As an International Student studying abroad for a postgraduate taught programme, learning to up your skills as much as possible is one of the ways you will be positioned for success.
When I made this transition four years ago, I knew that writing good academic essays was one of the skills I needed to excel in my studies and future aspirations. I also knew that coming from Nigeria, I hadn't developed that skill properly. After I identified this gap, I saw free courses my university was offering to help me in that area, I signed up for the courses and it helped me a lot!
If I hadn't identified the gaps, I wouldn't have taken advantage of that opportunity to upskill!
To upskill, a gap assessment is very important. Two things you need to do;
1. Identify the gaps in your knowledge/skills.
2. Set out to bridge the gaps.
Some of the things you need to meet your study goals will be covered by your course, others you'll have to intentionally look for ways to acquire the knowledge/skills. I signed up for various courses that helped me learn some basics that my programme didn't cover.
Some examples of the courses I signed up for include, Academic essay writing, Referencing and avoiding plagiarism, how to use Endnote to manage citations and referencing, Excel for data analysis amongst others.
Although these courses were vital for my success on the programme, they were not taught as part of my MSc curriculum, because there was the assumption that I should have known about it as part of my previous studies.
If you go abroad to study (especially masters students) and focus only on your core curriculum, you’ll be highly short-changed! You need to maximise all the benefits that the system has in store for you.
You must upskill as much as possible beyond the curriculum.
The practice of lifelong learning which is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons” will help you stay ahead and be positioned for success.