September 16, 2014,
Whether to study abroad or in India is a big question and many students struggle to find answer to this question. To study abroad as an option comes very naturally especially if one has travelled abroad a lot or parents are frequent fliers to different countries. Also with cutoffs touching 100% and ever increasing competition in various courses one does get attracted to study abroad options.
Since study abroad is a big question (Due to financial and other reasons) one must exercise a lot of caution. One should be very sure as to why one wants to study abroad because in it lies the answer whether it will be good or not so good.
Let us look at some of the reasons why people consider study abroad options
1. Competition in India is too much and cut offs are crazy: And there is a misconception among students that they will face less competition if they study abroad. But in Top universities across the world the competition is stiff and one has to clear the admission hurdles. Admissions are either through SAT or GMAT or GRE or other tests or your marks along with performance in extracurricular activities are considered. For Top universities the competition is really very high. So be prepared for the scenario that your admission application may be rejected.
2. You want to explore the world and explore new options: Great! One should see the world and get global exposure but for that it is not necessary to study abroad for the full term. With exchange programs and shorter stints abroad you can get the exposure.
3. I will get scholarship to study abroad: Well there are some very good scholarships available but a significant number are available at PG level and not many are available at UG level. Also the data suggests that a large number of students take education loans to study abroad. So take stock of the financials in the deal.
4. I plan to work abroad: Well that’s a good idea but your foreign education may not be the best way to get the foreign assignment. Many countries like UK and Australia have put Visa restrictions and finding a job has become extremely difficult and without a job you will not be able to sustain yourself in a foreign country because the cost of living is very high.
Inform yourself about the decline in number of students opting for countries like UK, US and Australia.
5. I want to get a broad based study and want flexibility in choosing my courses: Yes in this case hands down study abroad is a good idea. Many universities offer flexibility and thus you can combine subjects from various streams.
After you have considered all the points and are sure that you want to study abroad consider the following things more to get the maximum value out of your time, money and efforts that will be spent in studying abroad.
1. Consider different countries: Don’t restrict yourself to US, UK, Canada and Australia which are the typical choices for Indian Students. Some other countries also offer very good education and also are more affordable. For example you consider Finnish universities or New Zealand which is fast emerging as an education destination.
2. Be absolutely sure about the course: Going to the Top University is good but you must be sure about the course as that will determine what you learn and what you will become in future. To be sure about the course you can always take a reliable aptitude testand choose the course that best matches with your strengths.
3. Be 200% sure about the degree and the validity of that degree/ diploma in India and elsewhere to have better job prospects.
4. After you have decided your study abroad destination…make the most of it. Just the degree will not help but what have you learnt and how will you use your skills will make you successful.
Good Luck and Happy Learning!!