Are you dreaming of pursuing your master’s degree abroad? International study is one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences. You have the opportunity to explore a new country, embrace its culture, traditions, languages and ultimately, step out of your comfort zone. Having earned a master’s from a school in Paris, I believe obtaining a degree overseas is worth it. However, finding information on how to do so can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider such as: Choosing a country, university, program and loans. If you’re interested in getting your master’s degree abroad but don’t know where to start, this article will help give you a better direction.
One of the main reasons you may be thinking of international study is because of the lower tuition costs. Tuition abroad may be substantially cheaper than in a country like the US. However, this depends on your school of choice, program, cost of living and whether you will receive financial aid.
My master’s program, including visas, relocation costs, monthly rent, groceries and travel costs was still significantly cheaper than obtaining a master’s in the US. I even moved to another country in this time period and was required to get new housing – a second move from France to the Netherlands to be more specific, can you imagine that?
A typical master’s can range anywhere from 1-4 years depending on the program. However, programs abroad are typically shorter in duration. For instance, my program was less than two years and cost less than what I would pay in the US. There are 1-year programs, schemes in which you can do half a year of classroom study. And the other six months spent doing a traineeship and thesis. There are many possibilities but the main point is that you don’t have to spend a long duration of time to graduate and get your diploma.
Improve Your Job Prospects
Pursuing higher education boosts your CV, but doing so abroad makes it more attractive. Employees are interested in candidates who have international experience, speak several languages and have the ability to work with different colleagues, regions or stakeholders around the world.
This gives your application a cutting edge in comparison to others who do not bring these unique skills to the table. It can increase hiring potential in your native country, but especially if you wish to work in the country in which you are studying. Obtaining a master’s abroad has opened a number of doors; I was able to start my own website, go freelance, and find a job directly related to what I studied.
How Do I Get A Master’s Degree Abroad? Here’s Where to Start
Without knowing what program to pursue and country to study in, it will be difficult knowing where to begin. In addition, keep in mind that university applications and preparing the appropriate documentation can take a lengthy amount of time. I recommend starting the application procedure as early as possible. Also, allow enough time to conduct research and due diligence. The way I like to kick things off is by creating an excel sheet:
- What did you study for your undergrad and is this a field you wish to further pursue?
- Does this program align with my future goals and interests?
- Are there particular universities that interest you?
- What countries interest you? Are you leaning towards a region, continent or country?
- What are the academic requirements for applying?
- What are the university rankings?
- Will the university offer career services and job placement support?
- Can you afford it or how will you obtain funding?
- Will you be able to support yourself or will your family have the means to do so?
- Can you complete this program in English?
- Will this degree increase my employability in my field?
- Do you have work experience?
I reccommend getting in direct contact with your master program representatives to get more information.
Check if Your Degree is Eligble
The first thing you need to check out is whether your prospective degree will be eligible in your native country.
Ensure that You Have the Proper Credentials
Depending on the school and requirements for international students you will need to have qualified credentials for application submission. For instance: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, GMAT/GRE scores, previous grades, CV and resume, etc.
For my school, I was required to write a personal statement, have recommendations and attend a virtual interview. If you’re not an English native speaker or degree holder from an English-speaking country, you will need to take the TOEFL. Every institution will have its own eligibility requirements as part of the admission process.
Are these Graduate Programs Taught in English?
Language is not a reason to be apprehensive about studying abroad. Many international schools now offer English-speaking programs or an option of English and the local language. For example, here in the Netherlands, many universities offer this. Especially since the Dutch speak English quite well. The benefit of getting your degree abroad is the capability to boost your fluency. You may have a higher chance of getting hired since you know the language. In a country like France, being able to speak the language will give you a better advantage.
Let’s Talk Loans – Student Loans for Overseas Study
The most important factor if not the most is the cost of your education. Student debt for graduate degrees is an average of $71,000, and this does not include debt from your undergraduate. Moreover, With costs being so high, it’s no wonder that loans can be detrimental to whether you apply to an institution. The biggest question for prospective students is: Can I get a student loan for international study? this depends on the institution being on the list of eligible schools that take part in US federal loan programs.