Studying Overseas | What Do You Need To Know?
Studying abroad in our time is a good way to advance along the path of personal, social and career development. Today, foreign education has become commonplace. So, what is it important to pay attention to and what is recommended to know if you decided to study overseas?
Essential things you should determine for yourself
If you want to get an education abroad, first you need to clearly know what you will have to pay attention to:
- First of all, you should choose a country. Usually, students try to give preference to the country the language of which is easier to learn. Many have the opinion that English can open any door. Most likely, this is an erroneous opinion since quality education can be obtained in France, Germany, Finland, and other countries;
- You should not dream of illusions, you must clearly define your capabilities and knowledge. A number of countries test students before enrollment. It happens that in order to get a quality education, you will have to study a couple of years additionally;
- It is also important to take into account your financial capabilities, although studying overseas is not always paid. There are many programs that can be accessed. In general, studying abroad does not mean huge cash costs;
- Experts say that myths about education exist and sometimes mislead the future student or his/her parents. There is a misconception that you can get the highest quality education in the UK only;
- When choosing a country for study, a full rating of all educational institutions should be compiled. You can classify them according to your own criteria or use annual ratings;
- It will take some time for acclimatization. Any person who has come to another country needs to get used to a new place of life, to the new rules of education and life;
- Many schools hold exams and they vary in complexity. Of course, you can choose a school that does not hold exams but usual testing. In any case, it is recommended to prepare for preliminary conversations since the decision of the commission depends on this;
- Before choosing an educational institution, you should soberly assess the level of your own education and compare it with the level of the educational institution. Perhaps some students will not be able to obtain knowledge in a particular university;
- It is important to determine what study in the chosen institution gives. You need to think about the future and not about having a diploma;
- The priority should be those specialties that are studied with pleasure.
The advantages of studying overseas
For many people, studying abroad is a real dream. Of course, getting education abroad is not only a vast knowledge but also an opportunity to travel, gain new impressions and new experience.
You can meet such students for whom studying in distant countries seems an unbearable nightmare: the lack of a familiar lifestyle and native culture, away from family and friends. In fact, studying abroad is a wonderful thing but only for the person who wants it. Otherwise, instead of the experience gained, there will be longing and disappointment.
Nowadays, there are all kinds of programs, special visas for education in a particular country. In past times, one couldn’t even dream about it. The positive aspects of studying in another country are obvious: learning a foreign language, starting an independent life, housekeeping, studying a different culture and lifestyle. After training, you can stay in this country for permanent residence and find a prestigious job.
Such training provides invaluable lessons. In the “alien” territory, one does not have to rely on someone else’s help. You have to become independent and responsible, clean up after yourself, make purchases, plan a budget, etc. An invaluable sense of freedom teaches you to discipline yourself and find hidden talents because you just don’t have to enjoy this freedom.
The most important advantage of such training is getting new acquaintances, friends. You gain experience of communicating with people of different cultures and nationalities. You may have to travel around the world.
Another advantage of studying in another country is the study of a subject that is not available in your country. And the last advantage – many employers respect the education abroad and the availability of an appropriate diploma. You can return home and get an excellent job, or become a successful entrepreneur.
Cons of studying abroad
Many students due to their age do not understand that there may be negative moments in studying abroad. Going to a foreign country in “pink glasses” is simply impossible and dangerous.
Some young people become depressed after breaking up with loved ones, friends. The lack of a clear environment can affect the student’s condition. Moving to another place that is different from the usual one is not easy, especially for those who rarely went abroad far and long. You will have to forget about pleasant and favorite activities. Many new things will appear in a new place: friends, hobbies.
It happens that young people are faced with independent budget management, so they do not rely on their own resources. Another minus is living with a neighbor who may not like it. The new roommate may annoy you, make noise and have bad inclinations.
Another obstacle is difficulties in learning the language. It is possible that a foreign culture will become the main obstacle to learning and to life, which will be difficult to accept.
And one more thing – many students are sure about the beauty of free life, not assuming that they really have to study in foreign universities. Lazy and negligent students quickly leave foreign educational institutions.
Should you get an education overseas?
To clearly answer this question, you need to understand what awaits you after leaving abroad, to weigh all the positive and negative points. This should be done together with parents. It is also important to jointly draw up a plan for further action in case some kind of situation occurs.
When choosing a country for further education, you should learn as much as possible about it: about laws, traditions, habits, culture. It is important to know the cost of getting a higher education abroad. You will need to draw up a financial plan. Before leaving for study, you must undergo a medical examination and make the necessary vaccinations.
