Getting academic credentials in another country can provide you with a new perspective of the world as well as give you diverse career opportunities. Many international students have found that studying abroad has provided them with unique skills and knowledge, making them generally more employable.

Many opportunities exist for studying overseas. The trick is in choosing the best study abroad programs college students can take. This article provides five considerations to help you narrow down your choices.

Language proficiency

Studying in another country gives students a good opportunity to immerse in another language, which can make them much more employable. 

However, students have to weigh the benefits and risks of going to a country where they absolutely have no understanding of the language as this may affect their academic performance.

Before deciding on a country and institution, students should find out if it offers courses in a language they know, even if it is not their native language. Most institutions will offer courses delivered in English, so that should not be too much a problem if they can speak it at least. 

If students are determined enough, they can take language lessons in their home country some months before in preparation for assimilating in the country of their choice.

You should also know that most institutions would make a certain level of skill for the language of instruction mandatory for international students. For instance, if you want to take an academic course in Canada, you typically need to have a minimum of TOEFL PBT score of 500, CBT 173, iBT 61, or IELTS overall band test score of 6.

group of  friends discussing to study abroad

Student support

It can be scary going to another country alone, so it pays to find out in advance the kind of support you can expect to receive from institutions you are considering. 

As a rule of thumb, one can get the best support for international students in countries that have a high percentage of international students. You can also do a quick online search to find social clubs for people from your home country who can help you acclimatize to your new situation.

Some institutions take on the task of helping their international students prepare for their new life abroad. MSM Higher Ed, for example, recently made available its Global Awareness and Study Skills (GASS) program for its partner institutions to prepare students for an enjoyable, smooth transition and successful educational experience abroad.

Financial assistance

Unless students have the means to finance their studies abroad on their own, they might want to look at financial assistance options available for the programs they want. 

When considering different institutions in your target country, you can inquire about grants, loans, scholarships, or any financial assistance an institution can offer for international students. Canada, for example, has a slew of programs available to help international students cover some of their costs.  

Pathways

Most people are not aware that educational institutions from different countries often go into partnerships to provide students with pathways to study abroad if they want. It pays to find out if an institution in your home country ties in with an institution in another country. 

Eton College Canada, for example, has agreements for institutions in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Students in partner institutions in these countries have direct entry to Eton College Canada to pursue their studies. 

Environment

While studying abroad might seem like a great adventure, it is often advisable to go to countries that have a visitor-friendly environment. Aside from making it easier to apply for a student visa in those countries, a country open to international students creates a positive atmosphere that is more conducive to study. 

Among the best countries for international students for 2021 are the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia.

Conclusion

Going to another country to get your academic credentials is a great way to broaden your horizons in life and career. However, it is a big commitment, so it is a good idea to give it due consideration when it comes to the country and institution you will finally choose. Ultimately, however, the best study abroad programs college students can take will depend on your circumstances and goals. 

Still having a hard time choosing the right program? Check out MSM Unify’s articles on studying abroad to learn more.

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