Is Graduate School Abroad a Good Fit?

A graduate program is meant to prepare a student for a specific career and give the student the opportunity to immerse themselves in a particular subject. While there are hundreds of graduate schools in the United States to choose from, have you considered studying abroad? Besides a graduate degree, going abroad to continue your education can yield plenty of secondary benefits that you may not have considered yet. Let’s highlight some of the reasons why continuing your education might take you overseas!

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An opportunity to learn another language
Foreign language skills are in high demand with employers. A demonstrated ability to speak another language can help set you apart from competition when it comes to a job. If you’re considering a graduate program abroad, consider one with a different language and challenge yourself to add this extra benefit.

Less school
Often graduate programs are shorter in length than their American counterparts. For example, law school in Europe is often only two years whereas in the United States it’s three. In fact, President Obama questioned the need for a third year of law school this summer when discussing ways to cut the costs of higher education. Be careful though, if you’re planning on returning the United States you’ll need to make sure you can use your degree here.

Cheaper school
While you’ll be hard pressed to find a free program, many overseas graduate programs may have significantly lower costs. For example, many of Norway’s graduate programs offer free tuition to Norwegian and foreign students alike.

Less application requirements
Believe it or not, but most schools in Europe do not require you to take a standardized entrance exam, like the GRE. However, a greater emphasis is placed on grades, letters of recommendations and your project proposals. So, studying abroad may be a solution if you’re not good at tests, but won’t help you if you aren’t a good student.

Post graduate residency
Some countries grant employment visas for foreign students graduating from their universities. This might be a great idea if the country you’ll be studying in is a place you’d like to live in after you’ve finished school. However, the opposite is also true; some countries insist a student leaves once their schooling is completed. As with any planned move abroad, check with the country’s immigration office or consulate to see what opportunities are available.

A cultural experience
Studying abroad, especially for a graduate program, is a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in another country’s culture. The way professors teach, the places you’ll live, the food you eat, friends you make are just some of the differences you’ll find abroad versus studying at a traditional school in the United States. Can you pass up an opportunity like that?

Besides a prospective school’s website, be sure to check out these helpful sites:

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