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8 Reasons to do your Masters Abroad

Posted on April 09, 2014

You probably have just completed your undergraduate degree ( or are in the process of completing it) and are debating on whether to work, or pursue your masters in a university outside India or in India, right?
 
Well, there are a few great universities in India, but if you have done your fair share of groundwork, you probably know that a lot of students today opt for a Masters degree outside the country.
 
For example, in the social sciences and humanities, there are a small number of respectable departments in India, but absolutely none that are considered by international experts as in the top class of academic programmes.
 
Of course, the masters programmes in India have good scope, but here’s a food for thought –
 
what if you choose to study abroad instead and have 10x times better exposure there than you would have otherwise?
 
It is not just about the money. It is the overall exposure and the experience of living in a foreign country. 🙂
 
Let’s get a few of those doubts in your head cleared. Here are 8 reasons you should opt for a Masters degree in a University outside India:
 
1. Global Recognition of University
2. Breadth of Courses offered
3. Explore the Cultural Diversity and Experience a new Lifestyle
4. Increased Employability
5. Build a Global Network of Contacts
6. Funding the education
7. Learn a foreign language
8. Boost your self-confidence
 
 

1. Global Recognition of University

 
Addressing the most basic question you probably have – yes, quality of education is your primary concern.
 
Choosing to take up a masters degree in a university outside India increases your chances of picking a niche major that may not be an option if you study in India.
 
Immersing yourself in an education system – something different from what you’ve done all these years, is a great way to experience and understand how the country’s economy functions.
 
That said, academics is only one of the aspects that make a university exceptional. Things like infrastructure, cultural diversity (foreign students) and post-education employability are all very important contributors that define how good a university is.
 
India has only a handful of universities that offer an exceptional experience – and your odds of actually making the cut?
 
Very slim!
 
Universities abroad provide a great learning experience and your odds of getting into one of the better schools there are much higher than trying your luck with getting admitted into a premier school in India.
 
Here are a few interesting stats on some of the best universities abroad:
 
University of Oxford – 38% of the total number of students are international students, representing 140 countries between them.
 
Stanford University – Stanford has more than 16,300 students, 2,180 faculty and 1,800 postdoctoral scholars. The school enrolls students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 90 other countries. The alumni include 17 astronauts, 18 Turing Award recipients and two Fields Medalists. Companies founded by Stanford affiliates and alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion annual revenue, which would be the 10th largest economy in the world.
 
Harvard University – Harvard has connections to more than 45 Nobel laureates, over 30 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer prizewinners. It has more than 323,000 living alumni, including over 271,000 in the US and nearly 52,000 in 201 other countries.
 
Of course, every one of them have worked really hard and earned their way over there. But studying in reputed international institutions definitely gives you the upper hand.
 
 

2. Breadth of the courses offered

 
If you want to specialize in something that isn’t that mainstream like “Game development” or even something as esoteric as “Music theory”, you will most probably find a university abroad that provides such specializations.
 
For instance, the University of Southern California provides a Masters in Game Design and the University of Boston provides a Masters of Music; mind you, there are many other universities in the US that provide these specializations too!
 
In other words: if you’re looking to specialize in a field that isn’t too mainstream – you’ll probably find a good college that offers such a program in the US!
 
Another aspect you can probably keep in mind – the duration of your master’s degree.
Is your aim to do your masters over a short period of time (say a year)
 
Or, do you prefer the idea of having a summer holiday during which you can do an internship, or just go back home for a break?
 
Are you looking for a part-time degree and work at the same time, because going home isn’t really an option?
 
You will find a program that suits you but make sure you do your research.
 
Here’s something to get your research started : https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools
 
 

3. Explore the Cultural Diversity and Experience a new Lifestyle

 
One of the criteria that a university is ranked on is student diversity (religion, culture, and ethnicity).
 
Living abroad means you will have to accept an unfamiliar environment, cultural ways, new traditions and most importantly – a new language.
 
What better way to broaden your knowledge than to gain ideas shaped by unique international perspectives you may not have considered before?
 
You’ve probably spent most of your life living in the country – India. And, that makes your knowledge and exposure towards foreign cultures and traditions – pretty limited – well, apart from the content you have absorbed from TV series/movies!
 
These differences result in a diversity of ideas, knowledge, and world-views that enhance education and preparation for work in a global economy.
 
When studying masters abroad you will invariably interact with a diverse set of students and this would indelibly alter you: your perspective will become broader and more global.
 
Living with your fellow-peers might be a little hard at first, but it usually works out well! It will help you gain insight into their way of life.
 
Imagine how great it will be to have international friends for life!
 
And having them around means more benefits for you – say you want help with a job, or moving into the city, or maybe that friend of yours becomes the next Steve jobs – you never know!
 
 

4. Increased Employability

 
The fact is that the curriculum and the approach to education abroad for postgraduate courses is so much more relevant to the skills and perspectives required by industries in the global market.
 
Universities abroad tend to have much better infrastructure that possess contemporary and even cutting-edge facilities. Add to the fact that studying masters abroad opens up the opportunity to intern with the greatest, paradigm-shifting companies like Apple or Facebook.
 
These factors along with so many more that are unique to doing a Post Graduation abroad cumulate to make you a very desirable candidate for the best companies in the world.
 
Moreover, if you want to settle in the country you choose to study in, the best way to get yourself there is by doing a masters degree in that country. Your school will definitely have a recruitment program – where your chances of employability are higher!
 
