Applying to Study Abroad? Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one which many college students undertake to expand their knowledge and worldview.
According to recent statistics, around one in every ten undergraduate students travel abroad to study at some point in their academic career. If you are thinking of doing so yourself, here are some key things for you to think about before you start applying.
Applying to Study Abroad? Consider These 4 Things
- The Institution
- Language and Culture
As exciting as traveling abroad to study can be, your education nonetheless needs to remain a priority. As such, your first and foremost concern should be the quality of the academic institution at which you would be studying.
Is the university you are considering renowned in any way? Is it directly partnered with other institutions, and are its academics known in their field?
There is also a likelihood that certain departments in a university are more accoladed than others.
In short, you should endeavor to research the history and accomplishments of the institution before you give a portion of your academic career to it.
Language and Culture
The next consideration for you to make relates to the location itself. It is very easy to get swept up in the excitement of studying abroad, but you need to ensure that you are able to excel in your country of choice.
Firstly, will there be a language barrier, either academically or on a wider level? If you do not speak the native language of your proposed destination country, you may find yourself struggling.
Secondly, you should take some time to think about the culture of your potential destination country.
Culture shock is a real phenomenon and one which can exact a heavy toll on your academic and personal development. Will you be comfortable immersing yourself in a new culture while studying?
There is also the not-insignificant challenge of moving your life to another country for a year or more of study. You will need to organize accommodation and travel, as well as the delivery of your belongings from A to B.
For example, if you’re crossing the Atlantic for a year of study in an English university, you will need to consider shipping your belongings from the USA to the UK via a reputable carrier.
There is also the matter of legality. Will you require a visa to travel to, and study in, your chosen country?
Not only do these require time to plan and procure, but also money; you should budget your trip carefully before you commit.
On a final note, there is a simple question you should ask yourself before you begin applying for institutions: are you ready to live abroad?
You can be as prepared as possible for a stint abroad, but still not ‘ready’.
Homesickness can spell the end of promising academic progression if not countered properly – and be a costly end at that.
You should ensure that you’ll be happy and comfortable fully immersing yourself before you leave.