3 Reasons to Get Your Master’s Degree Abroad

Traditionally, when we think about studying abroad, it is associated with an undergrad degree. But there is a trend emerging for students to get their master's degrees, or even a second bachelor's degree abroad. And not just spend a semester, but many years in a foreign country.

According to the Institute of International Education, more than 46,500 students from the U.S. pursued full degrees abroad in 2011-2012. Experts believe that, on average, this number grows by 5% per year with more and more U.S. students looking for new opportunities and a lower price tag for their education. If you are looking at furthering your education, check out these three amazing reasons to get your master's degree abroad.

Less Debt and Better Living Options

Unless you've been living under a rock, you are keenly aware of the steep price tag to get your education in the U.S. According to Finaid.org, the average cost for a master's degree in 2015 in the U.S. is between $30,000 and $120,000, which varies depending on the type of degree and college you wish to attend. If you already have student loans from your undergrad degree, adding another giant loan on top of that is probably not a great decision.

Also, most international universities have a reputation of graduating students in 2-3 years, compared to the U.S., where an undergrad degree might take 4-5 years, and a master's degree might take 3-4 years. What does this mean for you? Cutting just a year from your educational expenses means that you've got more money in your wallet, and you can get to that career and paycheck you've been studying for even quicker.

If you like the sound of a free degree, look no further than Germany. Germany is the current leader in free education, coupled with a low cost of living, and one of the most popular places around the world for millennial job growth. Germany even has a growing entrepreneurial scene and is investing heavily in those types of projects that originate in Germany. Other than a few small university fees, students can enjoy a free education with classes taught in English.

Germany also has a reputation for high learning standards and a great reputation for students who graduate from their programs. Two of the top destinations to study are Berlin and Munich, where the cities offer great living options, loads of activities, and a great culture to explore.

A few other countries leading the way in free (or low-cost) degree programs taught in English are:

  • France (high living costs)
  • Denmark (high living costs)
  • Finland (high living costs)
  • Norway (high living costs)
  • Greece (affordable living costs)
  • Czech Republic (affordable living costs)

If you are looking to find a country with a degree that will fit your budget, check out Studyabroad.com and simply plug in the country and subject and then you are off to the races.


One of the best reasons to get an international degree is to be able to explore the world that is literally outside your door. Studying in any of the European Union countries like France or Germany means that you are just a short train or plane ride away from so many other destinations for weekend or summer trips. Imagine attending a true Oktoberfest in Munich, or sipping wine from a vineyard in France, or seeing the running of the bulls up close and personal in Spain. Seeing the world will give you a much more well-rounded vision of different cultures and ways of life that can only enrich your future career, no matter what it might be.

International Experience

With all this exploration, you will be racking up some serious international experiences. There are many degrees like an MBA, or International Relations, or Conflict Resolution where you can benefit from the experience of studying abroad in a foreign country. You are able to learn their rules and regulations, ways of doing business, and might actually have an easier entry into your career if you plan to stay abroad.

Most students aren't allowed to stay in the country once they graduate without a work visa. However, what better way to make contacts and forge those relationships than when you are studying there? For those of you who want to come back to the U.S. for your career, having multiple years of foreign experience under your belt can be a real resume booster and will make some great talking points in your interview.

Whatever your reason is for going abroad, be it a purely financial decision or your desire to travel the world, the truth is that our world is so interconnected now that having an international master's degree can only add value to your future career aspirations.

Have you studied abroad? Share your experience below!

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Guest's picture

I haven't studied abroad, but am in the process of relocating to Mexico from Canada and thought of pursuing my education here (master's and maybe Ph.D., but I have no idea in what!). I am going to have a poke through that website you link through and see if I get inspired.

Living in another country is so rewarding and I would love to see how education is different (and similar) to back in Canada. I got my BA from a bilingual French/English-language university and would love to get my graduate degree from a Spanish-language school as that would mean I'm really fluent, which would definitely help in my job prospects.

Guest's picture
Bethany M

Unless you're going for a M.Div, what Master's degree programs take 3-4 years? I got my M.Ed. in 2 taking light loads while working 30 hrs. a week.

Guest's picture

I'm an American who did my Masters degree in Australia about 8 years ago, and I'm so happy I did! My degree took 1.5 years instead of the 2 it would have taken for an equivalent degree in the US, plus I was able to work 20 hours/week during the school year and full time during breaks, I got to travel all over the country, and my degree was far less expensive as well. I've also found that having done a full degree overseas has given me a great way to respond to those awful "So tell me about yourself" types of questions.