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Study Abroad: Ten Reasons to Do Grad School Abroad (page 2)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Jul 7, 2011

Experiencing Excellence

Many foreign universities have incredibly strong reputations and world-renowned post-graduate studies. If you research your particular subject area, you're sure to discover a school or two outside the U.S. that does excellent research and produces top quality graduates in your field. Why not go there?

A note of caution about the quality of graduate school programs: Here in the U.S. we tend to get caught up in rankings. Which graduate school is ranked highest for business? Psychology? English? These rankings are all rather arbitrary. You could go to one of these so-called top schools and have a miserable experience or get a lousy education because your program has too many PhDs and you fail to get any personal attention. What, to you, characterizes a high quality program? A small PhD program in Canada may be just as good, if not better for you, than a program on one of those top U.S. graduate school lists.

Making Economical Sense

Well, if your graduate degree takes less time if you do it abroad, then it follows that it costs you less money. Like they say, time is money. Schools abroad, in general, have tuitions much lower than their U.S. counterparts. If you couple that with a really good exchange rate in U.S. to local currency and a lower cost of living than here in the U.S. " you could have yourself the bargain of a lifetime! Not only that, but applying to a foreign university as an international student can give you an advantage: You're different, you add variety to the program, therefore, the school may want to give you money (in the form of merit scholarships or stipends) to study at their university.

Two caveats to keep in mind when considering the economics of grad school abroad:

  • Many places abroad, especially big cities, are much more expensive than where you currently live in the U.S. So check the cost of living in areas where you're looking at programs.
  • Don't expect to pay the low tuition of citizens in your host country. Like state universities in the U.S., most universities abroad charge much higher fees for non-citizens. (These fees, however, could still work out to be less than what you'd pay in the U.S.)

Trying Something New

The number one regret of college graduates I know is that "I didn't go abroad." Well, just because you didn't do it as an undergrad doesn't mean it is too late! Consider having your abroad adventure a little later in life and go abroad for grad school! It's never too late to take advantage of all that study abroad has to offer: personal growth, opportunities to travel, and continuing the quest for knowledge, to name a few.

Going abroad for grad school becomes an especially attractive offer if your current life is as, if not more, commitment free than it was as an undergrad. If you don't own a car, an apartment/house, a dog, have a child or a significant other - then what is stopping you from packing up and studying abroad now? I guarantee this becomes immensely more challenging when and if you acquire any of the aforementioned commitment-laden objects.

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