Youll Never Run Out Of Stories To Tell Your Friends And Family
I am a self-admitted annoying study abroad girl.
I love sharing my stories from studying abroad with my friends, family, co-workers, and really anyone who will listen. Thats why I started this blog!
Studying abroad will give you SO MANY amazing stories to tell, from crazy travel mishaps to incredible experiences. I love telling people about my experience of nearly getting robbed in Ecuador just as much as I love telling them about how people were running a marathon on the Great Wall of China on the day of my visit
If you study abroad, youll come home with enough stories from your experience to write a memoir.
Why Consider Study Abroad Programs
There are so many personal reasons that undergraduates study abroad. Apart from learning about you are opening up new possibilities for personal growth and discovery. Whatever you decide to do in your work life, confidence and self-reliance are assets. And lets not forget communication skills! Navigating new surroundings is an experience that is likely to help you when it comes down to landing a dream job and learning the ropes of a new position. Studying abroad puts you into a new category, the international potentially cultured, bilingual, self-assured student. So get excited about your educationlook for Study Abroad Programs from just about anywhere on the globe!
Actual Costs Of Studying Abroad In College
In addition, I would really like to talk about the actual cost of your trip. Studying abroad in college is really not as expensive as you may think. If youre studying abroad and receiving credit for it, you need to compare the cost of what you would be spending if you didnt study abroad versus what the program will cost you plus the benefits.
Lets do a quick example:
At your home university, your rent is $650/month, tuition + fees are $5,850/semester and your other bills total an additional $250/month. For five months, the total for you to stay at home would be $10,350.
Now, you are looking at a five-month semester abroad program. For example sake, you go with the ISA France program, their housing for the entire stay is $3,850, tuition is $12,120 and required insurance is $230 plus your plane ticket could be around $700 for a total of $16,900.
So, this program really isnt $16,900, it is actually costing you $16,900-$10,350=$6,550 extra than your current college expenses. Still a good chunk of change but not as much as you first thought! Right? There are plenty of other locations that are much less expensive too, I just chose a popular location.
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Enroll Directly With A University Overseas
Another way to study abroad is by directly enrolling in a university overseas. Rather than going through an organized program with your home school or a third-party, you can directly enroll for a semester, year, or full degree at a university abroad.
Surprised to hear you can attend school in a different country even if youre not a citizen there? Yep, many colleges and universities abroad actually welcome international students with open arms! And thats just one of the numerous benefits of direct enrollment.
Do note, however, that if you’re applying for a university that doesn’t provide courses in English, you’ll have to already have a pretty good grasp of the local language. Not to worry: were one step ahead and rounded up a list of international universities that teach in English. Just be sure the international universitys credits are transferable if youd like to complete your degree at your home school.
How Do I Get Started
Once youve made up your mind about where you want to study, you should start to think about choosing a program and a university, if you havent already. You can research leading universities with the QS World University Rankings®, use the subject rankings to discover universities which are best for your subject, and also consult national rankings of universities in your chosen destination.
Youll then want to look closely at the courses offered by the institutions on your shortlist, as well as researching the local area and lifestyle, admission requirements and costs.
Once youve firmly decided on your program and institution, you should start to think about your application. Application processes differ depending on the university and the country, but generally each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.
In some cases, there is a two-step application process for international students. This means you must submit two applications: one for a place at the university and one for a place on the course itself. This should be clearly stated on the universitys website. If you still have questions about the process, you should contact your chosen university directly.
If you think you might need a student visa, remember that in most cases you wont be able to apply for one until you have received a letter of acceptance from your chosen university. Each stage can take several months, so allow as much time as possible.
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There Are No Wrong Choices
I know first-hand how overwhelming it feels to choose a study abroad program. In some ways, I felt like by making a choice, I was closing off other opportunities and alternate life paths.
Looking back, though, I know that the most important thing was not getting my choice exactly right, but rather going overseas with an open mind to the new culture and lifelong friends I was about to meet. Years later I can say that studying abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Soon, youll be able to say the same!
