Wednesday, 31 August 2016
The confusing phase of deciding 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.