Holding a masters degree from an international university means you are willing to put in the effort to travel. That itself says a lot.
 
Employers will understand that location is not one of your major concerns. Plus – where you graduate from will also display a strong front.
 
Apart from that, if you are in an international university, you have had the exposure to diverse platforms – sports, education, clubs, field work, summer volunteering – to name a few.
 
Erasmus Student Network and AIESEC itself will most definitely stand out in your portfolio.
 
The job hunting process can be extremely fierce and competitive, particularly for recent graduates without experience.
 
If you wish to come back to India, you can think about starting a venture of your own, if not, your CV will hold enough value to land you in a good-paying, high-profile job!
 
For Indians, here’s some motivation to get you going!
 
Ratan Tata: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, B.S. in Architecture from Cornell University (1962), completed the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School in 1975.
 
Kapil Sibal: Science and Technology, HRD, IT and Communications, and Law and Justice. He holds an LL.M. from the Harvard Law School.
 
Agatha Sangma: Former Congress MP from Meghalaya; Master’s in Environmental Management, Nottingham University, UK
 
Arun Shourie: As Editor of Indian Express,Arun Shouriewas the media’s greatest warrior against the Emergency, declared by Indira Gandhi, in 1975. He was Minister of IT and Communications in Vajpayee’s government. He holds a doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University, New York.
 
Rahul Bajaj: The Chairman of the Bajaj conglomerate, is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
 
Dr. Manmohan Singh: The two-term Prime Minister of India holds an Economics degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a D.Phil. in the same subject from Oxford University.
 
Romila Thapar: Professor Emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Romila Thapar is a renowned historian and author of the classic A History of India. She holds a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
 
 

5. Build a Global Network of Contacts

 
It’s no doubt that you will meet people from all across the globe – it is an international masters degree after all.
 
But what you do with building those contacts – matters.
 
There are plenty of international student networks like Erasmus Student Network and AIESEC, that offer diverse networking and socializing opportunities – events, conferences, team-building activities are a few amongst the many things that these student networks participate in.
 
And then there is always Facebook, Twitter, Quora and LinkedIn to get in touch with your alums, faculty, and even your classmates. Just having them on your list gives you the liberty of getting in touch at any point of time!
 
Connecting with people through these networks enhances your chances to connect with the locals more easily – say for an internship, part-time stint, or even a future job!
 
You may also have an opportunity to meet company heads/representatives at career fairs, college fests, or maybe guest faculties who come in to talk about specific case studies.
 
Here’s a small tip that might help build your contacts – join an in-house student club, work on becoming a student ambassador representing your college, take part in sports, and other extracurricular activities.
 
If you’re up for it, read these blogs to help you understand how to go about building a global network:
 
http://www.bestcollegevalues.org/top-alumni-networks/
 
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2016-10-18/10-universities-where-the-most-alumni-donate
 
 

6. Funding the education

 
Spending on a Master’s degree right after completing your bachelors can be mighty heavy on the pocket. And when you reach that stage, you get that feeling where you want to adult all of a sudden and want to fund your own education – for the lucky few, finance is usually sorted! 🙂
 
Now, if your academic grades until your bachelors are worthy, the chances of getting a scholarship is super high – obviously this also depends on how you frame your applications – but grades do matter!
 
Scholarships come in different formats – merit-based fellowships, scholarships offered by universities: academic excellence, students have to be under a certain age limit (for example under 25 years of age), government-funded scholarships, sports scholarships, need-based scholarships (grants) and student loans.
 
Or maybe you could apply as a research assistant! Students with an assistantship are obliged to carry out specified teaching and/or research activities, stipulated in a contract.
 
If you have work experience and are really really good at your job, you can maybe persuade your employer to sponsor your education!
 
If you want to Get your profile evaluated at a preliminary stage, we’ll help you out, for free!
 
And remember, it’s not just the tuition fee you will be bearing – consider your stay, food, travel and any other miscellaneous expenditure!
 
 

7. Learn a foreign language

 
A degree anywhere outside India will open doors to full fluency, as well as the cultural fluency necessary to do business in foreign cultures.
 
If you are planning on settling in the same place you’re going to be studying, knowing the local language is a must!
 
And think about it, your portfolio will be far from just academics! And that is always a good-to-have factor.
 
You can never translate verbatim from language to language – the essence of what you want to say will be lost.
 
Hence, if you want to effectively communicate – living in that particular language environment will put your skills to good use. It will help develop your skills and learn characteristics of that new language.
 
In addition to the considerable language practice, you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education.
 
 

8. Boost your self-confidence

 
Pursuing your masters abroad will help boost your self-confidence. At first, you may find it difficult to fit in – the culture shock sets in – but if you give it enough time and hold the right attitude, the world will seem to be at your feet 🙂
 
You’ll realize that time flies like nobody’s business. It’s like two years is a long time – and woosh
– it’s done before you know it! You’ll have so much fun and you’ll get back home with lots of unforgettable memories.
 
Doing your master’s abroad will increase your confidence because not only have you conquered your fears, but also acquired lots of knowledge and experience.
 
A few ways to improve are :
> work on your communication skills
> make decisions confidently- and backed by knowledge and data
> manage your time effectively and take on new challenges
> always accept feedback and work on it
 
And that’s our take on why students should definitely consider pursuing a Masters in a university outside India! If you have something you would like to share from your experience or if there is something you would like to add, comment below. 🙂
 
Good luck on your application. If you need any help with your prep – you can always get in touch with us – support@crackverbal.com

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