When it comes to choosing a course, there is a lot to consider. Where you want to study, what you want to study, can you afford it? These are all questions that need to be answered, and you may feel that you need some advice from somebody else. That person may be your teachers or lecturers or it may be our very own study abroad expert, for example, CISS consultant. CISS once issued a poll, we asked the question, ‘Whose opinion do you value the most when choosing your course?’ The response was varied, but many of you indicated that your friends and family were the people you turn to when you’re in need of advice when looking for a study abroad course. In this article we take a look at the pros and cons of taking their advice, and the other places you can seek advice for studying abroad.
No one knows you like your family and friends do. Whilst lecturers and teachers can offer advice as to what they think is best, they might not know the real you. The person that is passionate about website design in their spare time, or the person who is passionate about science rather than business. You’re family probably do know this. They’ve lived with you, watched you grow up, and know what makes you tick. They are also a great source of support, whilst you look for a study abroad course, and whilst you’re away! You’ll probably be planning on keeping in contact with them on Skype or through instant messaging, and they’ll want to know how you are getting on in your new surroundings. So listening to the people that mean the most to you, and to the people that you mean the most to, seems like a straightforward idea.
Unfortunately though, parents, family, and friends don’t always know best. We’re sure they are only trying to do the best they can for you, but often, they may be more of a hindrance than a help. Many parents like their sons and daughters to follow in their footsteps, into the world of engineering, or business, even if this isn’t what their offspring want to do. Your parents or grandparents might want you to go to the same country they went to, perhaps even the same university and course too! If this sounds like your family, take a moment to talk to them, in a calm manner, explaining why you want to study something different than to that of the family. Many parents and grandparents base their preferences on rankings, but often refer to the rankings as they were when they attended university. Explain how things have changed, bring them up to speed with the latest rankings and explain why your preference is going to be a better option for you in the long run. You could also explain how rankings don’t always mean it is a better university for you, referring them to our latest blog post. Write up a list of the advantages and disadvantages of studying in different places to show that you have thought about more than just one option. By showing that you have taken the trouble to research all the options, you’re argument will be more convincing. You could jot down the different career possibilities that different countries and courses offer. There may be a few disagreements at first, but once you have explained why you want to pursue a different path, they will be sure to understand.
Many parents and grandparents help to finance study abroad experiences, but this doesn’t mean they can dictate where you should study. After all, it is you doing the work, it will be you that has to live in the country, it will be your experience. Stand your ground about your decision, and don’t let anybody force you to study anywhere you don’t want to. You might find that your family doesn’t want you to travel any further than a neighboring country so they can be with you in an emergency, and so it doesn’t take hours to get home. By going further afield though, you will become more independent, speed up your personal development and will allow you to get the most out of your study abroad adventure.
Let’s not forget though, that there are plenty of other places to gather advice and knowledge from. CISS very own application guide section has a wealth of information that can help you make a better decision. If you’re looking for scholarship information or how to write your personal statement for studying abroad, we’ve got it covered!
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