad becomes manageable.

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