Like any experience in life which helps you to grow and develop as an individual, studying abroad can be both exciting and challenging. Since there is so much choice involved when it comes to studying abroad such as which country and university to study at, which subjects to choose, and whether to do all or part of your degree abroad, even the most experienced and organised of students can find themselves lost in a sea of options, with thousands of unanswered questions. This is why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get started on making the right decisions for your amazing overseas learning experience.
Do Your Research
When you choose to study abroad, it’s likely that you’ll already have an idea in mind of the country and location where you would like to carry out your studies. When you have made your choice, it’s essential that you don’t only research the university itself – you should also look at the local area where you will be living and check for important information such as crime rates, healthcare and the spoken language to name just a few. As a general rule, the more knowledge that you can gather about your chosen location, the better. If possible, you might even want to fly out and visit so that you can get a real feel for the area before you begin your course.
Funding for international students is often different to the type of funding you would receive at home. If you are studying abroad as part of a degree that you are carrying out at home, you may be able to receive funding from your home university for the duration of your overseas attendance. Certain countries offer tuition very cheaply or even free of charge, and other universities may offer funding option such as loans, financial aid and grants for international students. Alternatively, if you excel in a certain subject or even a sport, you may be able to apply for a scholarship. Find more information about USA sports scholarships here.
Plan Your Travel
Depending on the country you plan to visit in order to study, you may or may not need to apply for a student visa. Your student visa will allow you to reside in the country for the duration of your tuition, and in some cases may also allow you to work part-time in order to help finance your studies and your lifestyle. You should be well prepared ahead of time when it comes to your travel plans – student visas will need to be applied for months in advance, and you’ll also need to ensure that your passport is up-to-date and not due to run out during the time of your stay. You should also ensure that you have all of the supporting documentation required by the university for international study.
Have you got any tips for students looking to take their studies abroad? I’d love to hear from you – let me know in the comments.