How to Choose the Right University When Applying for Masters Abroad


Once you decide to pursue higher studies abroad, it requires an immensely careful approach to ensure you apply to the right universities without going overboard in terms of budget. The entire process is somewhat complicated and time-consuming since there are several factors involved in the application process of foreign universities.

If you are planning to study abroad and are wondering how to apply for a master’s abroad or how to apply for PhD abroad, keep reading further.

Even if you have some basic idea about the application or admission process of foreign universities; you would still have several queries crossing your mind – which is the best university for studying abroad? Which are the top universities worldwide?

Or, if you are planning to apply to a specific country or study destination, you may be curious to know about the upcoming intakes to study in Canada or the upcoming intakes to study in the USA or the upcoming intakes to study in the UK.

Once you decide to study abroad, you must be sure of the program you wish to target and if it meets your requirements, preferences and expectations. Whether you wish to know about the universities or courses, this article will enable you to understand how to begin and the factors you must consider to apply for a master’s program.


1. Go for the Program, and Not the University

Go for the Program, and Not the University

One of the mistakes that most applicants commit is preferring a university over the course. Remember, you are planning to pursue a master’s to meet certain requirements and expectations, professionally as well as personally. Thus, it should be the course that you should prioritise instead of letting yourself be influenced by merely the university name and reputation. If the course offered at a particular university does not meet your requirements, the university name and reputation alone will not help you accomplish your dreams. Thus, it is crucial that you carefully select a university based on the program/course of your choice.


2. Select a University Based on Reliable Rankings

Select a University Based on Reliable Rankings

When you are looking to finalise the universities you want to send your application to, several factors should be considered. Always go for the rankings provided by reliable sources like US News, Times Higher Education etc. You can also find out university rankings by customising your search, for instance- top universities in USA, top MBA colleges in USA, or top universities in Canada for master’s. It will help you narrow down your search. However, please ensure that you do not select a course or university solely based on rankings. Other factors need to be considered as well. Look for factors like course structure, faculty, facilities and practical learning opportunities. Another important factor to be considered is the support and services provided to the international students.


3. Shortlist Universities Within Your Budget Limit

Shortlist Universities Within Your Budget Limit

Study cost is one of the crucial factors when it comes to studying abroad. Find out the exact tuition fees and see if that is within your budget limit. Look for ways to fund your study expenses. You can apply for a student loan, plan to work part-time alongside your degree or look for scholarships provided by universities. Most universities provide good scholarships to deserving candidates and it can be of immense help.

Also, in countries like Germany, Sweden, Denmark, public universities do not charge any tuition fees. However, you will still have to ensure a suitable amount for your living expenses.

4. Be Mindful of the Language Requirement

Be Mindful of the Language Requirement

Before you finalise universities, you must find out about the language proficiency requirements of a university. Ensure that you meet the language level asked for. When it comes to non-English speaking countries, they offer degrees with the medium of instruction being English. Thus, you need not worry about knowing, let’s say, German or Spanish or French. However, check and confirm that the university you finalise offers degrees with English as the medium of instruction.

For international students, clearing IELTS, TOEFL or PTE is also a major requirement. Though all these are English proficiency tests, they do have some remarkable differences. Thus, you need to prepare accordingly. For students with an average test score in these, there is no reason to lose heart as there are some universities that accept average IELTS or TOEFL scores.


5. Consider Universities that Recognise Your Previous Experience

Consider Universities that Recognise Your Previous Experience

One of the things you need to be mindful of is that your bachelor’s degree should be recognised in the country you are planning to study in. In case it is not, you may have to take up a preparatory course like a pre-master’s to be accepted at an international university.


6. Do Keep the Location in Mind

Do Keep the Location in Mind

For international students, the location of a university matters a lot. While a university situated in a metro city can have many advantages, it can also have some disadvantages. Living in a metro will bring up your chances of finding employment, commuting and travelling will be hassle-free, you will have access to all basic and major amenities like banks, health care centers etc. Moreover, if you are an outdoor person, you will get to explore a lot of cultural activities and customs.

However, living in big cities may not be suitable for all. For some students, it could be because of financial constraints, while for others it could be because of personal preference.

Not everyone likes to be amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. If you are one of them, you can look for a university located in the countryside or suburbs.

Thus, it is evident that applying for master’s abroad requires meticulous research and a well-thought approach. One should weigh in all the important factors that are likely to affect their stay in a foreign country. This will not only ensure a smooth time for you but will also take care of your overall well-being. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek professional services from study abroad experts who can guide you about the application process in the most efficient manner. It will ensure that you get done with your application process in time.


Frequently Asked Questions


Ques.1 Which are the best universities in the UK for MS?

The UK is one of the most popular study destinations for international students from across the world. It offers quality education and state-of-the-art infrastructure that enables students to develop a well-rounded personality. Some of the top universities are Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, and the University of Edinburgh.

Ques.2 Which are the best universities for master’s in the USA?

America is another popular study destination as it offers a wide range of courses in all streams and provides good post-study work opportunities. Some of the top universities are- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago.

Ques.3 What factors should I consider while selecting a country/university to study abroad?

You must consider the following factors:

  • Course and specialisation offered
  • Type of curriculum and practical learning experiences
  • Duration of the program
  • Reputation and ranking of the university
  • Location
  • Career prospects
  • Post-study work opportunities in the country


Find Your Dream University

If you are planning to study abroad and searching to match your profile with the best suited university, Experts at Manya – The Princeton Review have gathered important information of top Universities from abroad. Surely, this information will help you narrow down your quest for universities. You can access accurate & authentic information related to rankings, application fees, average tuition fees, cost of living, scholarships, latest updates, and much more from more than 1000+ universities. You may also search for universities by name, country, or courses in common specializations, such as Physics, Finance, Business, Language and Culture, Agriculture, Environmental Science, Computer and IT, Media and Communication Marketing.

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants.

For more information, call our Study Abroad Helpline 1800 102 4646.

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