Planning to study abroad? Or have already decided on it? One of the most difficult decisions for a student to make is to select their choice of institution for higher studies. And if the student is planning to study abroad, the decision becomes even more difficult to make.
The most common question that comes to mind is- "Am I ready or not?" or "Am I smart enough to get selected for my dream college abroad?". There are many other questions that you ask yourself before deciding to study abroad, on your self-worth or the worth of the college or the course you are going to pursue. This practice of questioning yourselves and mulling over the question from different angles is a really important step when deciding on an institution abroad.
That said, many students often forget to ask themselves (and sometimes family members) certain important questions that need to be answered before landing at their chosen study destination. We have compiled a list of some really important questions that you need to ask yourself before coming to any decision about studying abroad. This article will help you go through your "decision phase" really quickly and make you think over the issue generally faced by students aspiring to study abroad in a broader way and arrive at a decision that can change your life.
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As studying abroad is an important part of your future career, it is important that you be aware of its impact on your career goals and life after graduation. So, what career-based questions should you ask before deciding to study abroad? Here are the two most significant ones:
What is Your Ultimate Career Goal?
To answer this question, you will have to start answering many unasked questions like ‘what is your dream?’ or ‘where do you see yourself in the future?’, and so on.
The course you are planning to pursue abroad is relevant to your career choice or not? Or are you just following the trend of going to study abroad? You should consider the choice of studying abroad only if you are very clear about your goals.
Is the Degree You Want to Pursue Valid in Your Homeland?
This is a very important question that you must ask yourself, because at the end of the day if your degree is not valid in your homeland or is not able to fulfil your ambition, the usefulness of that degree for you will become non-existent.
There are a lot of one-year diplomas or degrees that are not acknowledged by Indian employers. Hence, it is advisable for students to select a course that is worth their time and effort and profitable in the future.
When you are choosing a course to study abroad, you must choose something that entices you. Let us find out which course-related questions you should ask yourself before deciding to study abroad:
Are you Fulfilling all the Criteria Required for Admission?
The answer to this question is the deciding factor in your choosing that institution. If you are not able to fulfil all the criteria set by the institution then there is a high probability of your application getting rejected.
You should have all the details on the criteria set by your chosen institution so that you can prepare accordingly. For example, there are some foreign universities requiring an applicant to have 13 years of schooling. This implies that an Indian student will have to complete a diploma or a certificate course of 1-year duration.
Are you Satisfied with the Program you have Applied to?
This is a pertinent question that you need to ask yourself. Does your course give you the necessary drive to pursue it? Would you feel happy studying it? Would you want a career surrounding your course?
All these questions are important and it is very essential for you to answer them. Also, do detailed research on your interest and its alignment with the course. Do not get influenced by others or do not study the course if it is only in trend.
Do you See this Course Helping in Achieving Your Career Goals or Not?
You should research how your desired course is going to help in achieving your career goals. You should not take up a course in a foreign country just for the sake of it but because you have a future goal in mind.
If you want to be a biochemist in life and study literature at a university abroad, then your goal and course do not match. Hence, you must align your goals with your course choices.
Is Your Motive Only to Study in a Foreign Land or are You Just Fascinated by the Glamour of the Foreign Country?
If your answer is the latter one then it is advisable to just make a visit to that country as a tourist. If you are there for the open lifestyle with lots of parties and employment that is usually implied in social media, then you are up for a big disappointment because every global educational institute puts a great emphasis on grades and credits.
If you are unable to secure a certain amount of grades or credit, then there is a high chance of you getting off of the enrolment list.
The finance and cost of studying abroad play an important role. It is necessary to cut the coat according to the length of the cloth. So, you should only if you have enough funds. Here are some financial questions to ask yourself before deciding to study abroad:
Are you Able to Afford to Study Abroad?
Studying in a foreign university can put a serious dent in your pocket. So, you have to make sure you are able to afford that dent before coming to a decision of going abroad. You are strongly advised to do thorough research on the expected tuition fees of your course along with the cost of living there which includes accommodation, transportation, food etc.
