6 Things to Consider Before Applying to Grad School Programs Abroad

As a two-time study abroad alumni, I wasn’t satisfied with just a few months studying in Europe. So I took matters into my own hands and, in 2007, began a two-year master’s program in Denmark. 
If you want to earn your degree abroad, consider these things before applying!

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During your search, make sure the institution offering the degree is accredited and offers high quality education. This is extremely critical because there are many for-profit universities or learning institutions which offer degrees which aren’t recognized in other countries. To be safe, make sure the program offered is accredited by the country’s national accrediting body and other international accrediting bodies (i.e., program/discipline-specific accreditation).


Depending on the program you choose, you may study at more than one university for optional or mandatory coursework. This can be part of the program or something you can arrange (yes, you can study abroad while earning your degree abroad!). If you like the idea of studying in more than one country, look into Erasmus Mundus programs, which are specifically designed to encourage student mobility.


In today’s globalized world, there are no shortages of bachelor/master/PhD programs taught partially or completely in English. Checking a program’s website will help you better understand language requirements.

L2T Tip: Even if your program is taught completely in English, I highly recommend learning the local language as it’s a resume booster and will definitely enhance your time abroad!


Different universities charge different tuition rates for international students. In the United States, for example,  international students are charged more than locals to attend public universities, while in Norway, attending university is tuition-free for all students (including international students). Be sure to explore programs in different countries to see if you can find similar programs (of similar quality) offered for different prices.


Unfortunately, every university follows it’s own academic calendar, including application deadlines. If you plan to earn your degree abroad, begin your search 8-12 months in advance. This will ensure ample time to gather the relevant information and make sure you don’t miss important deadlines.

L2T Tip: When applying to foreign universities, keep in mind that you may have to provide a bit of extra documentation. This is why the 8-12 month timeline is best for a low-stress application process.


Most important of all, treat searching for an overseas graduate program like any other university hunt. You should apply to a program that interests you, rather than a program that allows you to study in the city you want to live in. Like any other grad school program, you’ll have winter holiday and summers off, so there will be ample time to travel. The more important issue is considering how completing this program will help you advance your personal and professional goals.

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What tips do you have for overseas program searches?

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