There’s a big world out there. Some students crave adventure and seek out the experience of meeting new people, learning new languages or cultures, and making life-changing memories that will change the course of their future. But where do you begin? Read on to find out some top tips about studying abroad and the reasons why you should take the first step and apply to study abroad today.
Plan and prepare
Studying abroad takes a lot of planning and preparation, so the moment you decide you want to study abroad, start your research. Look at different places that interest you and be sure to talk to your university advisors about the process of studying in another country. There are many things that you need to know before you book that plane ticket. It’s recommended that you start planning for your study abroad placement six months before you want to do it.
During your summer break, look up some of the study abroad opportunities that your university offers and note down what you want to learn from the experience, this will help you narrow down your search. There are many things you need to add to your to-do list including obtaining a student visa, finding accommodation, and booking a flight.
Save plenty of money
Studying abroad can be expensive, so the earlier you start saving money, the better! Once you have decided on somewhere to study, you should apply for any bursaries, grants, or scholarships available and put some money away specifically for your food, activities, and travel. A great way to save to study abroad is to do some work over the summer including babysitting, tutoring, bartending, or selling stuff you don’t need to raise the cash needed.
Learn the language
One of the most enriching parts of studying abroad is learning about a new country, its language, its customs, and culture. If you want to get the most out of your study abroad experience, go to a non-English speaking country or a country that is vastly different from your own. Some study abroad programs offer language courses for beginners, or you could also brush up on the basics yourself before you travel there. Staying with a local family in a homestay is also a great way to experience the culture of your chosen country and you will pick up the language much faster this way.
Meet new people
Moving to another country to study can feel like a lonely experience. It’s a good idea to make friends before you arrive, find out what other students from your university are on the same study abroad program as you, and check out Facebook to see if any study abroad groups have been created. There will also be many opportunities to meet new friends when you get there. Be confident and learn the ways of the locals and you will make friends in no time.
Have an open mind
While studying abroad, wake up every day with an open mind and be thankful for the experience. Travel teaches us valuable lessons that change the way we perceive and live in the world, grab every opportunity with both hands and be committed to making it the best time of your life.
Stick to a budget
Don’t blow your entire budget early in your trip, you don’t want to be in a bad financial situation because it will make your experience stressful and you want to relax and enjoy yourself. You should also research the debit and credit card options you have for emergencies when you are away. If you need some advice on money management or money matters abroad, ask your university to guide you in the right direction.
Capture your memories
Have fun! Take pictures and videos and embrace every moment of your time studying abroad. It might be a good idea to create a scrapbook of your study abroad experience so you can reflect on your memories for years to come.