In the era of the 21st Century education, the possibility of studying abroad is branched out into an endless loop of foreign opportunities. Young Malaysians have adjusted to the concept better now as the country progresses into its educational revolution. While foreign institutions continue to shift their outreach with programmes in campuses built within partnering countries, many students tend to be blinded by an exciting fantasy abroad, and overlook the reality of an overseas education.
It is no surprise that the cost of higher education has accumulated in correspondence with the rising numbers in student debt. It is a global hurdle that plagues about 60% of the world’s student population, and differs in individualised standards of a country’s international admission status.
Tuition is the biggest financial transaction for a student intending to study abroad. Although there are several European countries that offer a low-cost, or in Germany’s case – free tuition to both local and international students; fees in the US and UK universities – 2 of the most popular destinations for a foreign education – can climb up to RM100,000-RM200,000 per degree a year.
Accommodation would be the second financial burden that potential students would need to look into. As it seems, the prices of housing could reach RM4000 a month for dormitory residence, and RM15,000 for a private apartment. Depending on the destination of a student’s intended study programme, accommodation costs are determined by the country’s international student council, the economic rates and the personal requirements of a student’s sleeping space.
The final financial load would be obligated towards sustaining the realistic cost of living abroad. This would include, but not be limited to a daily food intake, transportation, health and well-being concerns, and activities of entertainment.
While the truth of obtaining an education abroad is – in most cases – more expensive than obtaining one locally, students would be able to fare better should their expenses be managed through an in-depth research of international student life in their selected country. For example, European cities that boast with student culture often give the option of a homestay accommodation – where students have the opportunity to live with a host family. This would be a cheaper alternative to student rooms and private rentals. It is similar with the cost of living, where a student could swap out having dinner in a restaurant with a week’s load of groceries; hailing a taxi to get you places with taking the metro or the tube; buying medical supplies there with importing them in from home; and limiting movie nights to once a month, or opting for free shows and touring the city itself.
An education abroad is expensive – that’s the bottom line; but its manageable.