The pros & cons of getting a degree abroad vs. at home
The fall semester is fast approaching, and whether you’re looking at undergraduate programs or continuing your education with a graduate degree, the research phase of reading up on schools, programs, states, cities, and towns, has you pulling at your hair and biting your nails down to nubs.
Ask yourself: Should I get my degree abroad, or at home? The answer might surprise you! (But, it also might not, let’s be real here…) Here are the pros and cons of getting a degree abroad vs. at home:
Academics Abroad or at Home
Sure, you can register for that “Easy-A-History 101” class and barely scratch the surface on all the major moments in U.S. or world history… OR you can take “The Impact of Colonialism on Modern Day Morocco” with a Nobel Laureate (probably).
Getting your degree abroad means you’ll have a more diverse group of peers in every class, you’ll likely have smaller class sizes right off the bat (and avoid 300+ person lectures), and more face time with professors.
If we’re sorting through the pros and cons of getting a degree abroad vs. at home, it’s worth mentioning that you should double check program requirements and make sure that your international degree will be accepted if you decide to work in the states.
Day-to-Day Life Abroad vs. at Home
No two days will look the same getting your degree abroad. Every morning you’ll get up not knowing who you’ll meet or precisely where you’ll go as you explore your new city, university, and country.
Back at home, it’s a treat if you have the one “cool” TA who sometimes lets you have discussion outside on the quad, but when you get your degree abroad you’ll find yourself out of the classroom and right in the middle of the art, history, language, and literature, you’re studying.
Cost of a Degree Abroad vs. at Home
Both at home and abroad, the cost of higher education is daunting. You just need to weigh out the various costs (both money and time). Depending on where you choose to get your degree, you could be saving big bucks on tuition, and many international degree programs are shorter than your standard four-year bachelor’s or two-year master’s in the U.S. That’s saving you time AND money!
Just make sure you’re factoring in cost-of-living as well as cost of travel, because you’re certainly not going to spend every weekend at home if you get your degree abroad! You’re out for passport stamps!
Extra-curricular Activities Abroad vs. at Home
Speaking of collecting passport stamps… Extracurriculars abroad are EXTRA. Jet-set on the weekends to explore your host-country and any dream destinations nearby. Rather than your good ol’ French club conversation group at the local coffee shop, join a conversation exchange in Paris and wander the Louvre discussing your favorite pieces!
Rather than sitting around waiting for the next season of “Game of Thrones,” take a weekend trip with your besties to Dubrovnik and wander the steps of King’s Landing yourself. Sure beats another long walk to and from an underwhelming frat party, right?
Getting degrees abroad: next steps
Here’s step one: consider this your summer reading/to-do list. It’s a crash-course in all things earning your degree abroad. Step two: stamp that passport. Step three: get that paper!
- 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Getting a Degree Abroad
- Most Popular Degrees to Earn Abroad
- 9 Best International Universities for American Students
- 10 “Holy Smokes I’m Applying for Graduate School Abroad” Tips
- Make a MyGoAbroad account to start saving and comparing programs side-by-side.
- Start scouring potential scholarships and grants.
Popular degree abroad programs to jumpstart your research
So, you’re ready and raring to get your degree abroad (we assume) and start applying for university abroad, but you’re not quite sure where to start your search? Give these recommended programs a once-over and start thinking your personal essay…
Check out these Undergraduate Degree Abroad Programs
- Earn your BA in Rome with John Cabot University
- Find the right degree program in Australia or New Zealand with TEAN
- Get hands-on experience with a BA in International Studies from the American University in Dubai
- Earn your degree from an internationally recognized university at Queen Mary University of London
- Study graphic design in Barcelona and earn your degree with IED
Browse all undergraduate degree programs abroad
Take a Gander for Grad School Abroad
- Earn your Master’s in one year, or your PhD in three years from King’s College London
- Master in European Union studies and human rights with UCAM in Spain
- Get your Master of Economics at Peking University HSBC Business School in Shenzen, China
- Earn your M.A. in Journalism with Mente Argentina in Buenos Aires
- Enroll in a Master’s program at APU Malaysia
Browse all graduate degree programs abroad
STILL not finding what you’re looking for? Let an Online Advisor match you with degree programs!
Decisions, decisions, & degrees abroad
Alright, grasshopper, now it’s up to you. We’ve given you all the tools you’ll need to make this life-altering, career-making decision. Choose wisely (we know you will). Any FOMO you think you might feel being so far away from home and your high school besties will be totally worth it. Besides, you’ve got places to go and new people to meet!
I mean, what could it hurt to send in one little application… you never know?