We know how daunting it is to send your little one abroad to continue their tertiary education. So, we laid out some pointers for you to take into consideration before they leave the nest.
1. Matching interest to universities
Once you know what courses they’re interested in, do some research on what the universities abroad are well-known for. For example, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the top schools for engineering, University of Leeds for their law programmes, and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris for learning culinary skills.
Knowing that the Malaysian ringgit is not the strongest currency, it can be a challenge to finance your children’s overseas education. However, all’s not lost because there are exchange programmes and twinning courses which they can do instead. Some offer two years of study locally and the other two abroad, or three years plus one year at an affiliated school overseas. Scholarships are also offered by the Malaysian government, private sectors, local universities, and organisations abroad.
Many education services have a local branch that can provide you with answers. For instance, head over to Education New Zealand to talk to their education agents and discover the programme that’s the best fit for your child’s interests. For Australian universities, AUG (AusEd UniEd Group) helps students with the whole process of applications and even advises on scholarships. The closer the kids are, the easier for you to visit them 😉
Gauge the quality of education in a university by getting in touch with an alumni! Most local universities (public and private) have affiliations with universities overseas, who you can get in touch with through the specific faculties within the university. For Stephanie Chai, CEO and founder of The Luxe Nomad, what was important in her years of studying was how she would be able to learn life lessons from her teachers (which made the subject easier to swallow). Ben Burrowes, regional manager of Education New Zealand, says that the universities in New Zealand don’t just offer exchange programmes to students but to teachers too — exposing them to different cultures.
Stephanie believes that studying abroad has its benefits, especially when it comes to building confidence and soft skills. She received an all-round education in New Zealand and was pushed out of her comfort zone — having majored in Finance and International Business at the University of Auckland. She added that being overseas helped pop that Asian bubble she was living in. You can also research a particular country to see if they allow students to get hands-on experience by working part-time!
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Pic credit: UW Tacoma (cover pic)