8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad$65,000.

Sound like A LOT?

That’s because it is!

And it’s the cost of my student loans.

David owes another $28,000.

That’s a total of $93,000 plus interest between the two of us.

By the time we pay it off, it’ll probably be over $100,000.

I cringe just thinking about it.

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

So how did we get into this mess?

Looking for something productive to do with our time, we both decided to go back to school during the 2008 recession for new degrees. Because we were both laid off, we took out loans to pay for our education.

We spent a lot of money on schooling. Part of that education included over a dozen classes utterly unnecessary for our degree training. BUT they were requirements, and we couldn’t graduate without them.

With no regulations, every university in the US sets its own degree programs and graduation requirements. And if you switch schools, many of your credits won’t transfer with you. Plus, there’s the adding of classes that have nothing to do with real-world training.

Putting it quite bluntly, whether public or private, the US university system is about making money. To do this they pad the bill by requiring classes you don’t need rather than providing the education students need for working in the real world.

They say “hindsight is better than foresight” and in this case, that’s completely true. If we had known then what we know now, we would have gotten our higher education abroad. So, now we’re here, hoping to keep you from making the same mistakes we did.

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

What we know now

Traveling and living abroad opened the door to a whole new world of ideas about higher learning.

We could have gone to several different countries and gotten our same degrees with little to no-debt at world-class universities. AND we could have done it in A LOT less time.

And we’re not talking about applying to go abroad through the US university system. That approach costs thousands of dollars beyond what it actually costs to go to many of these overseas universities.

Yes, applying through the US system is easy because they take care of everything including visas, enrollment, your housing, etc. BUT they also charge an arm and a leg for these services, sometimes costing over $20,000 for one semester abroad.

In some countries, that’s enough to get your entire degree with some left over!

Yes, there are going to be some hoops to jump through and barriers to overcome, but YOU CAN DO IT and end up with a BETTER EDUCATION in A LOT LESS TIME.

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

Barriers to getting your education abroad

Going to college overseas could have some difficulties to overcome. Every school has different requirements just like here in the US, so a little homework is necessary to know what those barriers will be. Common barriers include:

  1. One of the most common difficulties will be not knowing the language (unless you go to an English speaking country). But today, many schools are offering complete degrees in English. The drawback? Classes offered in English usually cost more. Learning the language has many advantages.
  2. Second, you’ll have to apply, qualify and be accepted. Some universities require proficiency exams to make sure you have the education to continue. Others expect you to know the native language regardless of what language classes are offered.
  3. If you intend to work in the US, you’ll need to make sure your degree is accepted by employers in the US.
  4. You’ll have to leave your home, friends, and family.
  5. And you have to be able to support yourself. Some countries, like Germany, allow part-time work with a student visa but many don’t.

While there may be a few hurdles to overcome, getting your education abroad can come with tremendous advantages as well.

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

Advantages of going to university abroad

Going to school abroad isn’t all sour lemons. There’s plenty of good can come of it as well. Advantages of getting your education abroad include:

  1. You have the opportunity to get a fantastic education with little to NO-DEBT. Why start out behind when you can start out ahead? The average US student graduates with $37,172 in student loan debt. OUCH!
  2. Learning new languages is not only a communication advantage, but it can also be a monetary one. And people who know more than one language have fewer health issues later in life. Plus, you can multitask better!
  3. You’ll expand your friend pool. One can never have too many friends!
  4. Learning new cultures helps with global awareness and understanding of how the world works.
  5. You’ll get your degree in less time, meaning you start working in your chosen career faster.
  6. Depending on the country you choose, your living expenses can cost less in another country than in the US. And you have to pay your living costs whether you stay home or not.
  7. You might be invited to stay and work in the country where you acquired your degree. Many nations consider the students they teach valuable and work to keep you.
  8. Global corporations embrace people with multi-cultural skills. The more languages and cultural understandings you have, make you a global commodity, not just a US one.

How does all this sound to you? Like an amazing adventure?

I know it’s one both David and I would have gotten our education abroad if we knew about the option. And now that we know about it, we’re spreading the word. BECAUSE we think it’s a choice everyone should have.

