There are many reasons to look overseas for your postgraduate study. You may wish to study with a world-class academic in your subject; research may be more easily carried out in the country to which it relates; fees may be lower or funding more readily available; you may already have friends or family there or you may just wish to live as a student in a different country and culture.
Examples of good reasons for studying abroad:
- Opportunity to study in an institution with an excellent reputation worldwide.
- Pursuing further study in a specialised subject area or topic not available at home.
- Opportunity to perfect a foreign language.
- Gaining life experience within an international, multicultural environment.
Whatever your reasons, postgraduate study in another country is a real possibility and many overseas universities actively encourage applications from international students. However, you need to begin planning earlier than you would for study in Ireland.
You will need to check the acceptability/transferability of your qualifications as higher education systems vary from country to country – see http://www.qqi.ie and / or https://qhelp.qqi.ie/learners/qualifications-recognition-advice/
If you want to study in a non-English speaking country you may need to provide proof of your ability to speak the local language.
How to apply:
- Contact institutions directly. There is no central applications system for postgraduate study, instead each institution has its own procedures, usually incorporating an application form, documentary evidence of academic achievements and references.
- Obtain application forms – there may be a cost attached.
- Organise your references – do this early so that your referees have adequate time to compose them.
- Apply early - applications should ideally be made 12 months in advance for US /Australia.
- Check details of closing dates and fees with individual institutions - these vary from course to course. Fees are often much more expensive outside of the EU.
- Research the practicalities: living costs, accommodation, cultural aspects.
- Find out from individual institutions whether research qualifications are funded.
- Find out about admissions tests e.g. GMAT, GRE for the USA.
- Check dates for the academic year e.g. in Australia it runs from Feb/Mar - Nov/Dec.
- Find out whether you'll need a residence permit/visa (to obtain a visa you will need to provide evidence you have enough funds to survive for a year).
- Make enquiries about health insurance - do you have adequate cover?
- Contact embassies and cultural institutes for more information on studying abroad.