As the student debt crisis only continues to grow in the United States, studying abroad in a country where tuition may be free seems like a more enticing option.
But what are the merits of pursuing postgraduate education outside of the United States versus that of a foreign country?
For starters, free tuition in select countries within the Schengen area of Europe often offer free tuition for public universities, including France, Germany and Norway.
However, there is a catch. To apply for a student visa, the European government needs to see a “Means of Subsistence,” or proof that you can sustain yourself for a set amount of time after arriving.
Some of those countries, like Germany, also have something called “semester contributions,” which means paying the college a fee each semester.
While the semester contribution may seem like the equivalent of tuition in the United States, the cost is significantly lower.
With student debt crisis in the U.S. at around $1.73 trillion, going to a country with free or cheaper tuition can help students avoid becoming part of the statistic while pursuing postgraduate education.
In addition to free or lower tuition, studying abroad offers students more job opportunities as employers consider applicants who have studied overseas to have skills better suited to work in more than one work environment.
In a study done by Hostelworld, it was found that 23% of employers would rather choose someone who studied abroad versus someone who didn’t.
Meanwhile the same study states that 41% of employers would consider offering a higher salary to someone who got their degree overseas.
Not only can tuition oversees be free, the cost of living is also significantly lower. For example, just cost of living in Long Beach is 43% higher than the national average according to Payscale.
However, if you decide to move overseas and go to an international grad school somewhere like Taipei, Taiwan, you’ll find that, the cost of rent on average is 53% lower than in Long Beach, according to Numbeo.
An average one bedroom apartment in Taipei costs around $480 while one in Long Beach would cost nearly $2000. Saving money and not having to compromise on food or rent for your education can be incredibly important for financially struggling students.
As diverse and cultural as Long Beach is, the chance to study abroad comes bundled with valuable life experience. There are several opportunities to immerse into a new culture, full of new cuisine and even learn a new language.