6 Important Things to Consider Before Studying Abroad

6 Important Things to Consider Before Studying Abroad
  • Opening Intro -

    The decisions you make regarding your college education could be ones that could literally shape the rest of your adult life.

    As such, you should consider every possibility very seriously.

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One of these questions you may be considering is whether you should study abroad. This is not necessarily an easy question to answer. There are many different factors you must weigh.

Below are six things to consider before studying abroad.

1. Why Are You Studying Abroad?

Studying abroad is somewhat of a clich√©. You may have heard that people tend to do it for a “one in a lifetime experience.” The truth is that isn’t perfect enough of a rationale.

If you just want to travel somewhere for an extended period of time, you can certainly do that anytime you have the money for that kind of vacation. Instead, your goals should be more academic in nature.

If there isn’t a specific degree program that could greatly benefit your career overseas in a particular country, there is no reason to go there as a student.

2. The Language Barrier

While it may be fun to explore a new culture by studying in a new country, the culture shock of not being able to easily communicate or even decipher signs may be too much for you if you don’t already understand the language. Overall, it may be a poor choice to study in a place where English is not widely used.

If you have studied a language in high school and actually have some proficiency, you may be able to better deal with the challenge. Otherwise, you may want to study in Canada or England, where English is the predominant language.

3. Your Financial Resources

Studying abroad is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Most countries charge a lot more for foreign students than they do for their own citizens. With this in mind, you have to consider the cost in question.

For one, do you have access to scholarships that can help pay for your tuition, room, and board? Could you possibly get funded by a future employer?

Is there some other program you can use to help lower the cost? If not, you better be independently wealthy because studying overseas is expensive. Well over 90 million Americans have had student debt. Don’t take on more than you need.

4. Your Support System

When you study in your own country, you still have the ability to contact your parents if you need help with something. While you may not lose that communication, it will be very hard for them to help when you are on another continent.

Overall, you must consider the kind of support system you will have access to while overseas because you will not have access to your family, friends, doctors, and more.

Consider who you would go to for help in regard to issues you may experience overseas, and whether the degree program you are applying for takes such factors into consideration.

5. Your Legal Status in That Country

Just because you want to study somewhere does not mean you have the legal ability to do so. Moving to another country for any purpose can be an incredibly complex and meticulous process.

For one, you certainly need a valid passport. Second, you need a valid student visa for that country specifically. Each country has different visa requirements.

You must make sure all the valid paperwork has been filed. Double and triple-check to make sure everything is in order many months before you plan to start your studies.

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6. Will Your Credits Count?

If you are choosing to implement a study abroad program through a US university system for only a few semesters, you have to be careful about the classes you choose to complete. In certain cases, the classes you choose may not be accepted as credits at your home university.

That would, of course, end up being a huge waste of time and money. Instead, work closely with advisors at your home university in regards to choosing where to study and what classes to complete.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, studying abroad is a huge decision. You shouldn’t make it lightly. There are many factors to consider. In fact, some of those factors may make your ability to study where you want extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Don’t rush through the process. Do your research.

Image Credit: things to consider before studying abroad by twenty20.com

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