The high cost of UK universities, diminished employment opportunities upon graduation and an enriched cultural experience are all reasons why an increasing number of students choose to study overseas.
The British Council published figures in April 2014 that revealed ‘that 37% of UK respondents were considering studying overseas, an increase of 17% on the previous year.’ Many international seats of learning offer world-class courses and give the student the opportunity to enrich their lives. And there are plenty of opportunities – colleges and universities in Spain, Holland, Italy and even further afield, such as an International school in Israel. Thanks to the explosion in globalisation, many employers wish to hire graduates who have gained a broad perspective as a result of their studies. Taking a course overseas enhances the mind.
The benefits of studying abroad
Most people don’t enter higher education with a view to stacking shelves in supermarkets upon graduation. An article in The Guardian revealed that half of the graduates (47%) of the class of 2013 were ‘stuck in non-graduate jobs.’ If you want to stick out from the crowd and make your CV more attractive to an employer, then studying overseas may be an option. For example a BA in Government Studies from a Middle Eastern university will show any prospective employer that you have imagination and brains, and a wider perspective on international politics. These attributes are needed in the fields of IT, diplomacy and natural resource development companies among others.
You will discover that living abroad is a totally different experience from your gap year travels. You will have to learn another language in order to really thrive in your new environment and you’ll learn a lot about other cultures. Despite the high reputation of the Russell group of universities in the UK, it’s worth remembering that degrees from many international institutes will give you the best in educational excellence. No one would dare say a degree from Harvard, the Sorbonne or even Krakow’s Jagellonian University (founded in 1364) is any less prestigious than one from York or Warwick.
Free time is just as important as studying
A recent post on the blog Top Universities .com stated that those who study in the Middle East should be ‘adventurous, curious, politically engaged and forward thinking.’ The blog also praised universities in other parts of the world for offering cultural and academic opportunities. You will find that once you’ve started your overseas study programme, that your sporting interests, nightlife and other excursions will have a profound effect on the way that you absorb your new country. All of these opportunities will help your mind to expand, provide you with an invaluable network of international contacts and impress future employers. You might also find new career openings in the country where you’ve recently completed a course. The power of the international jobs market means that you don’t have to live and work in the UK. If you have a spirit of adventure and a thirst for learning then perhaps it’s time to think of expanding your horizons by studying abroad.