Students studying abroad are generally asked to show their bank statements in order to prove they can afford to study there. You should also check for the scholarship options available in your choice of study destination.
Can you Manage Finances Alone?
Till the time you were at home, your parents and elders were in charge of the money and its allocation. Now, you will have full control over the money and also, you will have to make a budget to use your money wisely.
So, ask yourself if you can manage the money alone. Will you be able to make a budget? Can you make some savings out of it? Can you afford to live, eat and finance your education with the money given to you?
You will be living in a foreign country outside your comfort zone for the first time in your life. You will be away from your house, your people, your comfort meals and your support systems. You will have to adjust without them. Ask yourself if you can do so.
Do You Have the Courage to Live Away from Your Family for 2-3 Years?
This question always comes to the mind of any student leaving their home for higher studies. But, this question becomes more important if you are planning to study abroad. A student studying in a national college/university can visit their parents and loved ones more often than an international student.
This question is not only from an emotional point of view but practical as well. The majority of Indian students are not trained in household chores, so taking responsibility and looking after themselves is harder than it seems. Hiring a house-help is an option, but labour cost is not cheap in those countries.
Are You Open to Experimenting with Your Food?
Being Indian, our food is certainly a very important part of our life. Are you willing to experiment with your food palette? It is a given that you would not be able to always have home-cooked Indian food, you will be required to adapt to local culinary tastes.
You will also be required to be alert regarding meat options as beef and steaks are common meat dishes in many foreign countries. Most of the foods that you get abroad are either canned or processed. You do not get access to fresh stuff. Even if you do get it, it might be difficult to cook for yourself daily. So, you will have to adjust whatever you get. Ask yourself if you can leave without your usual food habits.
Are You Willing to Adapt to New Cultures and People?
If you are introverted, then meeting with new people and adapting to their culture might prove to be a difficult task. Studying in a foreign country is not just limited to your course but also learning their language and making friends with people living a completely different lifestyle than yours.
Ensure that you are ready to extend your comfort limit or not. Having second thoughts regarding this might be a big nuisance for you once you are in a foreign land.
While planning to study abroad, you may also have plans to settle abroad. So, you must ask yourself the following questions related to post-study work and permanent residency.
Do You Want to Come Back to Your Country after Studying?
Once you have graduated, ask yourself if you want to settle in the country. Do you want to do a job and gain experience? Do you want to start a business? Or do you want to return back to your country and find a job or manage the business?
These questions are extremely relevant and you should know your aims for the future. That said, you must also keep in mind that while applying for the visa, you must not show your desire to stay back in the foreign country as your visa application may be rejected because of dual intent.
Do You Want to Become a Permanent Resident or Gain Citizenship in the Country?
After working for a few years, you can convert your work visa to a PR visa or attain citizenship in the country. So, question yourself if you want the PR or citizenship of the country.
PR and citizenship are great opportunities to settle in a foreign country and enjoy its benefits. You must be very clear of your intentions from the beginning and work towards your plan accordingly.
Here is an assortment of questions that should cross your mind while planning to study abroad:
Can I make the sacrifices needed to study abroad?
Would I be able to make it to the end?
Is it worth studying abroad?
How would I pack for a journey abroad?
Can I speak proficiently in English?
If you have answered all the above questions along with the many others that might have come to your mind or your parent's mind and ultimately reached a decision of going abroad then we advise you to stick to that decision because studying in a foreign country is no doubt a big opportunity. But it can sometimes be scary and lonely too. You will need all the reasons to not regret your decision in those hard times. If you have decided not to go abroad then start researching the higher studies institution in your own country that might be able to fulfil all you are searching for in your dream college.
Hope this article helped you all and was able to satiate all your confusion and misunderstandings. For more such content, stay tuned to our website.
If your mind and heart are divided while deciding to study abroad, write your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and get expert advice.
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