What do you think? Wouldn’t it be cool to get a world-class education abroad without going deep into debt?

FlyAwayU | 8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

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40 thoughts on “8 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Education Abroad

  • 19/01/2018 at 17:06
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    Fantastic article! Many people dream of studying abroad but think it is unattainable. I really appreciate how you outline both the barriers and advantages. For many of these reasons, my daughter is now studying in the UK!

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    • 19/01/2018 at 18:32
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      It’s so true Robin. And so many people here in the States don’t even realize it’s actually an affordable option.

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  • 19/01/2018 at 18:30
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    Whoa, indeed. This is a super-helpful post. Our junior HS daughter was excited about the idea of enrolling in college in Norway. She doesn’t speak any Norwegian. She’s moved off that plan, anyway, but good to know.

    When I visited Porto, Portugal 2 years ago, we spent time with a local man. His daughter was in med school for something like $1,000 a year. It was “more expensive” because it was a private school. The public college is free.

    Certainly something to consider!

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    • 19/01/2018 at 18:34
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      Exactly! This could be an awesome option for your daughter. Not to mention it’s not only affordable but in most of these countries you get your degree in a lot less time as well 🙂

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  • 19/01/2018 at 23:00
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    Yes to everything; I’m from Australia, and I’m very fortunate to be from a country with an excellent education system, and a great program for student debt (we get a loan from the government and only pay it back when we start earning income over a certain amount – I think it’s 50,000 a year atm). My husband is from the US and I’m floored by how expensive it is for college, and how crazy long it is for a degree. Studying abroad is one of the best things I did in university, from a standpoint of gaining world experiences, and broadening my education with new knowledge and ideas. But I can see how an extra benefit on top of that if you come from the US would be doing your whole education abroad, saving time and avoiding those crazy fees!

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    • 19/01/2018 at 23:17
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      Megan, I completely agree with you that studying abroad is so instrumental in gaining worldviews which are important in life. And to hear about how the education system works in Australia. What is the average time to get your degree there? I’ve heard mentioned, two years?

      Reply
  • 20/01/2018 at 12:15
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    This is quite interesting, I agree that if you do not restrict yourself to your country, you can find not only cheaper but also better universities in other countries. Language barrier might be a reason why many people choose not to do that but if you can get over that and decide to learn a new language, it can be beneficial in more ways than one! Thanks for sharing the information about the cost of education in several countries abroad, I can see you’ve done your research!

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    • 20/01/2018 at 17:40
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      I agree. I think fear holds people back but learning a new language can be beneficial in so many ways including in higher pay at work.

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  • 20/01/2018 at 13:23
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    This is a great article mentioning about both the advantages and disadvantages of getting a college education. My college education back in India is relatively so much cheaper and thankfully, I did not have any student loans to worry about. Would have loved to study a semester abroad to get the exposure though.

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    • 20/01/2018 at 17:38
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      Soumya,
      We feel it would be great if it were a requirement for all university students to study at least one semester abroad. Learning worldviews is so important. At least you can travel now 🙂

      Reply
  • 20/01/2018 at 16:42
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    Love this post! We never studied abroad in undergrad, but we’ve already decided that if we ever get a wild hair and decide to do any graduate programs, we’ll do them in Europe. As you mentioned, it’s far cheaper than studying in the USA for at least an equally high level of education, plus you get a student visa out of the deal! Win/win.

    Reply
  • 20/01/2018 at 18:38
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    This is such a great post! Reading your post now I almost wish I was at that stage in my life so I could rechange all my studies! But in stead I will definitely encourage my daughter to take her studies abroad! Most because I belive it will be an awesome experience to see, learn another culture and language. I actually meet my husband in Helsinki while he was there for his studies.

