It is possible to get an education abroad on programs of various levels and duration: these can be language courses, summer schools, advanced training, secondary special or higher education. Studying abroad has its pros and cons: on the one hand, it can be costly and stressful. On the other hand, you will expand your horizons and increase the opportunity to get a job anywhere in the world.
In this section, we have collected General information about education abroad in 2018 to help you start your journey to education without borders.
The choice of country and University
Choosing a country for education abroad, it is necessary to start from their goals. For example, if you want not only to work, but also to study abroad, pay attention to the visa benefits for graduates, the opportunity to work on a student visa and the requirements for obtaining a residence permit. If your specialty is connected with a certain region, then it may make sense for you to choose a non-traditional University where you can immediately start to establish links and develop field experience. Some countries have a kind of specialization: in Italy the best design schools, in Switzerland – hospitality, and the most prestigious IT programs are in the US and Canada.
An important criterion, of course, is the language of instruction. There are programs in English in many countries, but knowledge of other European languages expands your possibilities. In some universities of the Baltic States offers programs in Russian.
Significant factors in the choice are the cost and quality of life in the country and in the University city in particular: location, availability of housing, transport, social services and entertainment. Also, make sure that the diplomas of the selected country or University are recognized in other countries – this may be especially true for non-higher education.
To get a good education abroad, you should pay attention to the rating and reputation of the University, its teaching staff and the quality of educational and scientific base. On our website you can find not only the General international rankings of universities, but also rankings in subject areas.
The cost of studying abroad is often a limiting factor when choosing a University. As a rule, less prestigious universities cost 35-50% less than the top ones, but they are also able to give a decent education. Check if your University offers additional funding for international students.
In addition, some Russian universities have programs of cooperation or exchange with foreign universities. As a rule, you must be a student of this Russian University to be able to spend 1 or 2 semesters at a partner University.
The education system abroad is slightly different from the education system in the CIS.
Decide for yourself whether you want to be a practitioner or a scientist. Many programs are deliberately focused on a particular field of knowledge: science, civil service or business. In addition, there are programs that include a practical block – from 6 months to 2 years of training in the specialty. The level of flexibility of the program and the number of courses to choose from is another selection criterion specific to foreign universities.
Look for suitable programs in our search engine, and for detailed information and assistance in choosing a University, please contact the specialists of Education Index.
The cost of studying
In most cases, studying abroad for Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Kazakhs is several times more expensive than for local citizens. In addition, the price of education depends on the country, the prestige of the University and specialty, level and duration of training.
Not many people know that in some countries education can be obtained free of charge or much cheaper than the paid Department of Moscow universities. There are few such programs in English, but if you know or are ready to learn German, French or Czech, then cheap study abroad can become a reality for you.
In any case, when planning a budget and comparing programs, do not forget to take into account the cost of living. Many universities publish approximate figures on their websites. If you can not find this information, expect that the cost of living will be comparable to the cost of the educational program.
Scholarships and grants
Scholarship programs and grants covering all or part of education abroad exist for any level of education – from summer schools to graduate school. But for professional diplomas and a bachelor degree such opportunities are very few. As for the post-graduate levels of education – master's and post-graduate-a significant part of foreigners receives financial assistance.
Sponsors of such scholarships there may be the following organisations: the universities; the government, as the host and the home country of the candidate; the commercial companies with which the candidate signs the employment contract on the future; private funds, developing a specific area of expertise or demographic group the candidate. Using this logic, some students submit so-called speculative applications to potential sponsors, trying to interest them in the results of their education. For example, if you belong to a small nation and study anthropology, you can turn to an organization whose mandate is to support indigenous ethnic groups.
The governments of some CIS countries give grants to their citizens for foreign education. For example, study abroad for Russian students is sponsored by the Global Education Fund, for Kazakh students – bolshak scholarship. But keep in mind that such programs are interested in educating strong professionals for the candidate's home country. Most government scholarships stipulate the immediate return of graduates to their homeland. So if you want to go to study abroad to gain work experience or immigrate, then this is not an option for you.
Scholarships come in different sizes: partial give a discount or free first year of study. Full scholarships cover all costs, including accommodation, so that you do not have to be distracted by part-time work while studying.
Scholarships and grants can be found on the websites of embassies and governments, on the websites of universities in the sections "Scholarships" or "Student financial services", on the websites of famous scholarship programs such as Fullbright, Erasmus Mundus and DAAD, or in our search engine. Refer to the specialists of the education Index for detailed advice.
Requirement to candidates
The more prestigious the University and more complex the program, the higher the competition. Start preparing for the submission of documents in advance to compare the requirements of the selected program with your current level and have time to pull up the missing indicators.
The first and most obvious requirement is knowledge of the language, which must be confirmed by a universal certificate. For English, these are IELTS or TOEFL certificates.
Grades in the certificate or previous diploma are very important, but do not despair if you have a low average score. A good motivation letter, volunteer activity and work experience can compensate for this shortcoming.
Volunteer experience is especially important for a scholarship. You will need to show that you are a potential leader and a versatile personality, so do not hesitate to indicate achievements in areas not directly related to your specialty.
What to do
Submission of documents is the most important step in the procedure of admission to a foreign University. Often this is your only chance to prove yourself and stand out from dozens or hundreds of other applications.
First of all, check all the terms of submission of documents, including the chosen scholarship. Make a list of application documents, minimum test scores, and other requirements. If you need to pass the standard tests, sign up for them in advance-you may have to wait a long time for your turn.
All universities provide the opportunity to apply through the University website. Some of the systems used are quite complex and include additional descriptions of the form and content requirements. Therefore, it makes sense to register in advance on the University website and scroll through the entire questionnaire.
Carefully read the rules of registration of documents and do not deviate from them. In the offices of universities and scholarships with a particularly large competition, even the order in which the documents and file names are collected can be given importance. In case of violation of the rules, your application can easily be lost or not pass the initial selection.
As a rule, the list of documents includes a motivation letter, resume or CV, a document of previous education (school certificate or University diploma), recommendations from teachers and the results of standard tests. If the certificate or diploma is not ready yet, it is necessary to request from your educational institution the statement with estimates for all subjects which you studied till now. All documents must be officially translated into English and possibly notarized.
Special attention should be paid to writing a motivation letter. This is your most important document: they can compensate for poor grades and lack of experience. Motivation letter for studying abroad should be clear, pleasant to read and not long. It should show how you will benefit the world and how this program or scholarship can help you. In some cases, especially in the United States, the format of a motivation letter can be very different: you will be asked a few specific questions or asked to speak on an abstract topic. Be that as it may, the letter will be judged on your ability to argue your opinion, write articles and strategize. Therefore, pay special attention to literacy, ask friends to read and ask you questions, or seek professional advice. An example of a motivation letter for studying abroad can be found on our website.
Read our clients ' interviews about admission, study and life abroad.