Do you have friends or relatives who went to study abroad, got an accent and had mind-blowing experiences in a foreign country? Or, have you met a person who graduated from a reputed foreign university and is still looking for a job?
Now, you must be confused about whether you should consider pursuing higher studies from a foreign university or enrol yourself in a national institute. In other words, will study abroad be worth our time and money?
Do not worry! We all have been there. We tend to frame perceptions based on the stories we hear.
Let us see some of the most common myths or perceptions people have about studying abroad versus reality.
Haven’t we all thought that we need a lot of money in our bank accounts to study at a foreign university? That the scholarships are only granted to a handful of people with a proven academic record?
We often drop our plan to study because we think that we’ll be left with a huge sum of due student loan at the end of our degree. The initial years of our career will be sacrificed in repaying the debt.
Well, we are more than happy to bust this myth.
Studying in an international university is not as expensive as it seems. You must be surprised to know that some countries offer free education to domestic and international students.
In Germany, you do not have to pay tuition fees in the majority of public universities. Some other universities charge a nominal fee for education. You will only be required to pay the administrative costs around €150- €200 every semester.
In other countries, there are plenty of scholarships, grants and allowances available for international students. You can go to the university website and check the details.
Moreover, foreign countries also allow you to work along with your studies. It means that you can cover the majority of expenses on your own.
Do you still think that studying abroad will create a hole in your pocket? We bet not!
Only Grades matter to get admission to a foreign university
How many times have you been told that you should drop the idea of studying abroad because of average marks?
It is another false perception that people tend to believe. A good GPA is the only thing that can get you through the admission process to a foreign university. However, this is not true.
While almost every university demands good grades from candidates, it is not the make it or break it part of your application.
Universities look for a holistic application with good work experience, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and a lot more. Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation, Essays, and Resume also form a vital part of your application.
The admission department gives weightage to your extra-curricular activities, zeal to learn and grow. They evaluate whether you will add any value to the institute apart from academics, and several other factors are considered.
Even if you scored average grades during school or undergraduate degree, you should not hesitate from applying to a foreign university. Shoot your best shot!
We must choose a beautiful location for studying abroad.
Do you think that the study abroad will be your vacation period? Well, let us burst your bubble. Studying in a foreign university is not all chill and fun. While you must try to choose a country based on the ease of living index, you should not choose a foreign institute entirely based on the country.
It is a misconception that people choose to study in a country where they can have fun and explore.
However, you must select the university based on the course, faculty, ranking, placement opportunities, facilities and other factors.
It will be challenging to manage alone in a different country.
All of us are scared of feeling like a fish out of water in college, especially when we stay in a foreign country where we hardly know people.
Do you think that staying in a foreign country all by yourself will be a complex affair and you will not manage everything by yourself?
Let us get rid of this perception too. As an international student, you can always seek help from the university staff.
A study abroad consultant will take care of your study visa, lodging requirements, and other foreign country arrangements in India.
You will gradually figure out the rest in college.
All you have to do is focus on studying, making friends, networking and making the best use of your tenure.
Online courses at foreign universities are better than studying abroad.
Do you think employers pay more reliance on practical skills than theoretical knowledge? So, should you instead attend an online course from a foreign university and develop skills?
The answer is plain no. Even though online learning has made education accessible, we cannot ignore the perks of physical classes.
When you study abroad, you will meet people from diverse countries, cultures, and qualifications. You will get to learn from their experiences and build your network.
Moreover, in physical classes, you can speak with distinguished professors, participate in debates, group discussions, and many more.
Many times, people think that studying abroad is not as useful as it seems to be. On the contrary, studying abroad from a prestigious institution will increase your chances of getting a job. You can get placed in international companies.
Studying abroad is an exhilarating experience that you must choose over monotonous online courses.
There are always two sides to a coin. Most of the time, we form perceptions or biased opinions on hearing cooked stories. However, you should not let somebody else’s experience dictate your choice.
If you plan to study abroad, you should chase your dream. Consult a person who has graduated from that foreign university. The other good choice would be to talk to a study abroad consultant who will resolve your queries and guide you.
About the Author
K C Raj is a socialist in thinking, and believes in “One Nation, One World” theory.