Every year, an increasing number of students decide to go abroad to pursue higher education in postgraduate courses. Doing your post graduation internationally has many benefits as it makes you stand out, enhancing your knowledge, skills and qualifications, taking them to the next level. It internationalizes your CV making you seem more attractive to many multinationals recruiting all over the world. A lot of employers are hiring people with an international outlook as they are more aware of other cultures, making them work better with different people from various parts of the world.
1. The initial planning stage:
- There are a number of postgraduate programs to choose from. Therefore, it is important to first decide the kind of program that works for you. Obviously the course has to be of interest to you, but also do consider your strengths as a student. Do your research well and if required take help of a professional who can help, guiding you in the right direction. Make sure the course that you have in mind is accredited, as it establishes the quality of the program. Lastly, do think long term about the industry you want to work in and make your decision accordingly.
- Where you choose to study is very important as well, as it has a direct impact on your experience. A post graduate degree from a highly ranked university will look great on your CV for sure, but do not forget to check individual department rankings.
Do choose a country/ university that take care of your needs. Do you want to live in a big city or a small town would do? Do you want to live on a large campus? There are many things you need to consider such as language, culture, food, student life, etc. All of this will play a very important role on your entire experience and future possibilities.
- Deciding when to go is the next decision that needs to be taken. There are two semesters in a year. Fall (August/September) and Spring (Jan/Feb/march), the fall semester giving you a higher chance of getting admission as the availability of programs is greater than in spring.
- Tuition fees can get very expensive although they greatly vary depending on the country you choose on. Make sure you not only take into account your course fee but also your day-to-day expenses, including rent, travel etc. This will help you to make an informed decision.
2. Pre-required tests:
Most graduate level courses require you to take an entrance test. These usually vary from country to country, although a language proficiency test is usually enough. Please make sure to check your school website to make sure of your pre- required tests. Most standardized tests also require your passport so make sure it is ready.
- GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is one of the most widely accepted graduate entry-level exams, in most English- speaking countries such as the United States and Australia. It is not often a required test in the UK. (Note that many universities may also ask you to take a subject-specific GRE.)
Most universities set their own score requirements for the test scores, the average in the US being 3.0-5.5 for the writing section, 154-163 for verbal and 157-167 for the quantitative section.
- GMAT (Graduate Managements Admissions Test) is a standardized test for students seeking admission for graduate studies in business schools. Many schools in the US, Canada and Australia require you to take this test and include the score as part of the application process. The average score to get into a top-level business school is 718 out of a maximum 800.
- TOEFL/ IELTS are two of the main language proficiency tests in English you can opt for either of it.