Are you thinking about studying overseas? Most people misunderstand that studying abroad only starts once you arrive in your destination country and take up courses. However, in reality, decision-making is the hardest part of the process since this entails a lot of self-questioning whether or not you are ready to take on the challenges ahead of you. Indeed, anyone eligible and qualified can always think about studying overseas. But it takes a lot of courage, resilience, and grit to complete a degree abroad.
To help you with your decision and get through this stage the soonest, here are five questions to ask yourself before deciding to study abroad. These questions aim to narrow down your concerns and reservations to pursue overseas studies or not.
1. Do you have a clear career goal?
Do you consider studying abroad as a means for you to grow professionally? Or just a reason for you to travel outside the country? If your answer is the former, then you are on the right track. If, however, your answer is the latter or anything which relates to unprofessional reasons just for you to live overseas, then maybe you need to think twice about this life-changing decision. The first question defines your goal as to what you want to do once abroad. Also, your career goals will fuel your eagerness to complete your chosen degree as this will help you endure all possible hardships you may encounter during your study.
2. Can you complete the degree requirements?
This question demands thorough research and timely submission since every country has its stipulations for international students along with its strict deadline. One essential requirement for most countries is proof of English language proficiency such as IELTS, TOEFL or PTE. Some countries though may waive this requirement provided that the medium of instruction for your completed classes was English as stated in an official document from your previous university. Also, the number of school years completed may be impactful to your application too as most universities require at least 12-13 years for undergraduate international students while 16 years minimum for a graduate school application.
3. How are you going to pay for the total study cost?
This question requires a detailed computation of expenses including tuition, accommodation, transportation, living expenses, and insurance costs among others. Besides, currency equivalence to your destination country should be factored in to avoid miscomputation. Afterward, determining the source of your total study cost should be finalized which can be from your bank account, student loans, or international scholarships. You have to take note that scholarships also have their deadlines set for different countries and universities.
4. How open are you to different cultures and people?
Being in your home country makes you feel comfortable with your actions toward foreign nationals. Similarly, citizens of your destination country would be expressing themselves as to how they are used to. As a foreign resident, this means you have to be more open, understanding, and respectful in terms of the country’s culture and traditions. For you to do this, you need to be well-searched to adjust your expectations even before traveling overseas properly. Moreover, this openness should include acknowledgment of different food preferences than you usually have in your home country. Being an international student also means you have to appropriately adapt to the availability of food you can eat according to your beliefs as well as your diet and allotted budget. Lastly, you have to take note that western culture such as the United States and the UK would be more open to other cultures such as yours.
5. Are you self-sufficient?
In this case, self-evaluation would be very crucial for you. Remember that aside from performing well and maintaining good standing in school, you have to do proper budgeting as well as household chores all by yourself. Once overseas, your family will not be with you, so you have to do all the errands on your own. If you experienced studying away from home, then that could help you adjust to your new environment.