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Should you go abroad and get a foreign degree?

Many students from Nepal decide to leave the soothing environs of their homes and decide to venture across thousands of miles to go study abroad every year.

Traditionally speaking, countries like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand are the most popular destinations for students from Nepal as universities and colleges use English as an instructional medium in these countries. Some other favored countries like France, Germany, China, the Netherlands, etc., are also now relatively popular amongst Nepalese students looking to go abroad to study, though the majority of them would still prefer going to the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

The lure of “Dollar Salary” after completion of academic pursuits seemed to be the strongest pull for students going abroad earlier. Though it still is true for a lot of students even today, there has been an emerging trend in recent times of Nepalese students wishing to come back to Nepal and serve their motherland after completion of studies abroad. A steadily growing Nepalese economy and its further growth potential that is bound to open up many more avenues of jobs creation and career opportunities in the near future seems to be driving this trend. But, the allure of foreign education is still robust. So, let us now enumerate some dominant reasons why you should consider going abroad and getting that much-coveted foreign degree:

So,let us now enumerate some dominant reasons why you should consider going abroad and getting that much coveted foreign degree

  • Capacity and Quality
  • International Recognition
  • Cutting-edge curriculum and research
  • Liberal Education
  • Learning in a diverse environment
  • Faculty and Research & Teaching Assistantships
  • Access to Global Placements

Capacity and Quality:

It was just the other day that I met a student who had just finished her 12th from NEB and scored 91%, from a very reputable high school in the Kathmandu valley. Her hopes of securing admission to the prestigious St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu were dashed when she found out that 91% did not make the cut this year for the college to grant her admission. As discouraging as that may sound, she’d been smart enough to apply to the US. Her due diligence paid off. She got admitted to NYU and Columbia University. Absolutely amazing! Can you guess where she’s headed? NYU, an Ivy League institution! She has her parents to thank, as they are capable and willing to bear the initial costs, bearing in mind the possibility of gaining a scholarship/assistantship once one is done with a semester or so, provided one maintains good grades.

The problem with the Higher Education establishment in our country is that the allotted seats at reputed universities and colleges are very limited. What it means is that for someone like the girl I mentioned earlier, getting reasonably high grades is no guarantee to get admitted into the best institutions in the country. Though we have taken considerable strides in our schooling system, the same is not true for higher education, especially when one considers Liberal Arts. The quality of education offered by Government universities and colleges has been found to be lacking in many aspects. A perfunctory talk with some students at the premier Tribhuwan University revealed various problems related to faculty, non-regular running of classes, the politicization of education, etc. They seemed to suggest that education was not being prioritized enough in the country.

Given the scenario, it is not difficult then to see that more and more students want to go study at places like Brown, Rutgers, Stanford (the list is quite long!) in the US, which are some of the best in the world. They offer the best infrastructure needed for a student to excel academically and the research orientation of these programs promises the brightest of future for aspiring candidates.

International Recognition:

A degree earned abroad from a renowned university or college is a safeguard against an economic downturn in the future as it enhances the credentials of anyone having it and one can expect to get the best of career prospects, irrespective of country or company domain. An international degree is a collective seal of approval right at the outset.

Cutting-edge curriculum and research:

Educational institutions in countries like the US and the UK are premiers in top-of-the-line research and innovation that aim to positively impact our world. Equipped with the best human talent and research infrastructure, these universities and colleges continuously upgrade their curriculum to keep abreast with changes happening in our economies and societies, especially with regard to technology, to make you future-ready.

Liberal Education:

Unlike in Nepal, universities in the west afford the freedom to students (who have a wide variety of interests) to choose their courses so as to gain a holistic knowledge base. A student of mechanical engineering has the option of choosing core engineering courses, which could be tagged with Financial Economics to better understand how finances could impact the prospects of the industry the student intends to work in and also learn French to improve his/her language skill-set. Your education, you decide what’s best for you. What more could one ask for?

Learning in a diverse environment:

Universities in countries like the US and the UK, attract students from all over the globe. You could be sharing an apartment with an American, attending classes with a Japanese, and participating in sports activities with somebody from Malawi. The universe is the limit! Diverse backgrounds bring diverse perspectives to the table, that feed into a wider and holistic understanding of issues.

Faculty and Research & Teaching Assisantships:

The educational institutions abroad attract the best faculty in terms of teaching & research experience and are stalwarts in their field of study. The focus is on quality. A prolific student has every chance to get an opportunity to work with them (paid, of course), provided you do well on the courses you are taking and your research interest align with that of the Professor.

Access to Global Placements:

Once armed with a foreign degree from an institution of repute, companies all over the world would be willing to have you on board. Instances like Indra Nooyi from India heading Pepsi and Iranian-American CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi prove that the world could be your oyster if you choose so. Choose wise, choose smart! You could be next in line.

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