Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The confusing phase of deciding where to study

Well, in deciding to study abroad, one of the biggest questions you have to answer is where to study.

There will be various reasons for which ever country you consider. Gladly, now, I have narrowed down my search to one country. But at some point I had so many countries in mind. It was confusing and took a lot of my time.

1. United Sates - The US was my top country of choice. There was only one problem though:  tuition charged at US Universities is high. And I just didn't know how to raise the money. Scholarships and Graduate Assistant-ships provide a little ray of hope, but I didn't graduate top of my class, and these scholarships can be quite competitive.

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2. Canada - For some reason, I never really considered Canada. Although I searched for a few schools and had an understanding of their Visa application process, I never quite applied to any school here. Maybe I just felt it was similar to the US and of course the problem of money was still unsolved.

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3. Germany - I dont know what triggered my consideration of Germany. Maybe because it is Tuition free? 2 or 3 years back I would never have considered Germany as a choice for graduate school. But hey, tuition free + high quality education + ability to work under student visa + road to citizenship for students = WINNER!

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3. Netherlands - I only considered this country because I love Dutch people. I had been to Amsterdam a few times and I could absolutely imagine living there. Everyone is so nice. And they all speak English! I only applied to one school and didn't get admission. They however offered me a one year pre-masters program. I had to turn that down because even money for the Masters degree was a challenge how much more spending additional money for a pre-masters.

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4. Italy - At some point, I was researching a lot on European Schools. So I chanced on a really nice University in Rome which offered my program. The tuition fee was also quite moderate, about 2000 Euros a year. Or is it a Semester? Not sure. But I knew it was low and within my price range. The cost of living in Italy is also relatively low. So I immediately applied to the school. Application was even free and you only had to upload your scanned documents to their online portal. I got the admission and had to make a not so difficult decision of turning that down for Germany.

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5. Luxembourg - For some reason, I have always been in awe of this country. Is it because of its very high per capita income? Or because tuition is almost free? (about 250 Euros a semester) Or because they have about 3 official languages (I think French, German and Luxembourgish)? Or the high standard of living enjoyed by its residents? Luxembourg is a pretty small country in Europe, and it is a tech and financial hub in Europe. I really wanted to school here, just that the course I wanted is taught partially in English and French, and I didn't have the required french proficiency. And there is only one University in this very small country, so I didn't have any other alternative.

6. Switzerland - Switzerland to me bears some characteristics with Luxembourg, only bigger. Independent, Rich and great at Finance. I wasnt really passionate about applying to schools here but I spent some time researching about Switzerland. The tuition is not that high, could be as low as 2000 Euros and they also have a wide range of scholarships for applicants with good grades. I just didn't take the effort to actually apply for a school.

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7. Finlad - I heard about Finland years back, and what stroke me was their free education system for all students. This however will be stopped from the next academic year. I researched on few schools in this country. Apart from the free education, what was great was that students could work as much as they wanted. I didn't apply for any schools though, maybe the thought of -20 degree type weather was not too encouraging.

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8. Liechtenstein - Another small country in Europe. High Living Standards etc. You get the drill. I spent some time researching on this country. I found a school with my program. Just that it wasn't a full English program. Part English. Part German. So I didn't apply.

9. Norway - Until they abolished their tuition free system.

There were other countries as well, I just didn't spend enough time researching on them. South Africa, Austria etc.

Phew. I am even overwhelmed remembering that phase of my search.


  1. It seems you decided to go to Germany. What school and what was the process like ? I'm also falling in love with Germany cuz of its cheap tuition

    1. Yes I have decided on Germany. Basically I searched for a school through the Internet. The DAAD website can be helpful. Then I applied. For my school through the school's online portal. After a month I received an admission letter

  2. Please what's the tuition like in Germany. Is it really free? I'm seriously considering applying there as I have limited funds. Thanks

    1. Yes students don't pay tuition at MOST German Universities. But then you pay Semester fees (about 200-300 euros) and you need to show proof of sufficient finance which currently stands at 8640 euros for a year