It is a dream of many students to be able to go abroad for their higher education. Edge over others, Better reputed colleges, new location, cultural exposure, independence and for about a hundred other reasons. Europe and USA are definitely two most coveted destinations for international students. The exposure and the diversity of these nations are key factors that drive students to choose these locations.To add more, imagine the opportunity of studying in France, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom or being a part of New York, Chicago, California. Even your weekend trips become exponentially better. You get to see the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre, go backpacking in Spain or make a cross country road trip from Jersey to Washington.
Living abroad is nothing short of amazing but it is a major decision. You cannot just back out of it one day because you don’t feel like it anymore. So if you are absolutely keen on getting a degree in one of the most renowned colleges and places in the world here are pointers that would help you to choose your study abroad destination along with the courses, procedure and other important pointers,step by step.
1. Admission Process and Eligibility:
Most universities have their own selection criteria most of them accept either IELTS or TOEFL and GMAT/GRE for Masters, depending on the course you apply for.
International courses in Europe: 100% English taught.
For European nations, each country has own selection criteria. To do an “international course” taught in English ,you would still have to get the desired score in IELTS/TOEFL along with other tests depending on your course selection and the country’s requirements. Selected Universities Germany and France offer undergraduate and post grad courses taught in English in disciplines like Business Management, Engineering, Humanities, Economics, Engineering and Basic Sciences. However they may not offer every course in English, so you need to choose your subjects carefully.
United Kingdom: Keeping UK into consideration the eligibility criteria – the minimum IELTS score should be 7 for post graduate and 6.5 for undergraduate. TOEFL an option to IELTS score should be 90 for postgraduate and 80 for under graduate. Students who have scored more than 70% in the English test at 10th and 12th can be exempt from taking TOEFL/IELTS provided they are from an English medium school. Apart from this for undergraduate studies you at least need to have – 65% in your 12th board exams for humanities and 70-80% for science, commerce or engineering. For postgraduate studies 60% score minimum is expected in their undergraduate programs. Plus if you are applying for MBA studies you need to clear GMAT with a score in between 550-700 and have a 3 year work experience.
For Masters in Management the general GMAT requirement is 500-600 and less than 3 month sof work experience.
United States: For United States you would also require to clear your TOEFL or IELTS exams and along with that you need to give standardized tests like GRE/GMAT/ACT/SAT. GRE/GMAT in for graduate programs and ACT/SAT are for undergraduate programs. GMAT is specifically for management oriented programs and GRE is for the rest.
Most university applications have gone the online way, it has definitely become easier for an international student to apply. In the UK you can apply through UCAS and only one application would be accepted in one academic year. Deadline for Art and Design is 24th March, Oxford / Cambridge is 15th October and Other Programs 1st Deadline is 15th Jan and Final Deadline is 30th June. For Germany submit your application before January for studies beginning in the summer semester and submit your application before 15 July for studies, beginning of the winter semester; and in France you need to start your application process by January.
Compared with cost of education in our country, International education isn’t cheap or very reasonable- it’s expensive. Budget might be on the higher side depending on the location.
Europe is considerably cheaper than US or UK. According to Global News, Germany has the lowest fees among all the top study abroad destinations. A student would probably have to pay an average of $ 635 USD a year only at a state run University. Even though Italy has some of the oldest universities in the world, it is also one of the cheapest places to study. This of course,is just the fees. You basic necessities and other wants and needs aside may amount to about Euro 650/- per month.
International courses in Europe:
One year duration or 18 month MBA from a Private University may cost Euro 30000 to 35000/-, whereas a Masaters in Management programme will be below Euro 25000 (INR 17,50,000/-)
An 3 year undergrad in private Universities in Germany and Netherlands is about Euro 8000-11000 per year. They teach you in English, you don’t need to know German if you enroll for an international course
In the UK (keeping scholarships and other financial aids not in consideration) it is higher as compared to other European Nations. For example, tuition fees in the University of Oxford is approximately 42,640 Pounds, London Business Schools is 51,360 Pounds and University of Cambridge charges approximately 40,500; leaving the cost of living aside. And tuition is important so you cannot ignore it.
In the US (keeping scholarships and other financial aids not in consideration) the fees are also at par with UK standards if not higher. For example, in Harvard the tuition fee itself is 38889, Caltech is 25156 etc.
College & Courses & Rankings:
Ranking of top 10 universities in the world.
Many other European nations were also ranked in this list. For example ETH Zurich Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland was 16th on the Times list, Delft University of Technology in Netherlands was 42nd and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen in Germany was 46th in the list.
What is important to know is that the average German or French school has a high standard of education than an average in many other countries. While top ranked UK and US Universities are great brand names, most Universities ranked below 250 in world rankings do not give such great value for money as the German, Dutch or French Universities.
Keeping in mind that Europe itself has a wide range of cultures. No two countries are the same. Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Russia, UK and many more the cultures are earth apart. Yes, Europe and US both belong to the Western Civilization. But there is a lot of difference among all of them.
As an international student from Asia, you would find these locations fascinating. Any country you choose to study in, would give you the opportunity to learn and understand different cultures.
4. Post study Work visa
US are a relatively new society as compared to Europe, and has always prided itself as being a melting pot of different nationalities -where the best and brightest came to study and work. Over the last few years, the US has seen in a decline in job opportunities and the much sought after H1-B visa has not been given to students who spent a considerable fortune studying in the expensive Universities.
While Europeans consider themselves to be more sophisticated and deeply involved in their own culture, they have also been offering a liberal work visa regime for international students. Germany offers a 18 month work visa and if you do find a suitable job and an employer you get a Blue Card which allows you to stay on for 5 years and work in your chosen field.
Netherlands allows you a 12 months work visa after a professional study course.
Sadly the UK education seems to be at the biggest loss, being less favoured by international students due to the strict post study visa regime. Most of the students who cannot get a sponsor must return to India after their graduation or Masters.
4. Language Barriers:
Even though there are international courses in Arts, Humanities, Management at Bachelor or Masters level, you still need to learn the national language like German or French to get a job in the same country, Now, most European countries are accepting TOEFL and IELTS score.
Leaving the UK, and Ireland are the two countries where language will not be an issue to get a job after graduating. However jobs in the UK are very tough and conditions are very strict.
For the US, you also need to clear English tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
5. Three year vs a Four year graduation:
In the UK, the undergraduate course duration is of 3 years while in the USA it is of 4 years. Though in Scotland it is again for 4 years and rest of Europe has a similar 3 – 4 years of undergraduate studies, depending on the course.
Studying in an international university, offers the students the opportunity to blend in a mixed crowd of people from all over the world. As a student, you would not only be a part of an institution that is known and respected all over the world, but also the get the opportunity to learn and understand different cultures. The most affluent companies over the world respect and revere students who have international education on their CV. So if your mind is set on it, then don’t think twice just go for it.