While we previously focused on 7 reasons why you should choose a Masters degree, today the MASTER AND MORE team has decided to dive into yet another related topic. Only this time, a much more location-orientated one. Indeed, it is about the best choice for a Masters destination abroad, which, needless to say, is often a matter of a series of questions and personal choice.
Let’s take Iceland, for example – would you consider a Masters study there, expecting hot, scorching weather and excellent career opportunities with no knowledge of Icelandic at all? Would you answer differently if you were in love with studying Norse mythology and have always dreamed about feeling like you are in Game of Thrones? In the same manner, let’s try finding an answer to the most important points you should keep in mind when choosing the best Masters study destination abroad.
While it might initially seem non-related, your chosen Masters study field can be decisive when shortlisting destinations, or to put it simply - countries abroad. In Europe, it is well known that some national industries are much more advanced than others, either due to longer experience, higher rates of development or ground-breaking research.
Let’s take Germany where the Engineering field is certainly taken on another level, with Masters opportunities offering unique industry relations and exceptionally strong career prospects. Similarly, there is Italy and the Design and Fashion areas that are often described as second-to-none. And if you think this is getting too stereotypical, simply imagine that every country has a Masters degree of its own – which means different options for a specialisation as well.
Even though English is often believed to be the most preferred language of instruction, others such as Dutch, German, French, Italian and Spanish also attract many who seek to bring up a study challenge, improve their job opportunities or just learn how to break communication barriers. So bear this in mind – there is no point in choosing a Masters destination where you would avoid understanding the native language.
Of course, there are some quite difficult tongues to master out there, but we are talking about the best choice, right? Evaluate your chances of learning a new language carefully and remember that your overall student experience abroad depends on them. Or better yet, if you are already fluent in one, capitalise on your knowledge and help yourself having an easier adaptation within your new environment and destination.
Affordability is one of the more complex components that can highlight your best Masters abroad opportunities. On the one hand, tuition fees in some countries are significantly high due to the fact that they represent a certain living standard, status of the economy and last but not least, weight of an acquired Masters degree as a standard for reputation and prestige.
On the other hand, the amount of scholarships, grants and other funding plans around many of the leading study destinations, especially in Europe, has definitely grown. Some governments, like the Austrian, Danish, German and Swedish ones, have even abolished tuition fees for state universities. The point is, tuition fees are now rarely a key factor and there is usually always another choice. In terms of student life, however, it is still difficult to afford a free-budget lifestyle within some countries but hey – that’s what student jobs are for!
Odd or not, even within EU member states, application requirements vary greatly and can be different between two universities within the same city, destination and most importantly – field of study. Still, while general documents like presenting a Bachelor degree, language certificate, letters or CV are rarely troublesome, there are cases where you have to acquire a residence permit or visa.
For this reason alone, it is good to know in detail about your nationality status within third countries which can also help you in the later stages when dealing with degree recognition, health insurance and public accommodation. Note that your age might be subject to specific requirements too.
Many students believe that the typical period for a Masters study is one year. However, reality shows that most destinations also offer courses set at a year and a half, two years and three years. But wait, there is more – have you forgotten about the academic calendar? Since you are studying abroad, there might even be no gaps for you to plan your holidays, visit home, or worst of all, failing to launch your Masters.
That’s right, the beginning of the semester can differentiate too, and completely postpone your planned studies if you are already past the application period itself. For all other cases, you should be all good - just consider any optional study modes in order to avoid any headaches with the study period.