Monday, August 3, 2009

Education abroad. Don't forget Europe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a follow up to to my last article, parents and students should also consider Europe other than the usual destinations of USA, Canada Australia and New Zealand. From having lived in Germany and my understanding of European education, there are tremendous opportunities for an excellent education in Europe.

Germany for instance is a leader in science and technology. A degree in Chemical Engineering from Germany for instance would be at par if not superior to even a American education. And the additional possible attraction is the fact that as far as I know, the education systems there, including Scandinavia, offer much more generous and universal scholarships for students than the usual destinations of UK etc. Another advantage of going to these countries is the advantage of acquiring a new language. We forget, half the world speaks French. A degree from France or Belgium would mean more doors opening in the rest of the non English speaking world. A degree from Germany may mean a job in Switzerland or even Namibia, former German SW Africa with a job in diamonds or gold. A degree from Holland may mean a job in Holland, the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean or Suriname or Dutch Guiana.

The point I am trying to make to Singapore students is this. You really don't need much money to get an education abroad. What you need is guts. What you need is a burning desire to achieve your aim. Once you have that, the rest is history.

But don't forget one thing. If you want to be a lawyer in Singapore, it still has to be the English speaking world. Studying Roman Dutch law in Wolfgang Goethe Universitat in Frankfurt will not help you practice law in Singapore. Law is still an excellent subject of study and it is still a good choice. Lee Kuan Yew and his dictatorship will not be around for too long, from the looks of it. In the future, you will be able to practice law in Singapore under the rule of law. Sadly it does not exist now.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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jamestan said...

I agree.

It is not a good idea to stick to the traditional English-speaking countries to study.

Personally, I think universities in countries like Australia, are becoming too commercialised.

Universities are meant to do research and not teach and award taught degrees.

Gopalan Nair said...

To jamestan,
I am not personally aware of Australian Universities but I am sure there are excellent universities there too. A bit harsh to paint with a broad brush.

jamestan said...

Dear gopalan,

There are some universities here in OZ which are well-endowed and still "traditional" in the sense that they are prepare to fail the less enlightened students. Good for the uni and the students

But there are others who started setting up off-shore campuses all over Asia, including Singapore in the name of profits. They are reluctant to fail students and will moderate the marks accordingly. Some of these uni are not keen to question the country's political abuses.

But there is one prestigious uni right in the heart of the nation, Canberra, that chose to award a doctorate to Lee Kuan Yew. I am disappointed.

Luckily, the students have better sense and turn their back towards Lee in non-violent protest and chant "Lee Kuan Yew, A.N.U. is not for you".

If this protest has happened in Singapore, I wonder what will Lee do? Send in the tanks?

Liza said...

"The point I am trying to make to Singapore students is this. You really don't need much money to get an education abroad. What you need is guts. What you need is a burning desire to achieve your aim. Once you have that, the rest is history."

Totally agree. I left Singapore for the UK after O levels thanks to a scholarship. Enjoyed an amazing, eye-opening experience. Got a place at a prestigious UK uni but couldn't get any funding from any S'pore govt bodies or companies despite my really good results and "creative thinking" they so crave. That was probably a good thing, what with the bond. So had to drop out of uni, work crappy jobs, pay taxes - but I still got to enjoy the university's social facilities, student life and furthered my passion in music; even received a music award. 5 years later, I have a good cushy job in central London and starting uni again - this time with loans and grants from the UK govt! Not bad for a Malay girl from Bedok.

Do consider studying in European countries - not only is it more cost-effective, it'll up your kudos points tremendously!

Gopalan Nair said...

Good one, Liza