How To Consider the Prospect of Studying Abroad
With the cost of higher education in the UK escalating, more than 20,000 British students each year are choosing to study abroad, particularly in subjects such as medicine, veterinary science or architecture. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph’s educational supplement, almost any subject may now be over subscribed at top British universities, and even the required number of As at A-level may not be enough to guarantee a place. From 2012, finances will become another major consideration while many European universities remain virtually free – one of the benefits of EU membership.
Many foreign universities are eager to attract British students, and courses are often taught in English – not so much for the benefit of British students but for students coming from the Far East.
Check that any foreign degree – law or medicine, for example, will count in Britain
It’s not just ant tuition fees that need to be taken into account. What about the cost of trips home, local council taxes, accommodation, cost of living, a glass of beer, exchange rate, etc.
Few countries offer free healthcare, so check the cost of a ‘fully comp’ health insurance, especially if considering studying in the USA.
Sort out any visa requirements – even in the EU there may be formalities that need to be observed before applying for a study course. Make sure you have a plentiful supply of copies of your birth certificate, passport and passport photographs for ID cards etc.,
Make a serious study of the accommodation question, where and how much it will cost, how far is it from the university, what are the transport facilities and the daily cost of transport? Having these detail sorted out well in advance can make a tremendous difference to how well you settle in if you’re not worried about unseen or unexpected expenditure.
What arrangements do you need for overseas banking? Take care of the details before you move so there is no delay in accessing your money, especially if waiting for a quick top-up from home. Look at all the offers for student banking and don’t be afraid to ask questions; some banking institutions have branches all over the world.
To compare universities, check out the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings on-line.
The internet and Skype make it easier to stay in touch with home, so sign up and upgrade roaming on your mobile. It will, however, be cheaper to take out a local contract once you’re settled.
Around 17,000 UK students also study or work abroad as part of their degree at a British university. This can be done through the EU-funded Erasmus programme for all member states, plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Croatia and Turkey. Students can study or do work placement, such as teaching English in a school. Study must, however, must be related to their degree and counts as part of the course.
According to the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE), a large number of British students don’t realise how the ‘world of global graduate recruiting’ has changed. “Multinational businesses want globally aware graduates and international students will be ahead in the jobs race; an overseas education can make your CV stand out.”
Although 16 of the world’s top universities are in North America, an Ivy League degree would cost in excess of £20,000 a year.