Study your whole degree abroad

Study your whole degree abroad by Andrew Smith

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 30th November 2011 and has been read 8510 times.

With tuition fees on the rise, many students are looking abroad for their higher education. Whether you are studying languages or fancy studying your chosen course in English abroad, there are many options available to school leavers across the globe. Financial help, forums, dedicated websites and more are just a few steps away, so read on to find out more.

1. Getting started

First of all, you should decide on what course you would like to study at university. It’s important to note that although most universities outside the UK offer similar courses as those you may encounter at home, some changes and differences in modules can occur so check with each university first. If you are picking a course abroad, you should also take into account the cost of undertaking such a degree, the cultural differences you may encounter at uni and outside of your institution (from habits and customs to racial and gender issues, to name but a few) as well as the validity of such a degree. Europeans universities work on the ECTS points system and US universities tend to work with UK universities individually. 

It’s important you check the validity of your degree abroad for two reasons:

  1. If you decide to switch your degree to another university, either at home or abroad, you will need to see if your course matches up to other university requirements. 
  2. If you choose to work back home in the UK or in another country, you need to make sure your degree holds international value. As such, you should research your course and university before applying. A good place to start is by taking a look at international league tables, such as those presented by TES, QS and Shangai rankings. The Student World Fair runs a biannual event for students and their parents, with information about individual universities, talks and more. If you live around London or Dublin, or can afford to travel there, you should definitely pencil the next one in your diary. 

2. Costs and financial help

As a student, you are entitled to a student identity card, such as the ISIC card, meaning you can benefit from discounts and deals across the globe. Loans and scholarships are available, although it can be quite tricky to find your way through all the sites and paperwork on offer. Speak to your prospective universities first, preferably address yourself to the course coordinator, to find out whether the university itself offers financial help.

  1. Scholarship.org allows you to fill in your details (course type, study period etc). 
  2. Another good site to check is Direct.Gov’s advice on bursaries and grants. 
  3. Student scholarships focuses on sending British students to the States, with help for future students and advice for parents. 
  4. Fulbright scholarships are also very popular, so check their website early for deadlines and more information about studying in North America. 
  5. Study in Europe, on the other hand, focuses on the EU and gives out some great advice - make sure you check the European Youth Portal too! 
  6. If you choose to study in one of the Commonwealth countries, you could be eligible for a grant so as to encourage study for non-linguists abroad. 
  7. Medics will be happy to know that they too can receive a bursary, courtesy of Marie Curie
  8. For country specific advice, neatly laid out onto one page, check out studyabroad’s page regarding scholarships across the globe. 

Of course, costs vary from country to country. The States are known to be extremely expensive for students, yet there is plenty of help at hand - more so than in other countries, some could conclude. Having said that. you can benefit from student accommodation at dirt cheap prices in Germany and France, to name but a couple of countries. Checking out sites like this expat blog will give you a rough idea of how much things cost in Europe, for example. Mercer’s database gives you an idea of how much it costs to live around the world. 

3. Find out from previous students

By posting on our site as well as checking out student sites like The Student Room, you can speak to students across the globe to find out what it’s really like, straight from the horse’s mouth. You can ask about visas, health issues, insurance, coursework, university help and much more, by posting your queries and having them answered by experts in the field. It’s a good idea to speak to universities in the UK, too, to find out if they have any students from your chosen university on an exchange as you may be able to build up links with them. Social media is also a great way to get honest, up-to-date information, straight to your inbox or account.

Whether your heart is set on studying abroad or you would like to find out more before you commit, one word is key: research! Read on...

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