Here’s the reality: college is expensive. Some private colleges charge an average of $36,000 for a year of education. For state colleges, it’s about $10,000 if you live in the state; they charge almost 2.6 times higher for everyone else. Then, there are the books, rent, food, and other expenses–all offset by student loans. It has gotten to the point where students are forced to sleep in their cars just to survive college.
No financial literacy lesson can help stave off student debt. Luckily for some students, studying college abroad can help them get the education they need.
Here are some factors to consider if you’re thinking about taking up college overseas:
The tuition fees
Some countries offer less to no tuition fees for college. These countries consider education to be a right, not a privilege. Public universities in Germany, such as the top-ranked Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, charge as low as €0. Norway’s prestigious University of Oslo also has free tuition fees.
France doesn’t offer free tuition fees in their public sector, but they offer low tuition fees compared to the U.S. They charge €170 for undergraduates and €243 for graduate school students.
For Anna Ivey, a former admissions dean of the University of Chicago Law School interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, pursuing a degree in another country is a better idea financially. The average tuition fee for an MBA can go as high as $63,000 in the US. In EU universities of the same caliber, they can go only as high as $46,000.
Not only that, the educational quality can be on par, if not better, with U.S. universities when it comes to some degrees, such as International Relations or Political Science. You learn the culture, language, and politics of the country, which gives you a significant advantage in the job market. It’s important to research first what the school can offer you before flying to another country and enrolling.
Before you hop on a plane to Germany or France, where the tuition fees are little to nonexistent, you should also consider the cost of living. How will you pay for rent and food? Will you have health insurance abroad as a student? There are also additional payments to do, such as student visa fees and plane tickets. Make sure you get the financial assistance you need to keep a roof over your head.
Studying abroad opens a lot of new avenues for you. As said before, you learn the culture, language, and politics of a country. Your insights might be helpful if you’re looking for jobs related to diplomacy and politics. There are even companies looking for multilingual speakers, offering high salaries for your language skills.
Businesses looking to invest in other countries might also be interested in your international experience, especially if it fits their needs.
However, bringing your degree back to the U.S. might raise some eyebrows, especially in the medical and law community. To practice as a dentist in the U.S. while having a foreign degree, they have to undergo a two- or three-year program from an accredited U.S. dental school. They’ll have to spend upwards $100,000 according to the WSJ. The same goes with foreign law degree holders. They need to continue their education in an American Bar Association-accredited school.
There’s an appeal to studying in another country. For one, it can be a life-changing experience. Despite the benefits, weigh the risks. When you make a decision, make the most of it.