Nearly half (43%) of U.S. parents would consider sending their child abroad to study, according to a recent survey by the banking giant HSBC. That figure marks a 48% increase in comparison with the same survey carried out just 12 months ago.
The cause of such a sudden surge of interest can be attributed to a range of factors, but the most likely cause is the escalating costs of studying in the United States. The same HSBC report estimates that the average outlay from studying and living at a major U.S. university over four years to now be around $180,000. That’s a huge investment for almost any family, particularly when it doesn’t come with any guarantees regarding future job prospects.
Cheaper Options Abroad
While the UK is one of the favored destinations for U.S. parents to send their child to study, its tuition fees for international students are some of the most expensive in the world. The average cost of a year’s tuition and living expenses outside of London, for example, is estimated to be a minimum of $30,000.
Germany, on the other hand, chose to abolish tuition fees for both domestic and international students back in 2014. The south-western state of Baden-Wurttemberg went back on at least part of that decision last year, choosing to reintroduce tuition fees for students from outside the EU.
In other areas of the country, the only charge U.S. students currently still have to worry about is an administration fee of around $330 per semester.
Now I know what you’re thinking, where’s the catch? Unfortunately, the large majority of the courses are taught in German, which means you have to be fluent to be able to enroll in the first place.
It’s a similar situation in France, where government subsidization has meant that obtaining a degree from a public university can cost an international student as little as $700. And no, that’s not a typo.
The result of such low costs is that only 2% of students in France are required to take out a loan to pay for their higher education. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the average student leaves university with a debt to the tune of $39,400.
Spanish and Italian governments also subsidize the cost of tuition, making them popular destinations for U.S. students. In fact, close to half of U.S. students who chose to study abroad in the 2015/16 academic year did so in a Western European country.
Keeping in Contact is Easier Than Ever
Whether it’s through apps, social media, or the good ole-fashioned telephone, keeping in contact with loved ones while abroad has never been easier or more affordable.
The ability to instant message friends and family 24-hours a day has undoubtedly made the prospect of studying aboard a less daunting one for many young adults.
Technology has also made adjusting to life abroad a much simpler process. It only feels like yesterday that you had to visit your local shopping mall or bank to pick up some foreign currency before you left for your trip. Nowadays, money transfer apps mean you can digitally transfer your money and convert your dollars in pounds and pence in just a matter of seconds.
Then there are navigation apps. The sight of a person holding aloft a large map used to be a tell-tale sign of a tourist in distress. Fast forward to 2017, and we all have the ability to find directions to the nearest restaurant, post office, or library in any city around the world as if we’re a local.
One of the most exciting areas of technological advancement in recent years has been through language translation apps. Before the turn of the millennium, a pocket translation dictionary was a must-have for any international traveler. Now that dictionary has evolved into our smartphone, with the power of the internet giving us the ability to change unknown words into everyday lingo.
Flying is More Affordable
Airline travel is one of the few industries to have reduced in price over the last 20 years, according to data from the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Competition has helped to keep prices at affordable levels for consumers, which is good news for those looking to study abroad.
A return flight from New York to Paris can currently be as purchased for as little as $270 – around a quarter of the weekly median wage for a worker in the United States. In other words, while it’s an added expense to a young adult studying abroad, it’s one that is still affordable for the majority. With Money Transfer, you can transfer the money over to your account to be able for a young adult to be able to study abroad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7N2J5UtgYk
It Looks Good on a Resume
The graduate job market is highly competitive, so current students are seeking new ways of making sure their resume stands out from the crowd. In an increasingly global jobs market, any sort of international experience is a sure-fire way to achieve this.
It showcases an aptitude for learning, an ability to adapt, and an inner self-confidence that are all attractive to prospective employers.
This is backed up by a recent survey of more than 10,000 international employers by QS Global. Their Employer Survey Report found that six in every ten employers would give additional attention to students with international study experience. The same survey found that 80% of employers would actively seek to employ graduates with international study experience.
Language skills, in particular, are highly sought after. So much so in fact that being bilingual can help a graduate earn a minimum of 2% more on a yearly salary. The less commonly spoken the language, the more that figure can increase, with German and French currently some of the most in-demand European languages.
The internet has helped connect the world like never before. Youngsters are continually being exposed to different cultures online, making them naturally curious to see and experience what the world has to offer in person.
Such a culture shift has resulted in the need for “possessions” replaced by the desire for experiences. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what life’s all about?