Studying abroad is once-in-a-lifetime experience and those amongst us lucky enough to have the chance to do it often have an incredible time and amazing stories to share. However, it is a huge step, and with any big step, there are a lot of things to think about.
Although I’m sure you’ve been inundated with stuff to take into consideration by your parents, let’s make it a little easier by cutting it down into categories so you can make an informed decision by yourself.
A main concern you may have when going away even for a holiday let alone studying abroad is the cost. However, it’s becoming such a common option now for so many students across the globe that it is being made much more accessible in terms of financial support.
There’s a whole finance section on the UK Council for International Students website that offers loads of help and useful info. If you’re studying something really specific, you could even look into things like paid scholarships abroad, which your college should be able to help you with too.
Explore and research well on the scholarship possibilities and you’ll be surprised to find some good opportunities that might lessen the load of tuition on your parents or loans.
Whether you’re looking for student accommodation in London or accommodation in Los Angeles, it’s really important to do loads of research to see what sort of options are available in your chosen destination, especially to ensure you get a rough idea of what you can afford.
It’s worth looking into accommodation regulations and rules for students in your destination too as some places may have different rules when it comes to things like different genders sharing, for example. You need to think about how comfortable you would be with the set-ups available to you and if it’s something you would enjoy realistically.
Courses and job opportunities
University is obviously first and foremost there to help us advance our skills and employability and therefore the actual course needs to appeal to you, as well as the actual university. After all, you could be in your dream location, but if you’re doing something you have no interest in it won’t be as idyllic as you firs thought.
Some courses will be globally available to study, such as English and maths, yet they may differ significantly. Also, it’s worth remembering that you may have to go abroad to study certain subjects, or to get the best course available for your subject. You should check out job opportunities in your chosen country and from your chosen degree, too.
The most important thing to think about is whether you are personally physically and mentally ready for such a drastic change to your life. It is a fantastic and unbeatable opportunity in 9 times out of 10 cases, but you also need to think about whether you would be prepared if things weren’t 100% perfect. When you enter an unknown territory prepared, there are fewer things to fear. Having a positive and pleasant experience always comes with proper planning and preparedness. One of the easiest away to achieve this is to conduct some informational interviews with someone you know or ask for reference from someone in your network who has recently gone abroad for higher education. Don’t hesitate to ask, the more you ask the more you’ll know and the more you can be prepared to what lies ahead.
It takes some guts and strength to go out and face the world alone in an unknown place, but just remember when you’re ready to be away from your home, family and friends, and ready to embark on the trip to a new career …go for it!