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    • 21/01/2018 at 04:22
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      I know what you mean. I wish we had gone overseas as well, but it’ll be an awesome experience for your daughter 🙂

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  • 21/01/2018 at 07:40
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    Incredible India ! …I did my engineering degree in a college 4 hours away from my home for an amount which is lesser than 1000 dollars (including course fee , hostel costs , expenses etc ) . Can’t thank enough the importance given to education in India . Of course there are a lot of improvements which can be made in the syllabus and the real time application of subjects , but making it possible to obtain a degree which is valid everywhere for such a small cost is really incredible. Secretly I do miss the fact that I never got a chance to study abroad though 🙂

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    • 21/01/2018 at 14:39
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      Rohini,
      That’s amazing to have your engineering degree for less than 1000 dollars. Here in the US, that same degree would cost between $60-100,000 depending on the school and type of engineering degree. I do think studying abroad is important for developing worldviews and wish all students had the opportunity. Hopefully, you are traveling now 🙂

      Reply
  • 21/01/2018 at 09:41
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    That sounds like a totally corrupt education system in the US. We do now pay in the UK for education but the prices are largely set by the government but will soon add up. Wow Germany has FREE education!!!! Surprised more people do not head there to study…seems too good to be true. Great write up and if I was going to Uni now and saw this, would definitely make me think differently.

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    • 21/01/2018 at 14:36
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      Hi Anne,
      The US system certainly isn’t one of the best. The UK didn’t make our list because of lack of affordable education with costs similar to those here in the US. Germany is not the only country with free or close to free education. Many countries believe by investing in their people’s education it benefits society as a whole. I think more people don’t go to other countries for their whole education because they don’t know they can! I know here in the US, it’s just marketed as a semester abroad through the universities and it’s quite expensive.

      Reply
  • 22/01/2018 at 04:59
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    Thanks for taking out the time to create this post. I run a travel group for families and parents are contantly asking about studying abroad. I don’t have experience in this area so it’s a bit difficult to get all the information in one place. I’ll be sharing it with anyone who asks me about studying abroad. It’s one thing I encourage every college student to do. Even just as an exchange program.

    Reply
    • 22/01/2018 at 19:36
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      Thanks Karen. I agree there just isn’t a lot of information on this. And what is available is about going through the US university system to do it which is VERY expensive. We’re slowly working on putting the info on our site so it’s all in one location for people to find because we feel it’s very important.

      Reply
  • 22/01/2018 at 08:52
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    I totally agree with you on this. I feel so bad for my US friends who are in crazy debt for the rest of their life after graduating. Here in Europe, we have more options, and a way to work out of debt. Mexico is super cheap to study, may consider it again myself!

    Reply
    • 22/01/2018 at 19:32
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      It is sad that the US does not invest in its people. Mexico has some world-class universities and of course the low cost of living. It would be an awesome option for you.

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  • 22/01/2018 at 11:22
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    I did not know that schooling in US costs that much. I do have friends from US who always complain about their student loans, but I always thought that they were somehow exaggerating their debts. Guess not 🙁 There is such a huge difference in costs, that it is unbelievable how the system still functions. I also consider studying abroad a good experience for somebody, as you meet new people, learn a lot about new cultures or new languages. Hope you get rid of those debts soon, so that you can enjoy some traveling 🙂

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    • 22/01/2018 at 19:30
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      No exaggeration. Student loan debt is a huge problem here in the US. And students are beginning to have troubles getting jobs in their degrees when getting out of school to help pay for them because the giant corporations are demanding people with experience instead of accepting people just out of school. We have jobs sitting unfilled because the companies refuse to hire and then students who aren’t able to get the experience because no one will hire them. It’s a f’d up system that isn’t working!

      Reply
  • 22/01/2018 at 14:50
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    studying abroad is a really big thing in India. And, so many of my friends go to the US and just like you mentioned they get under so much debt. glad to know that there are so many countries like Japan, South Africa, Columbia, Spain, Italy etc. you can do it at a far cheaper price.

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    • 22/01/2018 at 19:25
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      Archana, I know it’s the thing to come to the US for studies, but really with the expense and all the trouble getting visas, especially today, it would be advisable for students to consider other countries first. There are plenty of world-class universities in other countries as well 🙂

      Reply
  • 22/01/2018 at 18:48
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    Germany has free education and do they use full English as teaching medium? It is good to know other countries offering education at reasonable rates as compared to US. But do we get good jobs as an outsider after getting graduate from these universities that also I want to consider a major point in selecting a college. But yes, studying in different country gives us more exposure.

