Should You Attend An International Massage School? Pros and Cons

You have a several options if you are considering going to a massage school. Even though some of these options may seem appealing, they may not all work for you. This is why you have to be extra vigilant when deciding between your options. One of the biggest choices that you will be faced with is whether to attend school abroad or in your own country.

Of course there are many advantages of studying at an international massage school. However, there are quite a few disadvantages as well. This is why you should give this choice a good thought before choosing to study in a massage school abroad. Once the pros and cons have been outlined, you can make an informed decision yourself. So let’s do that.

The two most important factors to consider are the cost of living abroad and the courses that you will be taught. Secondly, depending on where the school is, there may be other barriers as well, such as language and climate issues.

Let’s go over some more of the detailed pros and cons of attending an international massage school below.

Pros of Going to an International Massage School

There are many advantages of attending an international massage school. In most cases, an international degree holds greater value, depending on where you’re getting it from.

You may also learn in depth about traditional massage methods, some of which may not be available in your country.

Perceived Valuable Degree or Certification

Certain types of massage therapies hold greater value in the United States. However, these therapy programs may not be taught in local schools. This is why your degree or certification could have a greater perceived value if you go to an international massage school. This value may also prove to be practically helpful when you begin practicing massage therapy on your own.

If you are planning to get a job as a massage therapist, you need not have problems. Many massage therapy facilities will be happy to hire you. This is because you hold a valuable international certification. Moreover, if you are planning to open your own practice, you could get more acclaim.

Learning of Traditional Massage Methods

There are many types of massage programs available locally. While most of these massage therapy methods are true to their source and origins, others have been slightly altered. If you study at an international massage school, you may have a chance to study the original form of a particular massage technique.

For instance, if you want to study Chinese massage therapy, the best place to learn about it is China. You will be able to learn about the traditional techniques and methods first hand. There is no doubt about the fact that your knowledge would be valuable. This is because you learn the traditional, unaltered massage techniques from the place where they originated from.

Cons of Attending an International Massage Therapy School

Along with the advantages of going to an international massage school, there are some disadvantages as well. Depending upon your situation, it may not be convenient for you to go abroad to study massage therapy. Let’s discuss all the cons in detail.

Expenses of Living Abroad

The first thing that you have to consider when you plan to go abroad is the living expenses. You may have your own place in the United States or may be living with your parents or another family or friend. You may have no place to stay for free if you go abroad. You will need to arrange for a place to live as well as consider the expenses that go with it.

Even if you live in a hostel at the massage therapy school campus, you may have to spend extra on food and clothing expenses relative to what you’d spend locally in your home country. This may not seem like much however especially as food is generally more affordable in places outside the USA. However, when you consider the expenses of living abroad along with your massage school expenses, they can start to accumulate to a hefty amount.

You may even need to get a part time job just to make ends meet. Of course that may be tricky as you will need to study as well. On the other hand if you study in a massage school locally you may not have such problems give your situation. For example, you will not have to worry about living expenses if you are staying with family. Of course, you will have to commute to and from the school, but that likely won’t be as expensive as living alone in another country all on your own.

Considerations When Applying for an International Massage Program

You should consider your future professional plans before you consider applying for an international massage school. In some cases, the courses and programs available at international schools aren’t valid in the USA.
While the course may be appreciated internationally, there is no real point in studying about a massage therapy method that you won’t be able to properly use in the USA if you plan on practicing there.

Secondly, massage techniques are often altered to meet the taste and needs of clients. For example, Chinese massage may be applied a little differently in the USA compared to China. However, when you study your massage technique in China, you may not be aware of the modifications made in the USA by massage practitioners. Such a subtle thing may actually prove to be a dent in your massage practice.

No Recognition of Degree or Certification

One of the most important factors to consider is the recognition of the degree or certification. Of course most of the massage therapy schools in the USA are recognized. However, there is no guarantee whether or not the school you attend internationally is recognized in the USA. This is why you should carefully research before you consider going to an international massage school – if you plan on practicing in the USA that is.

Do keep in mind that all of these advantages or disadvantages may not be relevant to your situation. Therefore, it is important to consider only the relevant aspects of this article. In some cases, the pros may outweigh the cons of applying to an international massage school. In other scenarios, the cons may not be worth the trouble. In any case, it is best to be aware of all your options before making a decision. This article does exactly that for you.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Massage Therapy Schools

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