Three: Choose Where To Study Abroad
The fun stuff! As I write this, there are 195 countries in the world. Now, not all of them have study abroad opportunities, but a lot of them do! My point is there are SO MANY OPTIONS! You could travel to a university in London for a semester, or help rehabilitate animals in Africa. Maybe you want to work at a small business firm in Sydney or perhaps volunteer to teach English in a third world county. The possibilities are endless!
Of course, you will be limited by the company you choose, your program type, and your college major so be sure to talk with the company representative to be clear on your actual options!
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Want To Study Abroad Without Breaking The Bank Here Are Some Helpful Ways To Study Abroad For Free Or At Least For Cheaper Than Full Tuition
Studying abroad can be the experience of a lifetime… but it can also cost a pretty penny. Luckily, there are more than a few choices if you want to study abroad for cheap or even study abroad for free.
The secret to offsetting the cost of studying abroad is to remember that much of what you pay to study abroad is for peace of mind and ease. Study abroad programs charge you extra to help you find housing, help enroll in foreign universities, or even facilitate your visa process. By taking on some or all of these tasks on your own, you can make your study abroad experience a whole lot easier.
Here are some ways you can cut some of those costs down and study abroad for cheap or even free!
Travel & COVID-19: It’s important to stay up-to-date about information regarding COVID-19 & travel. As for 2022, many countries have resumed travel and study abroad programs are actively running and following health and safety precautions. If you’d like to view the full list of travel advisories by country, visit travel.state.gov.
Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad
Living in a foreign country exposes you to unfamiliar customs and experiences. You can learn about how other people perceive the world and reevaluate your own perspective.
Most of us can’t become fluent in a foreign language after spending a few hours a week in a classroom. Fluency comes from diving headfirst into language and forcing yourself to speak as much as possible. Studying abroad allows you to practice your language skills in an intensive and immersive way.
Universities often have active international student organizations, so you’ll get to know people from all over the world. Often, the friendships you make during your college years last a lifetime, and studying abroad is no different.
If you’re curious about your ancestry, studying abroad can be a great way to connect with your family’s past. Learn where you came from, study the language, and perhaps even track down distant relatives.
Studying abroad involves truly living in a foreign country instead of taking a long vacation. That’s not necessarily easy, but growth comes from putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. If you commit, you’ll find yourself thriving before you return to the United States.
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Home University Study Abroad:
My first experience studying abroad in college was a spring break trip to Greece lead by a professor. It was a group of about twelve of us from my university who went. We took a Greek history and culture class once every two weeks during the winter quarter then spent nearly two weeks exploring the amazing country of Greece with a layover to explore Paris. We stayed in hotels and traveled to homes of family friends of our professor. The experience was amazing and honestly just felt like a vacation with a bunch of friends! BUT WE LEARNED SO MUCH! We went to over 15 museums and cultural centers, celebrated with the locals at traditional ceremonies, and wrote a few papers about their amazing history and mythology.
Becuase this was a class from my university, the process was NOTHING compared to the traditional study abroad experience. All I had to do was enroll in the class and pay the travel fee! Easy peasy! Plus, the fee was pretty small because we were only traveling for two weeks .
Making The Most Of Your Study Abroad Experience
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Studying Abroad Is A Great Resume Booster
Similar to my last point, studying abroad is a great way to boost your resume and potential job prospects.
Every time I applied for a study abroad program or attended an informational session, there was one statement that was echoed: employers love when employees have studied abroad!
Study abroad experience shows that you are able to quickly adapt to new environments and situations, which is a highly sought-after quality in the professional world. Knowing a second language is another impressive skill that can be elevated when studying abroad.
Plus, gaining unique professional experience while abroad is a huge resume booster that will set you apart from other applicants!
Studying abroad is also a great way to connect with professors and mentors. All of my study abroad programs were taught by professors from my university.
