Studying in America and Canada
 

2.2.4 Decision on whether you should study in North America

The fundamental issue is whether you will be better off by studying in America or Canada. The definition of being "better-off" is different for every person, and it goes beyond just the financial aspects. This is both a rational and an emotional issue. Thus, the decision-making criteria should address both components. You must develop the right criteria fore you although we will provide you some food for thought because it is your life. You must account for your own goals, ambitions, and interests.

Rational elements of the criteria are easier to identify. They include: the cost of education, financial benefits, quality of education, fit with your goals, ambitions and interests, potential risks, and personal enrichment. We have discussed these already. The emotional elements of the criteria include: leaving relatives and family behind, love for the motherland, doing everything yourself from cooking to cleaning to laundry, challenges of living in a new country and culture, and so on.

You can customize these criteria to match your own needs and interests. Take 100 points and distribute them among all the elements of the criteria based on relative importance. Then score each element on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best for you and 1 being the worst for you. Compute a weighted average of all the criteria elements and you have an overall score. You can assign a threshold for being better-off at any level on the weighted average you choose, but we would advise a respectable level, say 60. You can see from an example in Table 2B that this student should explore the possibility of studying in America or Canada.

Table 2B. An Illustrative Example for Quantitative Assessment for Whether You Should Study in America or Canada

Decision Criteria Element

Relative Importance

(Total = 100)

Score

1-10

Contribution to the Weighted Average

Cost of Education

15

3

45

Financial Benefits

30

10

300

Quality of Education

10

10

100

Fit with Goals, Ambitions and Interests

10

10

100

Potential risks

5

5

25

Personal Enrichment

5

8

40

Leaving Family

15

3

45

Love of Motherland

10

5

50

Additional Responsibilities of Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry, and so on

0

1

0

Weighted Average

   

705/9 = 78

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