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    • 22/01/2018 at 19:28
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      Yukti,
      You would certainly have to do your homework but generally, if you are getting a degree that is demand from a top-ranked university anywhere in the world, you will land a good job. The one drawback is that you might have to take a licensing exam in the country you want to work or land a job with an international country. Engineering, architecture, doctors, technology are all in high-demand around the world.

      Reply
  • 22/01/2018 at 22:31
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    This is a really smart idea. I remember when I was living in Europe I met a fellow Australian who was getting his degree in Copenhagen – at the time it was free, and degrees in Australia were just starting to get more expensive (they’re nothing like US standards, but they used to be free, and the costs are creeping up). I thought it was genius. Something I may definitely suggest to my son in ten years’ time. Great post.

    Reply
    • 23/01/2018 at 02:21
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      I think that’s a great idea, Amanda. Not only will your son graduate without the bill but he’ll get a world education as well.

      Reply
  • 23/01/2018 at 08:44
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    Education for kids when you are an expat abroad can be so expensive. We are blessed one of us is in international teaching, hence part of the package you get to have your kids go to school without any fees. This brings to the fact that if you move abroad, always make sure to negotiate with your company to include a proper package with kids’ education included.

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    • 23/01/2018 at 16:17
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      It can be, especially in some countries like the UK. In others, it’s quite affordable like those we’ve included in the infographic. Those costs are for expats! But negotiating for education to be included in a package is a great tip.

      Reply
  • 23/01/2018 at 12:07
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    I don’t want to even think about how much money I owd in university fee’s in Australia but I know it is a lot. I never really thought about getting my education overseas but when you put that way it is a smart idea. I would off loved to study in places like Mexico or France for price above. I suppose I could always go back to university one day 🙂

    Reply
    • 23/01/2018 at 16:14
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      We didn’t think of it either Mel but so wish we did. But hey, we can all go get our Master’s degree in another country 🙂

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  • 01/02/2018 at 02:40
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    Being someone who did get his education abroad, I agree with this wholeheartedly. The experiences, the chance to be independent and the opportunity to interact with people from around the world really changed me for the better and also now I have friends across the world whom I can visit.

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    • 01/02/2018 at 03:05
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      Awesome. What country did you go to university in? I’d love to hear your story.

      Reply
  • 06/02/2018 at 17:47
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    Yes yes yes yes! I can only agree with this. I was speaking at a school lately and told them mostly the same. Im from Europe so the financial benefit is a different story of course, but wow that infographic is an eyeopener in the difference between the US and the rest of the world. Really liked your post!

    Reply
    • 06/02/2018 at 18:04
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      It really is an eyeopener and shows a little of what is wrong with the US society and not investing in its people. Which is why we’re saying get your education elsewhere 🙂

      Reply
  • 08/02/2018 at 19:05
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    Hey lady,

    Thanks for the article! Indeed, the cost of education is ridiculously high in North America. I thankfully paid off all my loans within 2 years of graduating (by working 3 jobs and completely burning myself out).

    I do want to bring up one point though, since I grew up in Brazil and have family who worked in post-secondary education there. Free post-secondary, at least in Brazil, is not necessarily a good thing. The whole reason for having free education is so that it’s accessible to people, no matter what their socio-economic background. Unfortunately, in order to get into public university in Brazil, there’s an incredibly difficult entrance exam you have to take, and the majority of people cannot pass it without first taking a course (which costs a lot of money). So we end up with all the rich kids taking these private courses and getting free education, while the poor folks who need it are still out of luck. Then the universities created quotas based on race/income, but these folks rarely graduate, because public education is so bad, the people who come out of it can’t keep up wit post-secondary demands.

    So nothing is perfect…

    I sometimes wonder if a university degree will even be necessary say, 10 years from now (except of course, for professional degrees such as law, medicine, engineering, etc). Nowadays we can get a reputable education online (Coursera, etc), for free, and most companies look at experience first. So… I’m rambling, but just wanted to give my two cents.

    Reply

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