Exploring graduate degrees abroad may be an exciting opportunity for you, particularly if you had an undergraduate experience abroad and want to go abroad again for a longer duration. There are many benefits to pursuing a graduate degree abroad, but it is important to consider all factors before committing to a program.
Increasing options for graduate degrees abroad
- There are a growing number of graduate programs in English. In Europe alone, universities offer over 6,000 master's programs taught partially or entirely in English. Countries around the world are increasing the number of English-taught graduate degrees offered to international students.
- There are many graduate degree databases available. Search for program options online using an online database, such as MastersPortal.eu or MasterStudies.com. Many countries also offer online resources specifically for international students to find graduate degree programs at their universities.
Benefits of earning a graduate degree abroad
- Obtaining a graduate degree abroad can be less expensive than in the US, and in some cases it is free. Some countries offer additional funding for international students earning a graduate degree (e.g., DAAD in Germany, MASA in Israel). Additionally, some countries offer free healthcare, so paying for a private plan is not necessary.
- Access to unique academic resources--such as professors, research opportunities, and primary sources at a specific university or in a specific city/region--can offer you significant advantages.
- Opportunities after graduation, such as employment or residency, can be more easily obtained in a foreign country if you have earned a graduate degree there. If your goal is to work or live abroad, the connections you make while completing your degree can be valuable.
- Program durations may be shorter than those of equivalent US programs. Many master's programs may take as little as one year when you enroll full time.
- Some countries allow students enrolled in a degree program to work part time, such as Australia and the United Kingdom. However, visa restrictions in many countries do not allow you to work while studying, so make sure to review all visa policies before looking for work.
- Some schools abroad accept US federal financial aid. Visit the FAFSA website to search schools with federal school codes.
Considerations before committing
- Some degrees earned abroad may not be recognized by professionals in the US or may not be considered equal to graduate degrees obtained at US institutions. Check with faculty and industry contacts in your field to make sure your degree abroad will be recognized and beneficial to your long-term goals.
- Logistics of applications and course registrations may be complicated, and the institution may offer limited support. Be prepared to navigate the application and matriculation process independently.
- The academic style of the program may be different than what you expect from that of a US program, which tends to be based more on coursework. Research program requirements and course syllabi to understand and assess whether your workload will be manageable.
- Navigating a new location and culture may be difficult, especially when you are also managing graduate courses. Consider how you might handle homesickness, language barriers, and the challenges of living in a new culture.