How do you determine whether studying abroad is for you?
How do you determine whether studying abroad is for you? For college students in their first and second years, students tend to focus primarily on the “abroad” part. A word that evokes all kinds of romantic personal impressions. Often little more than fantasies based on movies, travel books and first-hand accounts of friends and relatives who have vacationed abroad. Overshadowed by the glamor and intrigue of it all is the “study” part.
Studying abroad is a serious undertaking
But make no mistake: studying abroad is a serious undertaking.
It will challenge you on a personal level. It will have an impact on your academic career.
And it will cost money.
Deciding whether to go abroad is therefore an important decision.
And not one that needs to be made quickly or without a thorough assessment of all the pros and cons.
Take a deep look
To make the right decision, you need to take an in-depth, practical look at the personal, academic and financial challenges of studying abroad. Because studying abroad challenges you personally.
In the articles below, we’ve discussed the personal growth and development that inevitably occurs as a result of studying abroad, increased self-awareness, independence, confidence, team and relationship building skills, adaptability, and a general sense of accomplishment.
But how exactly does this happen?
Studying abroad is not just about getting lessons on time
Studying abroad is more than going to class on time, making yourself understood in the local language and eating different types of food in the cafeteria.
You have to learn how to do many new things while also relearning some things that have become second nature.
Studying abroad involves a subtle but important change in your expectations of yourself and others.
More importantly, you will face a loss of identity and familiarity and have to do without some of the long-standing touchstones that encourage meaning and direction.
You will grow personally, but the experience will test you. It is important to determine in advance whether you are up to the challenge.
Studying abroad is not an extended holiday
Studying abroad will have an impact on your academic career. The main reason you are in college is to earn a degree, a degree that will hopefully prepare you for a fulfilling and rewarding career path. How does studying abroad affect that goal?
For some students, it can go a long way toward achieving it; for others, it may have little to do with academic goals or even some obstacles. But make no mistake, studying abroad is just that: taking classes at a foreign or foreign university.
The experience should not be seen as an extended vacation or a lightweight academic term. You should not only be willing to put in as much effort into your studies as you would on your home campus, but also be willing to do even more, especially if you are going to study in another language.
But all this work will not go unrewarded. Most students enjoy their classes and say the experience sparked their interest in academic pursuits in general. Many return home with renewed academic purpose and a desire to do even better in their courses.
When done smartly, studying abroad will enhance your overall undergraduate experience. But to make sure this is the case, before you leave, you need to map out how it contributes to your overall study.
What value does studying abroad offer employers?
Studying abroad costs money
Studying abroad costs money. Studying abroad is certainly not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either. The cost of studying abroad varies widely depending on the type and location of the program, length of stay, and whether the program is administered through your university or an outside organization.
And while the total cost of studying abroad is often higher than studying on the home campus, which can make the student view it as prohibitive.
30 Low Tuition Universities in the Baltic States
Although it is a mistake to assume that this is the case, or to assume that the margin of difference is prohibitively large.
Some study abroad programs, especially those in developing countries, can be even cheaper than tuition and cost the same amount of time on your home campus.
How do you finance your study abroad?
In addition, financial aid, grants, and grants are often available for eligible students.
20 Government Scholarships (Fully Funded)
Colleges and universities encourage studying abroad
In an effort to encourage more students to go abroad, many colleges and universities are committed to keeping costs the same; in other words, a semester abroad should cost exactly the same as a semester on the home campus, at least in terms of tuition and costs.
Others offer vouchers that can be used to cover the cost of airfare, meals and travel within the country, as these costs are often unpredictable and vary widely depending on the destination country.
For example, food and transport will be significantly more expensive in Italy than in Guatemala.
In any case, you want to have extra money to spend on worthwhile activities and excursions, such as attending cultural performances in China, buying a Eurail pass to explore the capitals of Europe from your base in Paris, taking a trip to the Amazon from your base in São Paolo, or exploring the savannah while in Africa.
So while the overall cost may deter you from participating in your ideal study abroad program, it probably won’t deter you from going. But it’s up to you to make it happen.
Finally, write your questions in the comment box on “How to determine if studying abroad is right for you?”
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