This is a question that I get asked quite often, so here are my top 5 pointers!
1. You will notice an odd shift in your way of studying:
You’ll see a change in your study pattern when you start your master’s degree. I am not saying it will come to you pretty quickly, but within a few weeks into the course you’ll see yourself going to the library a lot more often to get your readings done, and definitely a lot more independent studying.
2. There’s more diversity:
You’ll observe a pretty diverse background in your cohort, where people have either come directly after their bachelors or after years of work experience. This isn’t the case with undergraduate study, where most hail right after their high school. Adjusting to all the differences can be a bit overwhelming at first as an international student, but be sure to embrace it! This unique exposure adds a lot to your holistic development and broadening of your horizons.
3. You’ll have better connections and be more familiar with who you are working with:
Undergraduate classes are larger, longer and less individualised. However, tutorials at master’s level divide you into small groups, happen once a week and there is more one-to-one connection with the professor and your tutors.
4. Your studies will be more independent and focused:
Undergraduate study is more general and broader in nature, meaning there is an array of courses to choose from which are and are less specific in their content. However, postgraduate programs are highly detailed, specialised and a lot more research-oriented.
5. You will experience greater freedom:
A master’s program lets you explore a lot more in your field, compared to a bachelor’s program. Your dissertation is often heavily weighted within your course, and what’s great is that you’re encouraged to break new ground. You are also encouraged to work under a professor as their teaching assistant, and work in close collaborations with them. So there is a lot more motivation and incentive to go off on tangents and learn more about your field of interest!
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