Throughout human history, and across all different cultures, our ancestors have looked toward the night sky in search of answers. While astronomers today rely more on powerful telescopes and computational models than on bare eyesight, little about their quest has fundamentally changed; earning your astronomy degree abroad is the perfect opportunity to continue the long tradition of exploring that which lays beyond.
Why Earn Your Degree Abroad
The nice thing about astronomy is that it is a universal subject (no pun intended). While other academic fields may be strongly influenced by cultural perceptions and biases, astronomy is based largely on math and physics, which are foundational to the hard sciences all around the world. Earning your astronomy degree abroad is thus the opportunity to immerse yourself anywhere on our globe that you’ve always taken an interest in, or that entices you most academically, while advancing your knowledge in the core tenants of this important science.
Most schools of higher learning around the world have departments of astronomy and physics, so where do you begin your search? First and foremost, the language barrier is an important restriction of where you will be able to earn your astronomy degree abroad; as most universities tend to use their national language as the medium of education, you will be expected to have a high degree of fluency in order to be accepted into many degree programs in the non-English speaking world.
With this fundamental requirement in mind, the opportunities of where to earn your astronomy degree abroad are nevertheless vast. Within the English speaking world, nations such as the United States, Canada, England, and Australia boast many of the most prestigious astronomy programs in the world. India, where English is not commonly a first language but is utilized widely in education, is another possible destination in this realm.
Outside of the English speaking world, countries such as Germany and the Netherlands also are home to some very highly regarded departments of astronomy. There are opportunities to earn a degree abroad in astronomy all over the world, so do your research thoroughly while deciding where feels like the perfect fit.
Academics & Degrees
Astronomy is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses many different areas of scientific study such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, and evolutionary biology. While the study of astronomy has undergone many changes throughout human history, it has always been primarily focused around understanding celestial objects and processes, and understanding further how they apply to life on our own planet earth.
At the undergraduate level, astronomy degrees abroad generally require three or four years of study and will introduce you to many basic concepts that are important for understanding in the field. It is not usually necessary that you have any prior academic experience in astronomy to enroll at the undergraduate level, though you may be required to complete an entrance examination to demonstrate proficiency in math and/or the sciences.
At the graduate level, students can continue on to earn their astronomy degree abroad at the Master’s and doctoral levels. Master’s programs generally require one or two years to complete and will enable you to focus largely on your own research, while PhD programs can last up to several years while continuing down this same path. Specific areas of astronomy that advanced students can specialize in include cosmology, astrophysics, astrobiology, and planetary geology.
Benefits & Challenges
Explore Space. Earning your degree abroad in astronomy is the perfect beginning to a life’s adventure exploring the night sky. Wherever you end up settling down, you will never forget where you first started unraveling the mysteries.
Explore Earth. Meanwhile, back on planet earth, living as an expatriate while earning your astronomy degree abroad will prove to be quite the experience in itself. Beyond your studies, adapting to a new culture and way of life will be both challenging and immensely rewarding.
Explore Yourself. And finally, as a young astronomer leaving home behind and trekking out into the great big world, earning your degree abroad is the opportunity to gain a whole new understanding of your own life and how you fit into the grand scheme of things. Get ready for an adventure.