There’s no denying that studying abroad can be an exciting and life-changing experience. Alongside furthering your future career, it offers you a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and explore unique destinations.
However, while there are many benefits, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s certainly not for everyone and requires careful preparation and planning in advance.
If you’re wondering whether studying abroad is right for you, keep on reading. Below we are going to discuss some of the most important things to consider before making your decision.
Studying abroad can be expensive, and you need to factor in all the costs involved. Things such as tuition, fees, housing, transportation, food, and travel insurance plans can add up quickly, and you might not have anyone to support you.
Finding a job/steady income stream will have to be one of your top priorities. Thankfully, there may be some different scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities available.
If you will be receiving money back home, be sure to factor in the exchange rate when making transfers. With the right budget and planning, your finances won’t have to be such a large concern.
Life Outside of Study
When choosing a place to grow your education, you have to remember that you’re not going to be studying the entire time! There is life outside of school, and you’ll want to select a location that is both safe and comfortable to live in.
Always research the safety of the country and the city you are thinking of moving to beforehand. Get information about the crime rate and emergency contact details.
It’s also recommended that you spend some time on a holiday or vacation beforehand. Could you see yourself living there full-time? What things do you enjoy? Do you see yourself fitting in? These are critical questions to ask yourself.
Studying abroad exposes you to new perspectives and opportunities. However, it can also be very emotionally and mentally challenging. You may experience culture shock, homesickness, language barriers, and social isolation which can be challenging to combat while you are studying.
To make the most out of your abroad experience, you need to be open-minded about the process. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but there will also be a lot of good that comes out of it.
If you find yourself struggling, try searching for a support network, such as your teachers, fellow students, or friends and family back home. Even other expats can help share their tips and tricks for adjusting to different environments.
Plans and Goals
Before embarking on a study abroad program, you need to ask yourself why you want to do it and how it fits into your overall career goals. Are you looking to gain new skills or improve your language proficiency? Perhaps you’re looking for a great way to make your resume stand out amongst competitors?
You need to have a clear understanding of your motivation to make the most out of your experience. Alongside helping with feelings of culture shock, it will allow you to focus on your goals and helps you set a routine to achieve them.
Another tip to keep in mind is to ensure that you meet all the academic requirements for your desired program. This can include your GPA, language proficiency, and the course availability itself.
There are lots of places to study and each of them has individual needs. On top of this, depending on the program, you may have to apply months or even a year in advance. Preparation is key if you want to secure a spot in your dream location.
Finally, before making your decision, it’s important to think about your future plans. While things can always change, it’s good to fully understand what you plan to work towards.
For instance, some individuals may wish to return home. However, others may want to continue their studies or careers in their new home country.
If this is the case, you may want to consider participating in clubs or other activities that can help you stay connected to your program. You should also start networking and browsing companies that you would hope to work at. There’s no such thing as being too prepared!
And that’s it! Studying abroad is a unique and rewarding opportunity. However, it’s not a decision to take lightly. To determine whether it’s suitable for you, you need to assess all of the different factors we have discussed above.
From here, you can start to plan out your trip so that you get the most out of your experience as possible. It may seem like a lot of hard work, but if you are dedicated – it will all be worth it.