A foreign degree is great, but is it really worth it? Here’s what you need to know
It is clear that foreign education is not losing its shine. However, keeping in mind the return on investment, there have been significant changes in terms of popular destinations and courses. Increasingly, the one country fits all formula is becoming less suitable for Indians looking to study overseas. Every student has to now consider diverse factors in view of what they are looking for from an overseas education. Some are looking for top-ranked universities, irrespective of employment opportunities, while others consider permanent residence to settle overseas as a priority after graduation.
Recovering part of the investment in US education by gaining work experience there has always been an important factor for Indian students, many of whom have a three-year window of optional practical training after studies to gain experience in the US. As the uncertainty over the future of H1B visa sponsorship becomes a reality for Indian students in the US, many are considering alternatives such as Canada and European countries, including the Netherlands, France and Germany.
The intense competition to get into top ranked universities in India, along with the rising cost of education, is also a reason for people exploring overseas options. With affordability and return on investment emerging as one of the top factors for deciding on an overseas education, it is no surprise that students of science and technology are considering Germany as an option. Besides the reputation of Germany’s technical universities, there are a lot of funding opportunities for researchers. Living expenses are low and jobs are available on campus for overseas students.
A wide range of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programmes are available in English. Moreover, every student learns basic German for free, and language skills open up job opportunities. Another reason why Germany is becoming increasingly popular is that it offers foreign graduates a blue card, which allows the holder to work and live in most European Union countries.
France too has been making a concerted effort to attract Indian students. French institutions did not know India very well. But that is changing over the last few years. Management courses in France work out 30-40% cheaper than similar ones in countries such as the US, the UK or Australia. Indian students in France have up to 24 months to find a job after completing courses.
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The United Kingdom’s higher education system is world-famous, with a long and proud history of academic excellence. It’s no secret that studying a Masters in the UK is a popular choice for people from across the globe. International postgraduates are drawn by the UK’s renowned universities, bustling cities and picturesque countryside.
The United Kingdom is second only to the USA as the most popular study abroad destination in the world, welcoming over 430,000 international students each year. Its higher education system is as diverse as the country itself, ranging from ancient universities in Oxford and Cambridge to modern, innovative institutions. The UK is also unique in that it consists of four nations with their own distinct university systems: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Despite its small size, the breadth and expertise of the Irish higher education system makes it an excellent option for postgraduate study in all subject areas. Prospective Masters Students in humanities subjects such as literature or philosophy will be able to conduct their research in the homeland of figures as famous as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift or George Berkeley. Meanwhile, those in science and technology fields will benefit from Ireland’s investment in academic enterprise and partnerships between its educational institutions and high-tech industries.
A Masters degree at an Irish institute of technology can be a good choice for students wishing to focus on applied professional and vocational areas, with less emphasis on abstract academic theory and research. Based purely on the number of its universities and research institutions, the Irish higher education system is one of the smallest in the British Isles. When it comes to academic prestige, however, universities in the Republic of Ireland are some of Europe’s most respected.
With a strong economy supporting a historic higher education system and large numbers of courses in English, it’s no surprise that Germany is one of Europe’s top postgraduate study destinations. In fact, Germany has more top-ranked universities than any other country outside the UK or USA. Better yet, the majority of German Masters degrees charge no tuition fees.
Not every country can get away with calling itself ‘the land of ideas’, but then few can boast an association with some of history’s most formidable thinkers. From the philosophy of Immanuel Kant to the theoretical physics of Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg: Germany is well established as an intellectual powerhouse.
Every year, thousands of international postgraduates make the decision to study a Masters in Europe – and it’s not hard to see why. Studying abroad in Europe will allow you to benefit from the centuries of academic prestige and expertise accumulated at the world’s oldest universities. As you do, you’ll have the chance to learn other languages, get work experience abroad and prove to future employers that you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in an increasingly globalised world.
We’ve written guides to some of the most popular destinations for international students in Europe, from France, Germany to Switzerland.
Affordable tuition fees and excellent quality of life are just part of Austria’s appeal for international students.
Situated at the heart of the EU, multi-lingual Belgium is a political hub and home to various international organisations.
Denmark boasts excellent universities and free tuition for EU/EEA nationals, along with a famously high quality of life.
Estonia’s approach to technology and entrepreneurial spirit make this Baltic nation an excellent choice for postgrads.
Finland offers international postgraduates world-class universities and an egalitarian approach to higher education.
Hungary’s affordable and internationally-recognised postgraduate qualifications are a big draw for overseas students.
Norwegian universities offer free tuition to all students, making it an attractive prospect for international postgraduates.
Internationally-recognised Masters and low living costs are just part of Poland’s appeal as a study abroad destination.
If you’re looking for globally-renowned universities and a generous tuition fee policy, Sweden probably fits the bill.
One of the world’s most prestigious higher education systems, Switzerland has several world-class universities