Skipping class is even more fun on the other side of the world
Have you always wanted to get out and see the world? Your college years may be your best chance to do it. After you graduate, you may find yourself tied down with a career and a family. A semester abroad can change your life - just ask anyone who has done it. They’ll surely tell you that you’ll come back from your time overseas as a different person, with a much richer perspective of the world.
Why Study Abroad?
Going abroad for your studies is one of the most important decisions you can make during your college years. If you’re torn about whether you should go for it, consider these benefits:
- Personal growth. When you’re abroad, you’ll not only be learning in the classroom, but you’ll also be learning about the world. You’ll live your life immersed in another culture. You’ll make friends who will open up your eyes to a new way of looking at the world.
- Language acquisition. Fully immersed in a language, you’ll find that you learn it much faster than you ever could have imagined. What environment could be better suited to language acquisition than an entire country that speaks it fluently?
- Resumé enhancement. As the economy goes global, more and more companies are looking for employees who are bilingual and who have life experience at the global level.
Before You Leave
Deciding to study abroad is just the beginning of your adventure. Ahead of you lies a wealth of exciting new experiences but also a lot of hard work. Before you head abroad, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of, such as:
- Budget. Traveling abroad is really expensive - can you afford it? Talk to a financial advisor about getting a student loan, scholarship or grant. You might also want to make an appointment with the Bank of Mom and Dad. Make sure they understand that you can’t put a monetary value on the kind of experiences you’ll have abroad. If all else fails, beg!
- Course credit. It’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to earn credits that you can transfer towards your degree program while you’re overseas, so you should plan on talking to both an academic advisor at your college and a representative from your host school. You’ll probably have to take some electives, but try to take courses that are relevant to your major.
- Accommodations. Some study-abroad programs provide students with housing, but many don’t. You’ll have to decide whether you want to find a place to live before you travel overseas or once you get there. Check if your host school offers any assistance to foreign students.
- Travel documents. If you don’t have a passport, and also possibly a visa, you’re not going anywhere. Applying for travel documents can be a long process, so get started with lots of time to spare.