Can You Study Abroad for Grad School?
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Pros of Studying Abroad for Grad School
Save money on tuition and fees. While the cost of tuition increases year after year in the U.S., some countries offer low or even free tuition to students. Germany, Iceland, Norway, Austria, France, Luxembourg, and Spain, for example, all offer affordable options for advanced education. Immerse yourself in a foreign culture. Studying in another country gives you the opportunity to learn about another culture firsthand. You could gain countless new experiences that you wouldn’t have had otherwise by studying at home. Learn a new language. Along similar lines, you can study and improve your language skills. Not only will this be personally fulfilling, but it could make you a better candidate for a job, depending on your field. Build a global network. You’ll also make friends with people from all over the world and gain connections in multiple countries. Make your resume stand out. Living and studying in another country can be a great talking point in a job interview and show that you possess cross-cultural communication skills and other competencies. Become more independent and resilient. Finally, living in another country forces you to be adaptable and self-reliant — skills which will help you mature and grow into an independent person.
Cons of Studying Abroad for Grad School
May have a higher cost of living. While you might save money on tuition and fees, you could end up spending more if you live in a high cost of living city. Plus, it might be difficult to work part-time if you’re not a citizen or aren’t fluent in the country’s primary language. Language barrier could be a challenge. While you can find graduate programs in English abroad, the university may not offer every class in your native tongue. Taking classes in another language could help hone your skills, but you may find it difficult to keep up and understand all the information coming your way. May miss out on opportunities to network at home. Since you’ll be studying and living abroad, you’ll miss out on the chance to grow your network at home through on campus events or internships. Could experience homesickness. Living in another country can be challenging, and you’ll probably feel homesick or have trouble adjusting at certain points throughout your time abroad. Employers may not recognize your school. Unless you’re attending an internationally recognized university like Oxford, your school may not have the same name recognition among employers, friends, or family as a domestic institution. May have to validate credentials in the U.S. Depending on your field, you may have to pay a third-party service to verify your credentials. Some programs may not fulfill the requirements for licensure that you need if you’re planning to return home and work in the U.S.
Factors to Consider When Deciding to Study Abroad for Grad School
Researching Universities and Programs Abroad
Language of instruction: Some schools offer programs that are taught entirely in English, while others might have courses taught in other languages. Admission requirements: The requirements may be different than what you’re used to in the U.S., so review the criteria carefully. Application deadlines: Keep track of all the deadlines so you can get everything in on time. Available scholarships: Find out whether any scholarships are available for international students from the U.S. and what steps you must take to apply. Costs: Along with researching tuition and fees, check out the area’s cost of living, especially housing and food, so you can prepare financially.
Paying for Grad School Abroad
Student Loan Refinance Tips
Refinancing your student loan can lower your monthly payments and help you adjust your loan term. Compare student loan refinancing rates to find a loan that works for you. Paying extra each month on your student loan can reduce the interest you pay and so lower your total loan cost over time. (The law prohibits prepayment penalties on federal or private student loans.) If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school, you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.
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