No matter what degree or programs students are pursuing, studying abroad is increasingly becoming an attractive option for them to consider when planning their education or deciding on a career path. In the USA, for example, a 2020 report by Open Doors indicates that the percentage of international master's students enrolled has steadily risen, to approximately 3.4% in five years.
Have you ever wondered why so many students choose to look internationally to do their master’s abroad instead of in their own country? Is studying abroad worth it? The benefits of completing your graduate degree abroad are limitless. According to educations.com’s international student survey, we've compiled a list of the top four reasons to help get you thinking about getting your master's abroad, ranging from financial advantages to personal development.
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1.Take Advantage of Scholarships, Lower Tuition, Financial Aid, and Cheaper Cost of Living
For most potential master's students who want to study abroad, cost is their top concern, as they often already have loans from their bachelor’s degree, or may have spent four years outside of the workforce. According to the same educations.com survey, about 35% of prospective students indicated that tuition fees and living expenses were their top concern when considering studying abroad.
Many students don’t want to be dependent on their parents, nor do they want to take out more loans that they will have to repay after graduation. This ranks as one of the top reasons a lot of students do not pursue graduate studies at home or abroad. But, if you decide to do your master’s abroad, you can take advantage of many available scholarships, grants and financial aid specifically for international students to earn their graduate degree overseas. A wide range of scholarships are available to students regardless of their nationality, like merit and honor scholarships. In addition, some schools offer financial aid to ethnic minorities, such as Hispanic and Latino scholarships, to support those students in pursuing a master’s abroad.
The survey has also shown that whenever prospective students decide where to study for their master's degree, living expenses in that country is the most important factor they take into account. There are many countries that allow graduate students to study for free or at a low cost. European students are especially lucky, as they are able to study at many more European universities for free compared to students coming from outside Europe. In Germany, for example, the majority of public universities offer free tuition for all students regardless of nationality, making it a very popular study abroad destination for international students. In addition, Germany has numerous English-instructed courses for students to choose from, as well as relatively low living expenses.
Other popular study abroad destinations with strong financial aid/less living costs:
2. Increase Career Prospects by Pursuing a Masters Abroad
By studying abroad, you can also enhance your resume and increase your career opportunities going forward. Students who excel in their programs often benefit from partnerships their university or institute of higher education have with internationally renowned businesses. If you fall in love with your host country, you may even be able to secure a job to stay permanently.
However, whether you decide to go back home or stay abroad and work, you will surely see the positive effects your experience has on how employer's view you and your CV. The skills you gain from studying abroad and the exposure to a new market will differentiate your resume.
Taking your master’s abroad will also help and benefit your career by giving you access to quality internships and high ranked programs in the best universities, which have access to world-class facilities such as libraries, labs, technology, etc. These experiences will look great on your resume. A 2019 study found a positive correlation between studying abroad experiences and employability. Having overseas study experiences boost a graduate's competitiveness in the job market.
3. Immersing Yourself in New Cultures
Doing your master's abroad will give you the opportunity to experience a new culture and lifestyle. It's normal to experience culture shock when studying abroad. When you challenge your perceptions and step outside your comfort zone, you have the chance to explore new lifestyles and be comfortable making friends with people from different backgrounds.
Over 17% of prospective master's students we’ve surveyed at educations.com see studying abroad as an adventure. Taking a master’s degree abroad will open up more possibilities and inspire you with new passions. If you’ve developed a specialized interest while completing your bachelor’s, you may have considered pursuing it further through graduate studies. However, studying abroad can introduce you to subjects you may have not been exposed to where it is not offered at your host university.
National literature, politics, languages, and history programs often vary greatly depending on geographic region. So, explore the political system of Germany, the literature of Japan, or the art history of Italy. If you have an interest in a particular subject, turn it into a passion by studying it firsthand. Different cultures will cultivate different social environments and lifestyles. While doing your master’s abroad, you have ample time to fully immerse yourself in your host country, to experience new things and develop yourself personally.
4. Try Something New and Increase your Self-Confidence
Did you do your bachelor's degree in your home country? It may be time for you to take the next step and pursue a master's degree abroad.
Don't limit yourself! At first you might have a fear of living alone in a foreign country, but prove to yourself that you’re strong and there is nothing to be afraid of.
By doing your master’s degree abroad, you have a chance to broaden your horizons. You’ll learn to socialize with many international students from various countries and backgrounds, creating long-lasting friends and professional contacts. You’ll also learn to communicate better across cultural and language barriers. Doing your master’s abroad will increase your confidence because not only will you conquer your fears but you will also acquire lots of knowledge and experience.
Studying abroad for your graduate degree offers a lifetime of benefits. You’ll have so much fun and you’ll get back home with lots of unforgettable memories. If you've been looking for a way to move abroad, doing your master’s abroad can also be the perfect opportunity.