Studying abroad is one of the options students can consider post-SPM. However, it is not for everyone. Studying overseas gives you the chance to experience a new culture, meet new people and have access to better opportunities. For some, it’s an opportunity to start a new life. For others, it is a stepping stone to a better future. Ask our counsellors about their study abroad experience.
Some students have shared with us about issues surrounding overseas studies. Do you have the same concerns?
I Don’t Know Where To Go
You could be one of those who want to study abroad but do not have a destination in mind. The US and UK sound cool to you? Or Australia is more appealing because of its proximity?
Each country has its own advantages and disadvantages, moreso when the standard of education is not the same.
The UK is the top choice for many students and parents for a number of reasons, but the main factor is its high standards in education. However, the cost to study in the UK remains a big obstacle for some students.
So how do you choose which country to go?
The top factors that students consider are location, cost, ranking, and employment opportunities. Choosing a university that is based in a major city will undoubtedly be a plus point since it brings better employment opportunities as well. However, the cost of living also will increase at the same time.
Deciding which factor matters more to you will help you narrow down your options.
I Don’t Know If I Can Afford It
A lot of students and parents think that studying abroad will cost a bomb. That is true if you choose to study abroad for the entire course. But that is not the only option to study abroad.
There are 2 affordable paths you can consider to study abroad: Exchange programmes and transfer options.
Exchange programmes are a good way for students to experience a new culture, make new friends and visit new places. These programmes are short, usually no longer than a semester. You could visit your university’s main campus in another country, or even another university. Not every university offers this so be sure to check with the university before you apply for the course.
Transfer options are available in programmes from foreign universities with a Malaysian campus or a partner university. These transfer programmes allow students to spend either 1 or 2 years in a foreign country to complete their degree. Students also can opt to complete their entire degree studies in Malaysia.
Some universities also offer transfer programmes like the American Degree Transfer Programme, where students are able to spend up to 2 years of their degree studies in Malaysia before transferring to a foreign university of their choice.
So what can students do to make it affordable?
Choose courses that have transfer options since that can significantly lower your cost. For example, University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM) offers students multiple options to complete their studies. Students can choose how long they want to spend in the UK, whether it’s 1 year, 2 years, or not at all. You will be able to save up to 40% of the cost if you choose the transfer option.
Students also can seek out scholarships and financial aids that will cover the cost of their education. UoSM’s Engineering students get a 20% discount on their tuition fees when they transfer to the Southampton campus for their Years 3 and 4 studies.
I Don’t Know If I’m Ready
You’ve lived at home all your life and you enjoy having your friends and family near you. Studying abroad means leaving most of them behind and starting a new life in a different environment.
Do you like to meet new people or try new things? If the answer is yes, then the chances of you adapting to a new living environment will be high.
When you study abroad, you will essentially be starting over. You’ll have to bear the responsibility of taking care of yourself. No parents to wake you up in the morning or even prepare meals for you every day.
If that scares you, then studying overseas will be a tall mountain for you to climb. However, as with all mountains, it is not impossible to overcome.
So how do you get yourself ready?
You can start by learning to do things on your own. Ask your mom or dad how to cook your favourite dish, find out how to do your laundry, and how to find your way around town. Knowing how to do those things will significantly lower your stress and anxiety of being in a new country.
Students who choose to study abroad in the UK will find that there are plenty of Malaysian students there to welcome them and help them transition to their new life!
I Don’t Know If I Can Work Overseas After Graduation
For many students, studying overseas is a gateway to better employment options. This is especially true for international students in the UK, where the Graduate Route gives them 2 years to secure employment in the UK. For UoSM students who have transferred to the UK, not only do you get an affordable UK education but you also get to explore job opportunities while in the UK.
Think you’re ready for a UK degree? Check out UoSM and what courses and scholarships they have to offer here.