One of the most important decisions in your life is choosing where to do your undergraduate studies. For many of you the answer is abroad. International Bachelor’s programmes are well-viewed on the job market, not to mention an amazing experience every student would like to have.
If this is your dream too, then you should get started to study abroad by asking yourself some essential questions that will make your experience that much better.
1. How do I decide on a country for my International Bachelor's?
The first thing you should consider when you intend to do a Bachelor’s abroad is the exact country where you want to study. Maybe you have a general idea about studying in Europe, Asia or America. But there are so many differences from one country to the next and your pick is essential if you want to feel at ease. Remember, you going to live there for 3 to 5 years at least.
To get started on finding your second home, consider the following points:
- The highest standards of living in Europe are in countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, and that’s only one of several reasons students choose to study in Northern countries.
- Countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia have a warmer climate and very sociable natives.
- The U.S, Canada, and the UK have some of the highest ranked universities, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers.
Find a complete list of countries to study a Bachelor’s.
2. How do I find a Bachelor's I can afford?
A key question you should always ask yourself (and your parents) is whether you can afford a specific Bachelor’s programme. Thinking of costs is not the funkiest way to occupy your time, but if you have this figured out you can focus on the rest of the cool things that await you.
First, check tuition fees. When you search for international programmes, you can filter them according to how much you can pay. Don’t worry, there’s a Bachelor’s for every pocket.
Second, get info about the costs of living in different countries. In some countries where the tuition is low, the living expenses are above the average. To make your choice easier here’s a list of costs and fees in top-student destinations:
- Tuitions and costs in the UK
- Tuitions and costs in the USA
- Tuitions and costs in Germany
- Tuitions and costs in the Netherlands
- Tuitions and costs in Australia
Third, consider ways to pay less for your education such as scholarships and grants. They will enable you to consider even private universities. You can also keep your options open for other ways to cover your study costs such as loans or getting a student job.
3. How can I make sure I get accepted to a Bachelor's abroad?
Let’s say you found the right country and your dream Bachelor’s programme. A vital question to ask yourself is if you have the necessary academic background and language skills to get the ‘yes’ you are waiting for.
Some programmes require language certificates as well as evidence of how your skills match their Bachelor’s programme. If you have great communication skills but want to study Engineering, you have to start investing in developing more technical and analytical skills. Or, reconsider your options and chose a study programme that requires more communication skills, such as Social Sciences.
As far as language is concerned take into account that you will need a language certificate to prove you speak English well enough to attend a Bachelor’s degree abroad. The words we don’t speak are easily forgotten. That’s why it is a good idea to take some English-language preparatory courses if you’re not fully confident in your language skills.
4. Will I have a great student life or a boring one?
What gives flavour to your Bachelor’s studies is the student experience you will have there. When choosing to study abroad you need to choose an environment that suits you best.
If you’re the soul of the party, choose a big city. A small town is the ideal version for the quiet soul-searching spirits. That’s why you should look for info about the university city as well as surrounding areas. Here are some tips for the best student cities:
And talking about student life, know that students around the world have very different versions of fun:
- When students in Sweden are stressed out they open their windows at night and scream from the top of their lungs. What a relief!
- When students in Poland graduate they get to dress street statues in ridiculous clothes.
- In China, parents are not allowed to attend the graduation ceremony, because it’s all about the students. Privacy, please!
- In Italy, expect to see liquids and food flying your way when you graduate. Bye-bye fancy clothes!
5. How safe is it to study and live abroad?
An ever-changing globalised world is a great advantage for student mobility, but it also poses some questions regarding the safety of the country you are going to live in.
France and Germany are great student destinations, but news about terrorist threats might sound a bit scary. Find out if there is a real cause for alarm and inform yourself about safety in France and safety Germany.
The U.S. is another all-time student destination, but life differs a lot from city to city. Big metropolises like New York City have a higher criminality rate compared to smaller university towns, for example.
Safety is not only about criminality and violence rates. It is also about the quality of the environment. According to the World Economic Forum and the Global Peace Index some of the safest countries in the world are:
- Arab Emirates
6. Will I have good job prospects during and after my studies abroad?
If you want to do an international Bachelor’s, this means you consider staying in that country and trying to develop a career there. This is why it is important to research whether there is a job market for the discipline you choose to study. The most in-demand jobs in top student destinations are:
- The U.S. — business manager and operations manager, data scientist, nurse, software engineer, financial advisor.
- Canada — office manager, accountants, engineer, teacher, marketing analyst, IT security analysts.
- Australia — architect, IT expert, manager, financial expert, civil engineer.
- The UK — data analyst, technical architect, accountant, engineer, biological scientist.
- Germany — doctor, engineer, IT expert, scientific researcher.
- China — English teacher, IT expert, translator, engineer.
After that you should inform yourself about whether you can obtain a work-permit after your studies and how easy or complicated it is. For instance, in countries like the U.S., Canada, and Australia getting a work permit after your studies is a bit of a headache.
In the European Union the situation is a bit different. If you are from another EU country you can stay in the country you study for as long as you want without needing a work visa. However, in many EU countries knowing their native language increases your prospects of developing a long -term career there. If you are from outside the EU, then developing a career there is dependent on visa and work permits. Discover some other useful tips for picking a career in different countries.
7. How do I make sure I meet the visa requirements?
Whenever studying abroad, you need to know exactly what do you need to do to get a student visa. In many countries, you can apply for a student visa after you are accepted at a university there. In other cases, you might be required to apply for a visa first.
For example, EU students don’t need a visa to study in other EU countries. The process changes for those outside the EU. At the same time, countries like Canada, the U.S., and Australia have visa requirements for all international students. Find out more about student visa in the most popular international destinations:
- Student visa in the United States
- Student visa in the United Kingdom
- Student visa in Australia
- Student visa in Canada
- Student visa in Germany
Answering these questions doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Look at them as a final frontier journey to bring you closer to the best destination for your Bachelor’s studies, Captain Picard!