Studying abroad is an excellent way to add life experience to your academic growth. As you study abroad, you end up developing skills that you may never have needed at home. You become an independent, self-reliant, world-traveling student, and it’s a unique opportunity you should ALWAYS consider.
Here’s your basic guide to studying abroad:
Step 1: Find a program
There are a number of programs you can sign up for that will help you to study abroad, and you need to start off by looking into these programs. Think about what type of program you want:
- Summer program
- Academic semester or year
- Full degree
- Graduate degree
You can study abroad either through your current school or via these programs. Check with your school to find out what overseas education opportunities are available.
One thing to remember: you’ll have more choices if you search for study abroad programs OUTSIDE your university.
Step 2: Select the program and fill out the application
Once you know what you want to do, it’s time to fill out your application form. The paperwork to study abroad is MUCH more complex and requires much more time to fill out than local college applications. This alone is one reason that many students don’t study abroad.
Step 3: Look into the legal requirements
If you are going to a foreign country to study, you will need to apply for a student visa. Once you know which country you are visiting, visit their Immigration website to find out the requirements for applying for the student visa.
Note: If you are going to study AND work, you may need to look into a visa that will allow you to do both.
You’ll also need to go to your local Passport Office to apply for a passport (if you don’t already have one). Processing time can take up to 6 weeks, so make sure to do it well in advance.
Find out more here…
Step 4: Learn more about local culture
You may think you know a lot about the country to which you are traveling, but there is so much that you’ll need to learn before you make the journey to study abroad. It’s time to learn more about the culture of the country--and city--where you will be staying.
Step 5: Learn the language
Unless you are traveling to the UK or Australia to study, you’ll need to spend time brushing up on the local language. Your studies may be in English, but you will need at least a rudimentary grasp of the language in order to live in that country for the duration of your studies. If you already understand some of the language before you arrive in the country, it will be easier to learn the language when you become immersed.
Step 6: Prepare to travel and study
Pack your bags, kiss your momma goodbye, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! When you arrive at your destination, work hard to get good grades, but spend time exploring and experiencing the local culture as well. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, so don’t waste it!
Studying abroad is something that only a lucky few get to experience, and it’s a chance for you to develop skills that will serve you well in your professional life.