As a rule, for enrollment in a foreign university, it is necessary to confirm the knowledge with a special language certificate. For example, for those wishing to study in English, you must pass the TOEFL or IELTS exams, Cambridge Exams. To study in Italy, you must obtain a certificate of general knowledge of Italian CELI. TISUS or SLTAR certificates confirm the knowledge of the Swedish language. DALF, DELF must be taken to confirm knowledge of French. And DSH is a German language exam for admission to study at higher educational institutions in Germany. You’d better pass the international language proficiency test in advance so that you have time to retake it if you have a bad result. By the way, you have the opportunity to go abroad initially with the aim of taking preparatory language courses at the university for six months or a year, and then you can draw up documents for further studies in the specialty.
How to enter a foreign university?
You should prepare for entering a foreign university 1–2 years before admission. During this time, you can tighten the level of the language, prepare a package of documents and get a visa. What should be done?
- Decide on the direction, country, university, budget and duration of the study;
- Visit the selected university as part of a short-term program – language or professional courses (optional);
- Study the requirements for applicants;
- Register for specialized training courses in a foreign language and pass an international exam;
- Prepare a package of documents;
- Complete the enrollment process and pay for tuition;
- Apply for a student visa.
Requirements for admission to a foreign university
It all depends on the country. For example, in Italy, Germany, the USA, Singapore, Belarusian 11th grade is not enough to enter a higher educational institution. A foreign applicant will have to complete preparatory courses, where there will be hours in academic subjects and language. If you managed to study at a college, technical school or university, then you do not need to go to such courses, but you will need to confirm the fact of studying with documents. As a rule, you need 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of study in the correspondence department.
You need to take care of housing in advance. A week before your studies, you are unlikely to find a good option. Perhaps you will get the right to live in a hostel – sign up for the queue as soon as possible. Many students say that finding a place is another quest. By the way, to rent an apartment in France, you must have at least one guarantor who permanently resides in France and has a sufficient level of salary.
Is it possible to work while studying?
The question of the possibility of combining study and work interests students quite often. Well, many countries allow foreign students to work but they set certain conditions. For example, during the school year, you can work about 10-20 hours a week. In Norway, students who are not EU citizens can work 20 hours a week during the first year of study, then there are some peculiarities. A foreign student in Finland has the right to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. In Poland, a foreign student can work only on vacation and not more than 3 months a year, or must obtain a work permit. As for the Czech Republic, there are strict rules about work. A student cannot work more than 30 days a year, more than 7 consecutive days, more than 100 hours a year for one employer. But in France, foreign students have the right to work during the entire period of study, but this activity should be carried out as secondary to education and cannot exceed 946 working hours per year. If you plan to work during training, we recommend that you check with the university or the competent authorities (for example, the migration department in the country of study) in advance whether it is possible to work in your case and what rules must be followed.
If you plan to study for more than three months, you must apply for a residence permit. You may still need a visa: for example, to take entrance exams or to participate in a course or exchange that lasts less than 90 days. A visa must be obtained at the embassy of the country where you are going. To apply for a residence permit for students, as a rule, you must have a valid passport and an official letter of admission from the university. In addition, you will need to provide a document on financial viability – an account statement, a certificate of a scholarship or grant, as well as medical insurance. Detailed information must be clarified at the embassy of the country of study.
Tuition and grants
Often we hear that education abroad is free. In fact, everything depends on the country and the particular university. So, many European universities charge no tuition fees. However, you will need funds for moving, food and accommodation, the purchase of textbooks. By the way, many foreign universities require a certificate from foreign applicants confirming their financial viability and the ability to bear all these expenses. Residents of other countries can receive free higher education in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as Italy and Greece. In some countries, free education is only possible if you study in the language of the country you are enrolling in. For example, this rule applies in the Czech Republic and Germany. In France, Germany, Italy, while studying at a state university, a student must pay an annual fee ranging from 100 to 500 euros. There are countries where tuition is paid but a foreign student may receive a scholarship. For example, Pole cardholders in Poland have the right to study for free at state universities. Each future student has the opportunity to participate in grant and scholarship programs. Some countries have special government programs. In the United States, such a program is called The Fulbright Degree Program, in Germany – the DAAD program, in Sweden – the Swedish Institute. You cab search for grants and scholarships for free tuition or accommodation on various portals created for this purpose.