Getting a Master’s degree is no longer just about gaining in-depth knowledge in a specialised area. The overall living experience during the time spent doing Master’s is just as important. Studying abroad offers the unique opportunity for academic advancement as well greatly enriching one’s cultural and socio-demographic experiences. This is the reason why pursuing post-graduate studies abroad is now a widespread trend among recent Bachelor graduates.
One of the most common obstacles faced by many Bachelor’s degree holders immediately after graduation is a sharp disparity between the experience of four years of undergraduate studies and the harsh reality outside the safe and familiar bubble of their alma mater. This is one of the reasons why many proceed to post-graduate studies almost immediately after throwing their mortar boards up in the air. Moreover – in today’s highly dynamic social and business environment, pursuing a Master’s degree in a foreign country is almost mandatory. Studying abroad presents an invaluable opportunity for students both to deepen and advance their academic knowledge and skills in the field of their choice, while at the same time acquiring a full picture of what living abroad feels like, with all its challenges and benefits.
Intro to real life 101
Living in a foreign country, surrounded by dozens of different nations with their different traditions and customs, and all that in the setting of a bright cultural environment, is a challenge that will undoubtedly put you out of your comfort zone and test your adjustment skills and flexibility. Nevertheless, this is also the greatest benefit of getting your Master’s degree abroad – enjoying and learning from the full living experience.
Diverse international student body
Many schools which offer Master’s degrees in a variety of fields worldwide are welcoming more and more international students. Diversification of the student body has become a crucial selling point for most postgraduate programmes. By offering special scholarships and customised application conditions for foreign students, the schools have made admission to their dream Master’s programme much easier for prospective candidates from all over the world.
Building your network
Just look at the Facebook friends of any graduate and you will see the enormous effect such experience has on the students’ networking opportunities. This is the essence of a Master’s degree from a foreign institution in the light of contemporary social media platforms. The chance to study with people from around the globe who share your interests and dedication to a certain academic area will help you create an international network of contacts; contacts which might very well be the catalyst for your future career anywhere in the world.
Learning a new language
One of the essential differences between studying for a Master’s degree in your home country or abroad is the opportunity to learn the local language on the go. Despite the fact that almost all international programmes are taught entirely in English, you will find it very useful for life outside the classroom to pick up the local language. Foreign students often find it much easier and comfortable to learn a language if they have to use it in their day-to-day lives. While communicating your thoughts in a foreign language can often be something of a challenge, living in that language environment ultimately requires you to put all your skills to good use. It helps you develop creative language skills and eventually feel comfortable with the characteristics of the new language.
Mastering your cultural sensitivity
Apart from your new language skills acquired in day-to-day life while you are studying for your Master’s degree abroad, local culture is another factor which will greatly shape your overall living experience. Most young people cherish every opportunity to learn about the local traditions and customs in a different culture which represent the unique cultural differences between the different regions of the world. A deeper knowledge of culturally specific features and characteristics will provide you with background knowledge and a better understanding of international politics, socio demographic and economic trends. It will also help you understand business strategies and market approaches. However, this is far from being the only benefit of broadening your cultural horizons: understanding international markets and the ability to adapt quickly in a variety of cultural circumstances is highly valued by managers in all areas of the modern business environment.
Prospective employers look for candidates who possess emotional intelligence and cultural sensitivity enabling them to bring a flexibility and acumen to sense the cultural microclimates.
Finding a job abroad
Another possible outcome of studying for your Master’s degree abroad is the opportunity to meet foreign employers. This aspect of studying abroad enables you not only to build a diverse peer network but also to create connections which could potentially lead to international internships and even postgraduate career opportunities. Many aspiring young professionals use the opportunity of freelance or part-time work while they are studying for their Master’s degree, thus giving their future career a kick start while still at school. If you have decided that you want to live and work abroad, the easiest and most efficient way to create the right connections and set foot on the right international career path is while you are pursuing a Master’s degree abroad.
Competitive advantage back home
Even if you are not planning to live and work in a foreign country, studying for your Master’s degree abroad could benefit your future professional career once you graduate and return home. The job hunting process can be extremely fierce and competitive, particularly for recent graduates without experience. Convincing any potential employer of your particular suitability for the job and the overall profile of the company can be quite challenging. This is where an international Master’s degree comes in very handy. Your competitive advantage is what will ultimately impress prospective employers and help you stand out amongst a crowd of already highlyqualified and suitable competitors.
Looking at the bigger picture
Investing in high-quality education in a named international institution is definitely a crucial career shaping step which requires careful consideration and weighing-up of numerous factors. Furthermore, Master’s degree studies require a significant financial investment which not all recent Bachelor’s degree graduates can afford without support. In this sense, studying for a Master’s degree abroad might seem unnecessarily expensive. However, the benefits and advantages to be gained from the experience greatly outweigh the financial aspects. The reality is that investing in your education means investing in your future. When it comes down to the choice between studying for a Master’s degree in your home country or abroad – all the factors which define the essence of a foreign postgraduate degree make the choice obvious.