Should I choose a Master's programme abroad? - pros and cons

Author: Jennifer Weingarten

As a wise man said once, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” So it would be wrong to say that after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree, for which he/she has worked so hard, the ‘poor’ student needs a ‘well-earned’ pause.

First and foremost, the life learning process should continue, so that students have the chance to improve the knowledge they have accumulated so far. For this reason, the variety of the MA programmes proposed all around Europe intends to attract as many students as possible, in order to prepare them for the ‘demanding and scary’ world of employment.

Should we choose a MA abroad or decide to stay “home”?

First of all, choosing to study abroad implies a cold thinking perspective for balancing the advantages and the drawbacks of this experience. At first, it may seem that you have a hard puzzle to figure out. But as soon as you clearly state the “pros and cons”, everything will easily come together.

Why choosing a MA program abroad?

For a start, it gives you the chance to leave your ‘nest’ and discover the world. Whatever country you decide to visit, you have the chance to meet new people and visit places that otherwise would not be on your ‘favourite destinations’ list.

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In addition, as a student you have more possibilities to improve your foreign language and communication skills, as you are always surrounded by persons of approximately the same age, sharing the same interests. Also, a MA program abroad offers you the possibility to boost your confidence and responsibility, at the same time, as you will have to personally choose your desired learning modules and then prepare for the continuous evaluation, all year long. Additionally, you have the chance to learn a new language, if you have not studied the language in question before, but only if you are willing to do it.

Furthermore, MA programmes abroad are mainly focused on the practical aspect of learning. It is presumed that all students already have the basic theoretical knowledge in the desired domain, or that they just want to explore a total different field from what they have been already studying. They only need the proper ‘guidance’ to succeed in facing the intimidating demands of the employers. This is the main argument for choosing a Master’s programme abroad, as well as for receiving an international ‘Diploma’ which will surely highlight the studying section of your resume, by making a clear distinction between your application and the rest.

Moreover, it is statistically demonstrated that students having chosen a MA program abroad have access to more job opportunities after graduating, especially when returning in their home country. However, the ones willing to remain and start a new life in the foreign country have as much possibilities as the native ones, as the European policy now encourages multiculturalism and equality for all Europeans, regardless of the country they live in.

And still, why NOT choosing a MA program abroad?

No matter how you put it, the word ‘abroad’ is a close synonym of the word ‘expenses’. This is probably the main disadvantage for choosing a MA program abroad, as not everyone affords the costs that it implies.

Even if these include accommodation, food, internet and utilities for a student, one has to take into account the tuition and inscriptions fees also, which varies from university to university and also from country to country.

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In order to earn some money so as to pay the mentioned taxes, the student could try to get a part time job. The only inconvenient is that one can’t find the ‘perfect’ job, with the ‘perfect’ schedule and the ‘perfect’ salary. As most of the MA programs abroad demand a 90% rate of students’ participation in class, this would be a hard challenge for one who doesn’t have the financial support he/she needs in order to ‘survive’ his/her stay in the foreign country.

Plus, the courses may not meet your expectations or you may simply not adapt to the living customs of the specified country, especially if you do not know the language. Nevertheless, you had the possibility to choose an English MA program. This means that you will interact with foreign English speakers and not bother to learn another language, especially if you have not studied it at all before your arrival.

All in all, choosing a MA program abroad implies both advantages and drawbacks, but it all depends on your motivation and desire for experiencing this great adventure. After all, a wise man once said “The whole life lies in the verb – seeing.”


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