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How will pursuing a postgraduate degree abroad help me?
The appeal of studying in a new country and culture attracts many Indian students abroad, but the academic benefits of studying at a university in a different culture can be pleasantly surprising as well. For instance, an international education offers an opportunity to study with leading academics in your field alongside a motivated group of peers from different cultures. For postgraduate students, well-known universities offer the chance to take advantage of a variety of Master’s courses, contribute to groundbreaking research, explore a subject in depth, and learn new perspectives from fellow students. Contrary to what the papers say about the UK, Indian students are as welcome as ever at British universities. In the UK, there are universities which provide more flexibility in developing independent research projects than students might find at home. In addition, students receive an array of support beyond their course, including scholarships, careers advice and alumni networking groups.
“ How do I fund my studies and when do I begin the application process?
International institutions are now easier to access. Location preferences are no longer limited to the US, Australia and the UK. Students and parents make choices based on courses, career outcomes and return on investments.Parents realise that education overseas is becoming affordable -not cheaper, but certainly affordable. There are emerging and `speciality’ destinations which can be less expensive; there are education loan schemes by reputable private providers, incentives, such as those for girls and religious and caste minorities, as well as meritand need-based scholarships. Decisions are now based on academic streams rather than “destinations.”
Some popular choices among upcoming destinations include Singapore and Dubai for management courses; Ireland and New Zealand for science and technology; Canada for animation and media courses and Europe for luxury brand management and hospitality. Parents and students who intend to study overseas need to start the active process at least a year in advance and the information-gathering exercise about two years earlier.
“ What do I need to keep in mind while selecting a collegelocation? Will a PG degree from another country open global employment opportunities for me?
Indian students interested in studying for a postgraduate degree overseas should not go by university rankings blindly. I would recommend considering the following three elements in the decisionmaking process:
1. Career goals: Ask yourself what do you see yourself doing in the future, what makes you happy and which course can lead you towards your career ambition.
2. Geography: Incorporate the geography into your decision-making process. More often than not, your career opportunities will depend on the place you study in. For instance, it would be difficult to find a job in the UK if you complete your degree in the US and vice versa.
3. School fit: The school’s `personality’ should match yours. Think about what attracts you and whether you will be a good fit for the school. You would be surprised to know how different even the best of schools can be. For example, while one school might be reputed for finance degrees, another may be known for technology and entrepreneurship.Schools may also differ in their student personalities.
Studying in different countries such as the US, Germany and Singapore has been an enriching experience; it has changed my personality and outlook, strengthened my business acumen and provided me exposure to the economic, cultural and political environment around the world. Pursuing a degree overseas helps you develop your soft and hard skills. Regardless of whether you wish to work in the public, private or not-forprofit sector, to be a world-class leader, you are expected to move with relative ease from one industry -and country -to another. And studying abroad enhances your skills on personal, professional and academic fronts, enabling you to succeed in any environment globally.