I was able to make deeper connections than I would have in a traditional classroom, and those professors served as wonderful mentors for graduate school. They even wrote letters of recommendation when I applied for my Masters program!
Youll Have The Opportunity To Make New Friends From All Over The World
Making new friends is a huge pro of studying abroad. Thanks to my study abroad experiences, Ive made a few lifelong friends from all over the world.
Many study abroad programs involve being essentially an exchange student at a foreign university, meaning that youll be taking classes alongside local students. This is a great way to meet new people, as theres a decent chance that you wont know anyone else there!
All of my programs were official university-sponsored programs, meaning that I went abroad with fellow students and faculty from my school. For most of the programs, I didnt know any of the other students going, but I came home with a great group of friends.
I was also still able to meet locals one of the girls I went abroad with is now married to a guy she met in Dublin!
There are so many opportunities to make connections and meet new people while studying abroad, whether those people are locals in the destination youre studying or fellow students from your home school.
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Youll Have The Opportunity To Travel And See New Places
For as long as I can remember, Ive dreamed of seeing the world.
Before studying abroad, I was able to explore quite a bit of my home country, but I always longed for more.
After spending two weeks in Ireland, seeing everything from the Book of Kells to the Cliffs of Moher, I was hooked. Since, Ive had a craving for seeing the monuments, landmarks, historic artifacts, and natural beauties that I once dreamed of.
Thanks to studying abroad, Ive been able to explore the Old Town of Havana, Cuba, haggle at markets in Ecuador, explore the charming city of Dublin, climb the Great Wall of China, and so much more.
Im so grateful that studying abroad afforded me these opportunities. Also, thanks to getting out of my comfort zone, Ive explored even more places independently, like London, Paris, and Tokyo.
If you spend a longer amount of time abroad, like a full semester, youll have even more time for traveling and exploring! Many of my friends who spent semesters abroad traveled to a new place every weekend.
There are also programs like Semester at Sea that visit around a dozen countries over the semester, allowing you to experience a host of different places and cultures.
Enroll At A Language School Abroad
Whether you’re still enrolled in college, haven’t yet started, or graduated long ago, another way you can study abroad is by enrolling in a language school abroad.
This is a little different than studying abroad through a third-party provider, since many of those will include extras, like non-language courses, excursions, or set you up with a local university. Studying abroad with a language school is just that: you take language classes, possibly live with a host family or rent an apartment, and embark on a new linguistic journey.
Language schools are a popular option because they are often affordable, fun, and dont usually as much extra paperwork and applications as a traditional study abroad program.
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Apply To Schools That Support Athletes Studying Abroad
Many universities are acknowledging the value that study abroad has for their student-athletes and are making it more accessible. Some are even focusing on it, like Macalester College and NC State. Even the NCAA is getting on board. They report that more and more student-athletes are spending summers not only studying abroad but interning, volunteering, and working overseas, too.
So, if you know in the college application process that study abroad and keeping up with your athletics are important to you, research the schools you apply to and see how open they are to their athletes heading abroad. This may be the best bet to getting everything you wanted out of your college experience!
Do I Need To Apply For A Student Visa
Student visas are a big question for those who want to know how to study abroad, though not all international students will need one. If youre an EU citizen planning to study in another EU country, for instance, you dont need a visa.
However, as a rule of thumb, if you come from outside of your chosen countrys geographical region/continent, you will probably need to apply for a student visa. This usually only applies to longer periods of international study if youre participating in a shorter exchange, last three months or less, a tourist or visitor visa may suffice.
To find out for sure, check either with your chosen university or the government travel website of your country of study. For information on how to apply for a student visa, see the articles listed below.
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When Can I Start Applying For Study Abroad Programs
Considering your application as early as possible is the best way to go. After all, the sooner you gain acceptance into a university, the sooner you can arrange your travels. To avoid disappointment, note down all the relevant application deadlines in HUGE LETTERS on your calendar.
Application deadlines will be different depending on the school, but, for programs starting in the fall , applications will generally be open from early in the year until the middle of the year .