The postgraduate education market is quickly becoming more international and there are numerous exciting opportunities across the world. Consider the pros and cons of studying abroad...
There are numerous reasons why it could be beneficial to study for a postgraduate qualification in a different country, including:
If you want to study in a particular country and/or have a particular subject in mind, you can identify institutions and courses using the following resources:
To get on to the course of your choice:
To make sure your new qualification will be useful back in the UK:
Find out more about living and studying overseas by looking at country profiles and the UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom) website.
Remember that the range and quality of study available from country to country varies enormously. Institutions within countries may also have widely differing reputations and academic standards. Decide whether you want a university with a worldwide reputation or one that is cheaper, or one where you can get some funding.
Overseas tuition fees vary widely between institutions, even those in the same country. Public education is heavily subsidised in much of Europe, and as an EU citizen, you should pay no more than domestic students. Applying for courses in some parts of the world, however, can be very expensive, even just to apply. You will also probably have to pay for a visa application. Remember that outside the EU you will be classed as an international student, which often means higher tuition fees.
You should also take into account your living expenses, accommodation, books and resources, travel including airfares, personal expenses and health insurance, which some universities require you to purchase. It is important to consider all these possible expenses in advance. Expense estimates can be found on some university websites.
There are numerous ways of gaining funding for study or research abroad. Many awards and scholarship schemes are specific to a particular institution or country and funding from external bodies may also be possible. Find some common sources of funding by contacting the institution you are considering and through the following organisations:
If the costs of undertaking a PhD overseas seem prohibitive, it may be worth considering spending short periods abroad as part of a PhD. Wellcome Trust offers a collaborative PhD with the National Institutes of Health in the USA.
You may be asked to provide some or all of the following during the application process:
Preparing and processing this information can take time. Most departments will ask why you have chosen a particular subject and institution. Make sure you include evidence of thoughtful consideration of how your move fits in with your long-term aims, as well as your current academic strengths and interests. Entry can be very competitive and awards or scholarships even more so.
An early start and thorough preparation will maximise your chances of both an offer of a place and funding. Familiarise yourself with the closing dates for applications as these can vary enormously. Even where there is an academic year system, courses may begin and end at different times from those in the UK. Below is a suggested timetable for preparing and making applications:
As the year proceeds, complete any necessary formalities such as visa applications, travel and accommodation arrangements.
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