Studying abroad is an amazing experience. It not only serves as a great way to learn about new cultures and languages, but it also opens up opportunities for you in the future that would have been unreachable otherwise. However, moving overseas to study can be a little daunting at first, as there are many things to consider before deciding on where and what to study.
Do Your Research
Before making any decisions, it’s important to do your research and ask yourself some key questions about what you hope to get out of your study abroad experience. For example, what type of program are you interested in? How much can you afford to spend? Where would you like to go? What kind of visa do you need, like an f1 visa for the USA? By taking the time to answer these questions, you’ll be able to find the perfect program for you.
Get Connected With Other Students Studying Abroad
One of the best ways to make the most out of your study abroad experience is by getting connected with other students who are also studying overseas. This can be done through social media groups, study abroad support groups and on-campus resources. Connecting with other students who are also studying overseas can help you stay motivated while away from home, as well as make the transition a little easier by sharing tips on how to navigate your new city or country of choice.
Is Your Program Approved For Credit At Your School?
Ensuring that the study abroad program you’re interested in has been accredited by an organization such as ACCET or NACES will allow you to receive transferable credits. So, when you return back to college after going abroad, all of those hours spent learning about another culture won’t have gone completely wasted. This way, if there’s a gap between leaving home and returning, you’ll have something to fill that time with.
It’s human nature to want what we can’t have, but when it comes to studying abroad, don’t limit yourself by thinking only the most popular cities are worth visiting. Some of the world’s best-hidden gems are tucked away in smaller towns or more remote areas, so instead of planning your entire trip around Europe, for example (which is awesome too!), think outside the box a little bit and see how many cool places there really are out there waiting to be discovered. You might even end up finding someplace new that becomes one of your favorite destinations ever.
Start Saving Money Now
One of the most important things to do before going abroad is start saving money. As with any trip, studying abroad comes with its fair share of expenses, so it’s important to plan ahead and save up as much as you can for your program to ensure that not only does the experience meet or exceed all expectations but that there are no unexpected surprises along the way either.
Make A Packing List
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s always important to be as organized as possible when traveling, especially if you’re going overseas. Not only will this make packing much less stressful once the time comes, but it’ll also help you avoid forgetting any of your essential items while on the go. There are definitely some things you’ll want to have with you during your study abroad experience that just can’t be bought at a local store.
Learn The Basics Of The Language
Even if you’re not planning on becoming fluent in the local language while studying abroad, it’s always a good idea to learn some key phrases and words before arriving. This will make navigating your new surroundings much easier (not to mention impressing any locals you might meet along the way) and can help to make your overall experience that much more enjoyable. Who knows, maybe by the end of your stay, you’ll have picked up enough of the language to hold a basic conversation – bonus points for you!