Why study abroad? benefits and possibilities

Studying abroad is a major decision entailing significant financial investments.  Besides the opportunity to study and gain an international degree, there are some obvious advantages offered by this route to education. This article explores some of those.

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The landscape of international education is broad

The plethora of courses offered by universities in the international educational arena is the primary attraction for international students to move abroad for studies. Further, top-ranked universities are not concentrated in one region or country, even though the competitive position has been upheld successfully by multiple countries like the United States, the UK, and Australia for the last many decades.

 This competitive positioning even though has played a vital role in the expansion of the international education industry, many of the well-established Universities are more than 50 years old.  The change mainly crept in the form of new courses and curricula dictated by the changes in the business environment.  International students can get access to a wide range of courses that are unlikely to be available domestically.

New career pathways

Technological developments mainly instigated by developments in the internet and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have opened up new career opportunities in the areas of Big Data Analytics (BDA), Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning in recent times.

Universities like Harvard University have developed courses to meet the growing demand from both domestic and international students.  International students are in a better position to learn data science in a developed market like the United States, United Kingdom, or Australia and join the industry which is quickly evolving and offers high wages and long-term career growth potential.  

 Employability

Employability is the main reason why people invest heavily in overseas education and a study by the European Union came up with convincing evidence that international students are more employable.  

The growth in the flow of international students to countries like the UK is partly fuelled by the opportunity to stay back and get employed in the host country as well.  For international students, such stay-back options relieve them of the stress of finding a job in a low-paying country. More than a quarter of Indian international students take loans to undertake studies abroad and the earlier they obtain a job, the better their prospects of repaying the loan quickly.

If an international student graduate could obtain a job in a developed market like the UK or the United States, they get exposed to recent technologies and employment practices. Further, their experience in dealing with and managing people from multiple cultural backgrounds, in general, molds them to work in multicultural work settings. This is a major skill that multinational companies seek in graduates.  

When an international student lands in an English-speaking country there is an urgency to learn the language and speak in a manner that the natives or other people in the host country can understand.  This is likely to enhance their communication skills considerably. 

They might have been speaking English in their home country, however speaking to natives, preparation of coursework, preparing and presentation of projects, and interacting with fellow students from multicultural backgrounds are likely to elevate the language proficiency and communication skills of most international students. This does not mean that international students do not face communication challenges in the process. Many international students struggle with formal communication in English, both verbal and written.

Global mindset

Globalization and internationalization of companies are a reality nobody can ignore, particularly companies which aim to expand their business continuously.  These companies demand people who are adept with cross-cultural communication and have knowledge of global markets.  

Students educated in developed markets such as the UK and the United States are better poised to grab such opportunities, irrespective of whether they are in a host country’s job market or domestic job market. For example, international students who graduated from Japan are increasingly used by globalizing Japanese firms. 

To ensure optimum RoI in international education, graduate job opportunities in the host market should be identified by international students and get employed.  Reports suggest that the Canadian Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP) and American Optional Practical Training (OPT) have played pivotal roles in attracting more international students.  

Exposure to successful MNCs and their practices

While most international students from developing markets have some exposure to MNCs, such exposure can be higher in developed markets. 

There will be opportunities to closely observe the successful practices of MNCs and other businesses in developed markets. Many international students get inspired by seeing business formats that they didn’t see in their home country. 

This prompted many to start a business in their home country and or in the host country.   Instagram was co-founded by an international student, Mike Kreiger, born in Brazil and graduated from Stanford University.  

There is no dearth of such success stories of international students to keep you motivated in the job hunting prowl till you get one or pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.The three main countries which attract the largest number of international students- the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada- are known for having highly entrepreneurial cultures, particularly the United States for decades. The recent rankings need not completely reflect the legacy of the United States as a highly entrepreneurial country.

Exposure to tourist destinations

Studying in a country like the United States or the UK places you close to several exotic and historic places.  On your weekends or study holidays, you are in a position to visit such places. The fact that many countries offer dependent visas with student visas allows you to take your spouse to such locations.

Wrap Up

The international student count is growing and this article could delineate the possible reasons behind this. The value proposition offered by study destinations can vary. TCL Global can provide you with the right perspective and guide you in the decision-making process.

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