Choosing where to study is a big decision, and it’s not always easy. To give you some insights, we spoke to four international students around the world who shared their reasons for picking their study destinations. Here’s what they had to say:
Alan: India for the Renowned Tech Courses
Alan from Kenya recalls that it was his parents who first suggested the idea to study in India. After further research he was convinced that he could learn more about tech in India compared to Kenya. “I came to realize that India’s one of the best hubs when it comes to tech courses.”
Speaking to many of the Kenyan students at his university, he learnt that they also shared the same reason for choosing India. “The first few days were quite an alarming process. I had to learn and adapt to the new culture. I’d say that after that, you could call me a local!”
Amanda: Chile for the Spanish Immersion
Amanda chose to pursue a Spanish language program in Chile due her affinity for the language and her desire to challenge herself by stepping out of her comfort zone.
She recalls the first time she studied abroad in Peru. “I’ve always liked to meet different places, to discover new places… but I was very insecure about studying [abroad] my first time. [After that], I want to do it again and again and again.”
The experience gave her the courage to study abroad again just a year later, this time in Chile. “It’s kind of addicting; you go once and you’re like ‘oh, i can’t wait for my next experience’… And then you have a next time and you’re like ‘oh my god, this is amazing’. You feel like you’re discovering an entire new world every time.”
It was important to Amanda to live in the country of the language she’s learning, as it allowed her to go beyond classroom instruction. Being in a Spanish-speaking country gave her the confidence to communicate with locals and embrace mistakes and challenges, ultimately leading to personal growth and a newfound sense of freedom.
“I discovered I could do things I thought I couldn’t. I think it’s a very rich experience because you feel strong in the little things.”
Jules: Favourable Opportunities in France
Jules from the US is studying an undergraduate business degree in France: “There was this first exchange year that I chose to do, because I had my mother living here for her French Art School. After a year of being here, I fell in love with this country, so I decided to stay even longer. That’s the main reason. The views, the people are nice here – it’s just a great experience.”
He also acknowledges; “There is a sort of security offered by the French education system where with any diploma you are somewhat guaranteed to obtain work. Furthermore the program offered by my school corresponded exactly to the plans I have for my future.”
Haziq: Time for Change in Turkey
Haziq left his home country of Pakistan to pursue an Economics degree
in Turkey. “I wanted something new and try to go beyond the hedges. Although our cultures are somewhat similar, that gives me the ease that I won’t be going to a whole different world. But I wanted some degree of change and that’s exactly what I got here. Not too much, not too little.”
“Turkey till now has been amazing. The campus is very friendly. Now things get a bit tricky when I have to go outside the campus because not everyone speaks English… but [the people] are very friendly and try to help you out whenever they can.”
Mora: Close to Home in Spain
Doing a French-Spanish degree, Mora had the option to go to any Spanish-speaking country in her final year. “Because I’m British, it’s just nice to be in close proximity to the UK. I can go home and see my family. So I’m not too far, but I’m far enough!”
“Spain is so lovely, everyone is so nice. I think the only challenges I had was in regards to visas and passports because of Brexit happening.Once that was sorted, everything was really good. There’s a really big international community… you’re always going to find English speakers.”
Yamun: The Dream Program in Czech Republic
Yamun is an Indian student is studying a Bachelor’s in Anthropology in Prague, Czech Republic. His passion for the subject gave him several reasons to choose this destination;
“Number one is that I would get an entirely new cultural exposure in Europe, and Czech Republic is in the heart of Europe. You can travel to all the countries surrounding it, so you pretty much get all the cultural exposure there is to get from Europe.
“Apart from that, [anthropology] also emphasizes on Linguistics. I get to learn the Czech language which is considered to be one of the most difficult languages of Slavic origins, so it becomes even harder if you’re learning this language outside of Czech Republic. The best place to learn the language is actually where the language is coming from because you also get the experience to practice your language and improve your language skills faster.
“Also my university is considered as the Oxford of Eastern Europe, so in that sense it is a great university. I got to study this particular program in anthropology that really drew my interest immediately, because this is a very broad course… it also covers sociology and history, so it was a complete package for me.
Tips for Choosing a Destination
- Follow Your Passion: Choose a destination that aligns with your interests and aspirations, just like Emily did with her love for marine biology.
- Prioritize Quality: Look for countries with a strong educational reputation in your field, like Ahmed did with Canada.
- Embrace Diversity: Consider places that offer a variety of cultural experiences and viewpoints, as Mei Ling did by choosing France.
- Personal Connections Matter: Sometimes, personal connections can lead you to your perfect study destination, as it did for Maria.
In the end, the decision comes down to what matters most to you. Whether it’s your passion, education quality, cultural experiences, or personal connections, there’s a lot to think about. Take your time, do your research, and choose a place where you can thrive both academically and personally.
To help your decision, watch the full interviews over on our Youtube channel, or browse the Global Admissions platform to find and apply to your dream program.