Student and Graduate Publishing

Should you visit study abroad fairs?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:07

World Grad School Tour 

George Ramsey reviews QS’s World Grad School Tour, which took place in London, this March. 

University life can be claustrophobic. Living in the same city for the duration of your degree often feels like an inescapable bubble, and the lure to study abroad can be compelling. 

Many undergraduate courses come with the built-in perk of a year abroad, providing students with an invaluable opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture wildly different to that of their university town, whilst also improving their spoken proficiency of a foreign language. What’s more, year abroad students don’t have to participate in academic study, as a whole array of paid jobs are on offer: teaching, banking, publishing and casual bar work to name but a few. 

But for those itching to get out the UK who are not blessed with the  opportunity to live abroad as an undergraduate, a masters course in a foreign country could be just the thing. 

QS Top Universities recently hosted an event in Westminster that showcased several foreign universities offering postgraduate courses for students in the UK. The underlying message emphasised by all the universities was clear: a whole range of courses are up for grabs, and knowledge of a foreign language is not a necessity. 

At the University of Barcelona, for example, there are over 40 masters degrees taught solely in English, and the University of Radboud in the Netherlands claims that half their postgraduate courses are English-taught. But for those keen to fully indulge in the experience of living abroad by picking up some local patter, intensive language courses are also readily available. The York University of Toronto offers courses aimed to achieve a corporate level of spoken French alongside degrees in Business Management. Of course, there is always the opportunity to study in an English speaking country: the University of Sydney boasts one of the leading Business Schools in the world. 

The majority of universities at the event promoted such courses in business and management studies, designed to enhance a student’s employability while also building a network of international contacts for future job opportunities. The IESEG School for Management based in Lille, for example, offers an International Business master’s course specifically for those with an academic background in business. Yet there are also introductory programmes available specifically for those new to studying business: 29% of their students thus hark from a Humanities and Social Science background. 

For those worried about the financial burden of studying abroad, there’s help at hand. Many universities offer subsidies for foreign students. The University of Boccini in Madrid provide scholarship and merit awards for non-Italian students, which can include up to a 50% reduction on accommodation prices and tuition fees. 

The event opened my eyes to avenues of study I was previously unaware, and I strongly urge those pining to go abroad to consider the opportunities offered by studying at foreign university: learn a language, experience a different way of life and make yourself more employable in the process - the benefits are clear to see. Having given my email address to a number of foreign universities, I stand braced for the inevitable barrage of incentive-packed emails. And who knows, maybe they won’t be going straight in the trash mailbox. 

For more information on international study