Studying abroad is a great option if you are interested in learning and living in another country. Many students avoid this opportunity because they are afraid of the expense or fear of living in foreign countries.
With all the financial support available, it might not be as expensive as you think. As daunting as it might seem, studying abroad offers a unique opportunity to deepen your education and learn more about yourself.
You might be asking yourself: Why study abroad? What is the cost of studying abroad? Why is it important to study abroad? You can find out more by reading this guide.
What is “Study Abroad?”
Study abroad is an opportunity to study in another country. Students can attend lectures and do research at a foreign university. Participants usually live in an apartment or a residence hall. Or they may stay with a family during a homestay. Students may enroll in international programs for a semester, a year, or they might choose to complete their degrees in another country.
What are the Types of Programs? How do you Study Abroad?
There are many options for study abroad programs. The best option for you is to choose the one that suits your needs and interests. Here are some of the most popular programs.
Many American universities and colleges offer a range of study-abroad programs. They have agreements with universities abroad that allow American students to enroll. Some universities offer students a schedule of courses. In other cases, the learners have to arrange their own schedules. This involves asking professors for approval to allow international courses to be seamlessly transferred back to the student’s home university.
These experiences usually include prearranged housing or group trips across the country or continent. Sometimes professors from the United States come to teach English courses in countries that have foreign languages. Students who wish to learn a foreign language may also enroll in courses that are not taught in English.
There are many programs offered by organizations like the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) or IES Abroad for college students. These programs are structured so that students can take the required courses and stay with their student group for cultural experiences and weekend excursions. These programs often arrange accommodation for students and pay required fees to cover many of their daily costs.
Students can also take advantage of other opportunities to better integrate into the culture of their home country. Students from the host country take classes with them, in either a foreign language or English, if they are going to England or Australia. Students are responsible for their housing and finances. Students who choose to study at a foreign university for their entire degree can do so, although they may be able to enroll for a semester or a year.
You can also find experiences that do not fit within the categories. Some programs allow students to travel on a cruiseship, and they can stop in other countries as well. Students may also be eligible to apply for research funding, internships, and work experience abroad.
Why Study Abroad?
Every person has their own reasons to study abroad. You will hear your college counselor tell you that abroad studying is great for your resume. It’s possible to feel excited about the idea of your Instagram account looking like a travel guidebook. You might also enjoy the chance to try authentic food like Spanish chorizo and Italian risotto. However, studying abroad should not be about photos or food. It’s about self-discovery.
Five Reasons to Study Abroad
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
You will be exposed to new cultures and experiences by living in another country. Learn from others and help you reevaluate your perspective.
BECOME FLUT IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Even though we spend a few hours per week in a classroom, most of us are not able to fluently speak a foreign language. Fluency is achieved by diving into a language and trying to learn as much as you can. You can practice your language skills abroad in a rigorous and immersive setting.
SPAN THE GLOBE WITH FRIENDS YOU MAKE
Many universities have international student associations, which will allow you to meet people from around the globe. Many friendships that you form during college last a lifetime. Studying abroad is no exception.
CONNECT WITH YOUR HERITAGE
Studying abroad is a great way for you to learn more about your ancestry. Study the language and learn about your family history. You might even be able to track down distant relatives.
RESOLVE YOURSELF TO A SUCCESS
Living abroad means that you are able to live in another country, rather than just taking a vacation. It’s not always easy but it is possible to grow by putting yourself in difficult situations. You’ll be successful in the United States if you are willing to take risks.
Here are some things you should know before studying abroad
Even if you have traveled internationally before, studying abroad will be an entirely new experience. Partly because of practicalities such as obtaining a student Visa. Also, be ready for the emotional aspects of studying abroad. This can take you from excitement to homesickness.
Adapting to New Cultures
Inspiring Instagram photos can make studying abroad look like a magical adventure. The reality is that the experience can be difficult. Although many students start with enthusiasm, it can quickly turn to anxiety and homesickness once they land. It is possible to feel intimidated by culture shock.
How can you manage this mix of emotions? Get involved in your host institution to beat homesickness. Universities often host events for international students. Students can meet up in England through the “Freshers week” social events at the beginning of the academic year. You can also find expat or international groups on Facebook that often host regular events. You won’t have enough time to sit in your dorm rooms if you are busy making new friends and keeping yourself busy.
Even if you don’t know the language well, it’s worth learning a few phrases and words if you are visiting a country that speaks it. Locals often appreciate foreigners trying to learn the language. This can help you get to know the culture better. Take a walk outside and say hello to the people at the coffee shop across the street. This will help you get to know the city. Although it might seem strange at the beginning, you will soon be able to relate to your new city as your neighborhood. Culture shock will not be tolerated.
Helping You Pay for Your Studies
How much does it cost for you to study abroad? This depends on what program you are taking. Prices can exceed tuition costs at American universities. Students must also pay for flights. However, there are ways to lower these costs.
First, make sure to check with your university or college about your funding status. Check if you are already a recipient of a scholarship to ensure that it is applicable to your study abroad experience. There might be special funding opportunities at your school for students who wish to study abroad. Check out the financial aid available if you’re enrolled in a third party program.
Next, consider outside scholarships. Many scholarship funds are well-known and give away hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition money. The Fund for Education Abroad is a scholarship fund that provides financial aid to students of first generation, minority, and community college. The Gilman scholarship from the U.S. Department of State provides up to $5,000 in financial assistance to students in desperate need. There are many scholarships available if you do some research.
You can enroll in any foreign university directly if you are interested. Some countries offer very affordable tuition rates or free enrollment. Students in Norway, Iceland and Germany can apply for university admissions free of charge. Students can also study in Austria, Greece, or Hungary for around 1,500 Euros per year.
The Nuts and Bolts
Yes, it is fun to study abroad. Before you get on the plane, it is important to clear away all the paperwork. Every study abroad program has its own requirements. Make sure to have a checklist that is specific to your program. Here’s what you can generally expect:
- Apply for a passport if you don’t already have one. Without a passport, you can’t travel to the U.S.
- A student visa will also be required from the country you choose. This typically involves filling out an online application and collecting the necessary documents.
- As proof to the host country, you might be required to purchase round-trip tickets in advance.
- Some countries require immunization and health records.
Remember to take into account other factors. You should research how your international health insurance works and whether your phone plan covers international roaming charges. You will need to search for housing if your program does not provide it.
Remember that some countries have specific requirements for student visa entry. To enter a country, you might need to have an acceptance letter from the host school or study-abroad program. Check any regulations and rules carefully before you board your flight.
Is Studying Abroad worth it?
Yes, for many students.
One study by Florida State University showed that studying abroad helps students to understand other cultures and build deep friendships. Research from study-abroad organizations has shown that alumni of study-abroad can leverage their cultural communication skills and knowledge about global culture while job hunting.
Not everyone has to study abroad. You can evaluate your goals, financial situation, and funding options if you are still unsure. Only you will decide if this is the right experience for you. For many students, studying abroad can be a valuable experience that will bring them personal growth and create a lifetime of memories.