Almost every student around the world has considered the idea of traveling abroad for studies at least once in their life. It’s completely understandable: international students meet new people, visit places they’ve never been and have unique and authentic experiences. But many people are afraid of choosing the wrong destination or ending up in a place that is not suitable for them. One person can’t figure out what to eat for dinner, the second can’t find a trustworthy essay writing service, and the third is bad at selecting an international learning program.
To help you solve this problem, we have completed this short guide to choosing a study abroad program that is right for you.
Identify your needs first.
hen you begin your journey, think of whatever you want. How do you imagine the study abroad program?
- Destination. Once you think of a place to visit, you certainly imagine a place where you will spend a lot of time. So think about it: do you want to visit an old town with its beautifully preserved castles or do you expect to see wild and unknown places on a remote island? These choices reflect your personality, so it’s important to take them into account if you want to feel comfortable.
- Program time. When choosing a study abroad program, consider how much time you have. Do you want to graduate in another country or are you interested in a short-term option? Remember that family and professional obligations and relationships are important, and if you don’t feel ready to leave your home country for long, choose a summer program or a short exchange trip.
- Degree or subject of study. Everyone knows that students expect to have fun in such programs, but learning is also crucial. Think about whether you have a particular major or at least a general area to focus on. Don’t just go for college or university: you have to invest well in your future.
- Type of learning. Many people are unaware of this fact, but some would be interested in volunteering or providing hands-on assistance to their new communities while others hope to focus on the resources of the country to become a better scientist or essay writer in anthropology. Are you an outdoor enthusiast or a home lover? Do you want to socialize a lot or do you prefer solitude? Some programs require you to participate a lot in teams, while others give you a hand in your solitary searches.
Do your research thoroughly
Once you’ve identified the most important features, start looking for a program that meets your criteria. Although there are thousands of options to choose from, pay close attention to the search process. Some websites where you can research study abroad options are DiversityAbroad, StudyAbroad, and GoAbroad. If you are interested in a particular university or country, check the official websites for information on learning suggestions and what is needed to apply. Compile a list of variants and read reviews. Fortunately, the Internet has many websites where students can share their experiences while participating in a study program. Read what they mention: was the quality of education satisfactory? Have learners received qualified help in writing articles from top writing services? Read about dormitories or other living conditions.
A great option would be to find students who could answer a few questions, either through the organization’s channel or through social media (if those people have provided their contact details for this). It’s always better to have an honest and unofficial version of the real experiences of others. Write down everything carefully and cross out the programs you don’t like. Do not delete options that did not suit you. Put them in a different document file and write down why they weren’t good in case you change your mind later. Then, start narrowing down your choices.
Once you have a smaller number of alternatives, start researching the documents needed to enter the country and the means of transport available. Analyze if getting to a particular place is too difficult and ask yourself if you are ready for it. Likewise, if the country you are interested in requires the documents you do not have or has very specific requirements to enter the state, analyze them. If it’s your first time traveling, maybe consider finding a place familiar to foreign students. Prepare your documentation kit and files with all the information for each particular program. This will greatly help you not to get lost.
Crucial factors to keep in mind
It is important to compromise to maximize your global opportunities. We can’t be picky about every little detail: international studies are about helping people overcome certain obstacles. But there are some things we strongly suggest you don’t ignore.
- Language options. Many people travel abroad to learn new language skills, but if the country you intend to visit does not speak English or any other language you know, you may find yourself lost even in the tasks basic. And if you get lost in a town or city, it can get dangerous. Always find out if members of the organization speak your language.
- Financial aid. If you cannot afford to travel or study abroad, many universities or small local communities offer partial or full scholarships or other types of financial support. However, if the price of the program is too high and you cannot afford it, it is better to find something else. There are options for every budget, but there’s nothing worse than being in a foreign country with no money.
- Support and advice. Usually, it is the willingness of organizations to support students that makes the experience the most promising. So pay attention to reviews and analyze how quickly your future mentors respond to your emails and calls. If you’re not getting answers and plans are constantly changing, chances are you’re not happy with how everything is planned.
- Security. If you see that the destination country is potentially dangerous, do not ignore this factor. This includes weather conditions that make travel or living problematic. At the same time, if you know that the state you are visiting is facing several military or political conflicts, try to evaluate your options.
Excellent studies with better preparation
Now you know what to take seriously when choosing a study abroad program. It may seem too complicated, but you care about yourself and your own comfort. The better you prepare, the less likely you are to feel stressed. Remember: this is the time of your life, so don’t miss it and start planning your dream trip!
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