Introduction: Higher education is no longer provided solely in the confines of national borders. Now days, the general trend is that students are no more reluctant to cross boundaries and travel to different places for achieving better education. Aim: To explore gulf medical students influencing factors, challenges, and perceptions to study abroad.
Methods: Cross sectional prospective study was conducted with self-administered survey which consisted of six sections. The survey was distributed by email to gulf medical students studying in four countries (United Kingdom, Ireland, Kingdom of Bahrain, and Jordan). Data were tubulated on Excel and analysed with SPSS V.22.
Results: Total responses received that met inclusion criteria were 94 with mean age of 20.89 (68.08% females). 51% of participants were from Kuwait, and 57% of participants were studying in European universities. Broadening personal experience was the main influencing factor to study abroad, and word of mouth from parents and students studying abroad were the main individual influences. Financial issues were the main challenges for studying abroad. Surgical specialities were the desired specialities for future career accounting for 44.7%.
Conclusion: Understanding the underlying reasons behind a student’s decision to study abroad plays an important part on structuring scholarship and allocating resources. The high rate of students regretting studying abroad and at the same time the high rate of recommendation for other to study abroad indicate that personal satisfaction is a key factor, however, studying abroad does not suit everyone.
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