5 Benefits of Getting Your Degree Abroad

By Marina Krivonossova on May 19, 2021

Getting your college degree — whether it be your bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD — can be an incredibly important step on your route to professional success. But what many students fail to consider is the fact that they’re not limited to studying exclusively within their home country. In fact, you can earn these degrees pretty much anywhere in the world, studying at some of the most reputable universities, learning from some of the most prominent professors.

As someone who opted to do grad school abroad, I can vouch for the fact that it’s absolutely worthwhile for a variety of reasons. So, whether or not you’re considering this academic route, I want to share with you five benefits of getting your degree abroad.

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1. A degree abroad might be cheaper than one in your home country. When I was first looking at grad schools in the US, I was faced with prospective annual tuition fees of $40k or more for programs in my field of interest. And this was for programs that took two to three years to complete! If I took that route, I’d be putting myself in $100k+ debt from tuition alone. So, I started researching programs and universities abroad, particularly in Europe.

I had already studied abroad in the Netherlands, so I knew I wouldn’t mind returning there. I found an intensive study program that would not only allow me to complete my degree quicker than in the US (with a lot of hard work, of course), but also at a fraction of the cost. The US is known for its insanely high tuition rates, so if you can avoid those by studying at world-renowned universities abroad, there’s no reason not to jump at the opportunity!

2. Universities abroad could have programs more fitting to your field of interest. Imagine studying marine biology by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Or learning about Japanese history at a university in Tokyo. Or getting new insights into European Union policy in the heart of the union itself: Brussels, Belgium. All of this is possible, and far more logical than studying these topics in universities which have no relation to them.

You won’t get the same experiences and knowledge studying marine biology in Oklahoma in the US, Japanese history in Russia, or European politics in India. Find a university that makes sense for your program and field of interest, even if that university happens to be outside of your home country.

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3. If you’ve thought about living in another country, getting a degree there could be the first step in the right direction. Getting a visa to live abroad as a professional is an incredibly difficult process. Finding a company to sponsor you from abroad could prove nearly impossible. That’s why getting a degree in your country of interest is the first step to settling down there long-term. If you already studied in that country, if you speak their language, and if you’re already living there, you’re much more employable than your counterparts who are trying to relocate there from abroad with no relevant background.

Plus, you might realize your country of interest isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, and you may not want to live there anymore. If you’re only there for your studies, it’s much easier to pick up and leave after you get your degree than it would be if you were to relocate there for work.

4. You can learn a new language through immersion. If you’re an American looking to study in England, this won’t apply to you. But if you’re looking to study in a country where people speak a language other than the ones you speak, you’re setting yourself up for an immersive learning experience. It’s one thing to try and learn a language through online programs, textbooks, and weekly classes.

It’s a completely different experience to have the opportunity to learn a language through full immersion: by hearing it at the restaurant, speaking it at the grocery store, and reading it on street signs everywhere you go. If you want to learn a language through the best method possible, move to a country where that language is spoken. And what better reason to move than for educational purposes?

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5. Your educational background will stand out on your resume. Getting your degree abroad helps you stand out from the crowd when you find yourself applying for jobs. Realistically speaking, you’ll be going up against dozens of equally qualified candidates who had great grades, volunteered in their free time, and have amazing references to back up their reputations.

But how many of those candidates will be able to say that they took a chance — took a leap of faith — and moved abroad for their degree? Moving abroad for your studies proves that you are independent, a risk-taker, self-reliant, ambitious, well-rounded, and so much more.

If you’re still not sure whether getting a degree abroad is the right choice for you, consider studying abroad through your home university first. Studying abroad will offer you a taste of what pursuing a degree abroad has to offer, and you’ll be able to know for sure if this is something that is of interest to you in the future. Studying abroad in Europe while doing my bachelor’s studies in California really proved to be a life-altering experience for me, and getting a degree abroad proved even more worthwhile! But at the end of the day, it’s not for everybody, so weigh out the pros and cons in a way that makes sense for you. Happy studying and happy travels!

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