Tips For Studying Abroad When You Are In College

Elizabeth Witbeck

Study abroad can be one of the most amazing opportunities you will ever have during your college education. It is the opportunity to study at a university in a different country, usually for a semester or quarter of the university year. It can be an opportunity to learn about diversity and meet people from around the globe. It is a great time to travel.

Studying abroad is a big commitment, and there is a lot to consider when making this decision. Here are some things to think about before you decide if studying abroad is right for you.

Why Study Abroad?

Many students choose to study abroad. Some want to learn about a different culture, while others want to travel. It is important to think about why you want to study abroad and how it fits into your larger educational goals. Take time to think about the reasons you want to go, because this is a big decision.

Eligibility Requirements

Every study abroad program is going to have eligibility requirements, such as having a minimum GPA, or being a specific major or class year in order to apply. If there is a certain program you want to apply for, make sure that you meet all of the basic requirements. If you don’t meet all of the requirements right now, you still have time to take the classes you might need to qualify, or to increase your grade point average.

Plan Ahead

Studying abroad requires a great deal of planning. Most universities will want you to apply for your program of choice a full year before the program departs. You will need to figure out how your study abroad experience fits into your plans to graduate from college. You will need to plan to live for the duration of time abroad. You will need to obtain a passport.

You will need to learn about the culture. Learning what to pack beforehand and learning what you need before you go is very important. Make sure you keep everything to a minimum, but do not forget to take the essentials along with you.

Funding Your Trip

Studying abroad can be quite an expense. Studying in another country may be more or less expensive than at your current college or university, so you will need to find out how much it will cost you. You will also need to take into account other expenses such as books, room and board, university fees, and personal expenses. There might be scholarships and financial aid you qualify for, so ask about them with your study abroad coordinator.

Learn Before You Go

Traveling to a new country and spending several months living there is an exciting experience. It can also be very overwhelming. You may have never been to that country or know much about it. Learning about the country you are going to will be very helpful. It will help you be much calmer, less stressed and more excited about the experience, as you educate yourself about where you are going.

It is also helpful to take language classes before you go. Your university may require you to speak the language on a basic level to study in the program. This will help you acclimate to your new surroundings better.

A Challenging Experience

While studying abroad is an amazing opportunity, it can also present many challenges. Some students become homesick during their term. Others experience severe culture shock when they are living in a completely new country. Language can be a barrier that students face. These challenges are more likely to occur if you have not traveled on your own before.

Discuss these challenges with your family before you leave so you are fully prepared. Remember that you can always call your family or Skype with them if you are feeling like you miss them. They care about you and want you to have a good time.

Capture the Moment

Studying abroad is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Never again will you have the chance to spend a period of your life studying at a university in a different country. It is important to take this time to seize every opportunity possible. Make good friends while you are abroad. Learn to speak a different language. Go out and explore new villages and towns.

Try foods you have never heard of. Go on road trips and wild adventures. Make sure to take pictures and videos to document your experiences. It is important to take advantage of these opportunities while you have them.

There are many factors to consider studying abroad; these are just a few. Study abroad is an amazing experience that is sure to be one of the highlights of your college years. You will remember it for the rest of your life. With some careful detail to planning, your time spent abroad will be amazing. Have a good time.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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