Studying abroad is no longer considered a fancy idea, which can be afforded only by the elite. In today’s increasingly flat world, it’s important to be well versed in global dynamics. According to a survey conducted by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, almost 4.5 million tertiary students are choosing to study abroad, representing an average annual growth rate of almost six per cent. Asian students account for 53 per cent of all students studying abroad worldwide.
If a full-time international study programme is out of your reach or if you wish to test waters before making a longer commitment, you can consider pursuing a short course abroad. There are many benefits of a short-term international education programme.
The most compelling reason to study abroad is to develop a global perspective. As an international student, you get to experience the dynamics of studying in a diverse classroom. You interact with students from various corners of the world, who bring their own perspectives and experiences to the classroom. The diversity and richness of ideas alone can enhance your learning. The interactive teaching methodology that is widely prevalent in international universities gives you an opportunity to truly broaden your horizon.
As an international student, the world is your oyster. With cutting edge resources, and world-class facilities at your disposal, you can leverage your growth opportunities to the fullest. You can tap into a huge repository of student resources, access some of the best libraries, work closely with professors of international repute, and researchers and gain experiential knowledge with hands-on training opportunities. International universities work closely with top business heads and Nobel laureates, who bring with them a wealth of information and expertise. As a student, you have easy access to the best brains in the industry.
Learn to live independently
At home you have a strong support system of family, friends, and loved ones. They’ve got your back at all times. You don’t ever learn to cut the cord. When you pursue a short course abroad, for the brief time you are living alone, in a different country. You have to fend for yourself. That obviously means you will have to balance your academics along with household chores. You pick up important life skills as you learn to juggle your resources between study, and leisure.
Attractive resume with an international certificate
Bump up your chances of landing plum jobs once you return to your home country. Most organisations look for candidates who have experience across geographies and bring diversity to the work culture. Your study abroad stint will stand you in good stead, especially in IT and tech-based companies.
Reality check on viability of study-abroad options
If you are hesitant to commit to a long-term international course, use the short study-abroad course as a stop-gap arrangement. Whether you are shy of mingling with an international crowd, or find the culture shock too overwhelming, or are unable to stay away from home for a long time, the short course abroad will give you an insider’s perspective. Make an informed decision at the end of your course if you choose to continue further on the path to international studies. Also, get acquainted with the possibility of gaining scholarships, funds, tuition waivers, on-campus jobs, and the like to reduce the cost.
It’s less expensive than a long-term international study programme.
Lesser financial burden
Consider a short course in your field of specialisation. Many financial institutions offer attractive loans that can help you realise your dreams without burning a hole in your pocket. Also, the short course abroad will help you pay off your loans faster as you jump back into the employment bandwagon.
Overall, a short-term course abroad gives you the best of both worlds: a competitive advantage with an international experience with a low investment of time and resource. If you want to take a test drive before taking the plunge, try out a short-term course abroad and get a practical overview.
(The writer is the founder and chief education officer at Reachivy.com)