How to Choose Where to Study Abroad
The thought of traveling to another country to pursue your studies is an extremely exciting prospect. There are so many benefits to gain from such an experience, but needless to say, it also brings a lot of challenges. The world is vast and the options for education are practically infinite, so picking just a single course to study and deciding where to study can definitely be an overwhelming task.
To make the process easier, you need to break it down into several small steps. This will also give you a clear head and enable you to make wise and practical decisions instead of making up your mind based solely on impulse. So, if you are really determined to study abroad, here are the most important things that you need to do.
Pick a country
If you want to make the most of your studies abroad, you should be able to speak the language very well. If you are fluent only in English, there are several English-speaking countries that you can choose from. It would be a huge advantage if you are fluent in other languages as well, as this will give you more options. Then again, there are also a lot of foreign study programs that are taught in English even if it is not the native language in the country. You can also check out the top countries for studying abroad based on recent research.
Look at the available programs
There is no limit as to what kind of programs you can choose — it all really just depends on your preferences. Most students pick a program that aligns with their major so that they can use the credits towards graduation. Others choose a program based on their passion or interest, which is also a good thing. Such programs will broaden your intellectual horizon and give you an experience that will have a long-lasting impact on your life.
Decide on the length of your stay
Study abroad programs come in all forms. Some of them only last a couple of weeks or months, such as summer courses. These are the most affordable options. There are also more immersive programs that require you to stay abroad for three or four years. They are certainly more expensive, but also give you a richer experience that is way beyond academic learning.
Confirm the transferability of credits
From the get-go, you should verify whether the academic units that you can earn from a study abroad program can eventually be transferred to your university and credited for graduation. Of course, even if the credits are not transferred, it won’t be a complete waste of time as the experience itself would be invaluable. However, it would still be a pity if all the work you put in wasn’t counted towards your degree.
Check program reviews
After deciding on the things mentioned above, you might have already found some programs that interest you. Before you make your final decision, it might be a good idea to check the program reviews. Better yet, you can try to contact students who have gone on the same program before and ask them about their experiences. You can get more realistic program expectations from this feedback than from brochures and marketing materials for your study abroad program.
Some other factors to take into consideration when choosing where to study abroad are weather, cuisine, transportation, budget, and so on. The best way to approach this experience though is with an open mind. This will allow you to get a lot more out of the experience beyond just academic knowledge.