How to Study Abroad

Chinese students @ Shanghai Museum

Image by Erwyn van der Meer via Flickr

How to Study Abroad

Studying abroad (and the decision to do so) can be a real turning point in your life, that defining moment which opens up the whole world and prepares you for a memorable future. In fact, once you’ve studied abroad, nothing will ever quite seem the same again. Your attitudes will have changed, your perspective on things will definitely alter, you’ll just be generally more “international” in your outlook and you’ll have memories to last a life time. It’ll sure make interesting reading on your resume, you might even have developed some new language skills, all in all, you’ll feel a more complete and confident person than you ever thought possible.

How to Study Abroad

Now then, one thing which many students find quite surprising is just how accessible it is to study abroad, they think that it’s completely out of their reach but often there is even financial aid available.  If you feel like it’s time to spread your wings a little and see the big wide world, then studying abroad is a brilliant way to go about it and can benefit you for the rest of your life.

A good place to find out about studying abroad is on the internet. These days there are loads of programs to read and forums to join, you can speak to real people who have been there, done that and, in many cases, are still doing it! There are plenty of different courses and ways to study abroad:

  • Summer Programs
  • Internships
  • High School study
  • Volunteering
  • Intensive language courses

So you see, you don’t even have to go the “whole 9 yards”, or even the whole four years!

Reasons to Study Abroad

Well, apart from being the opportunity of a lifetime which you will probably never get again, there are plenty of good reasons to study abroad:

  • Academic credit – consider carefully the type of academic credit you will achieve from your chosen program.
  • Language – the world is shrinking, and the ability to speak two or more languages can really open up doors for you, not only in the workplace but in your whole life.
  • Practical experience – studying abroad is a fantastic way to earn some experience in the real world. If marine biology is your thing how about the opportunities in Australia, peace studies in Geneva, engineering laboratories in Sweden. Do you get the picture?
  • Resume – many employers will be impressed by students who have studied abroad, after all, they have shown resourcefulness, initiative and a spirit of adventure.
  • Experience – the experiences you share with your fellow students will live with you forever, and you’ll make friendships around the globe which will last a lifetime.

Who Can Help Me to Find Out More About Studying Abroad?

You might be able to speak to a Study Abroad advisor who will show you what’s available and how to go about it. They won’t hold your hand though, it’s up to you to think about where you want to go, what you want to study and the best place possible. Mind you, if you’re thinking of studying abroad it’s about time you started standing on your own two feet in preparation.

Financial aid advisers will be able to tell you about any financial aid available. Of course, this generally depends on your individual circumstances (whether you have a rich Mom and Dad for starters) but there is financial aid available, often in the form of student loans.

Things to Remember

When you are looking into the available study abroad courses, it is very important to make sure that you will receive the correct academic credits – that’s the name of the game after all. Oh, and you’ll also need a passport and possibly a visa, depending on where you choose to study.

Choosing Your Study Abroad Program

There are plenty of study abroad programs to choose from, so it really is up to you to decide where you would like to study, and your chosen area of study. Study abroad programs are literally available all over the world, with European countries like France, Spain, England and Italy, or more exotic locations like China, Japan or Australia.

The world really is your oyster, grab it with both hands!



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