How to investigate your options
Once you’ve decided to study abroad, how do you find the right course? It’s never too early to start your search, not only because you need time for research, but also because you’ll have to submit an application, arrange funding, and perhaps sit language tests or organise visa applications.
The education world loves information. There are more advisory organisations, guidebooks, brochures and websites available than you could use in a lifetime. Before you start your enquiries, decide what you want to get out of your studies abroad, so that you can target your research.
If you want to learn a specific language, then target the relevant countries. If you want to further your career, then seek out programmes that will impress future employers. For example, if you want to work in the European car industry, an engineering course in Germany would make sense. If you are hoping to work for a particular company, ask its recruiters to recommend particular programmes or countries.
You need not always opt for the most obvious choice. For example, while the UK might seem the best place to learn English ( Study English in the UK) , most other European countries now offer international degrees in the English language – and would additionally offer the chance to learn your host country’s language into the bargain. Many European countries’ official education websites offer lists of programmes available in English.
Starting the search
The best place to start your search is on the Internet. If you know what country you want to study in, begin with the site of its official education organisation. This organisation will offer general information about the higher education system and admission procedures for foreign students, as well as links to universities. Many also run enquiry desks you can contact for personalised information and for information on education fairs or summer schools – a good way to get a taste of a place before committing yourself.