While a lot of college students weigh the decision to study at a college in-state or out of state, there’s a third option that is rarely considered – Should I study overseas or abroad in a different country?
At a time when students around the world flock to the US to go to college, it may seem like an odd time to consider going to college in other countries, but for some students it makes sense.
Going to college in another country can give students a certain edge in later life, particularly if they are selecting certain courses of study. If they’re interested in cultural studies, languages, journalism, or history, picking a college in another country can give the student opportunities to immerse themselves in a different culture that may provide a more rounded learning opportunity.
Similarly, studying overseas can be an excellent way to build a unique resume for future career opportunities. Amongst a stack of US-based college resumes, a student who can list a reputable international college may stand out.
Finally, an education abroad can be a happy medium for students who are eager to travel and may be weighing a decision between taking a year off to explore the world vs. going immediately into a college education.
Researching schools inside your own country is stressful – now imagine that you’re doing the same around the world! Between language, distance and time zone difficulties, it’s often hard to get a true picture of a college you’re considering on the other side of the world and campus visits are (as you might imagine) substantially more expensive to undertake.
Additionally, international students frequently pay much higher premiums for college educations than domestic students and face more stringent application processes. Although the currency exchanges may offset some of that higher cost (depending on which country you’re looking at) expect to pay much more for tuition, in addition to travel costs and possibly living expenses.
Also of concern is the quality of education that you will be paying for – while a degree from Cornell is immediately understood by most American employers, a degree from an unknown school in another country may be met with skepticism after graduation.
Finally, consider whether you are going to be able to meet the challenges of living far from family, and often with less contact with people who speak your native language. While studying abroad can be exhilarating, it’s also more difficult.