Studying abroad is a huge step forward in life. However, when you decide to choose a counsellor to guide you in this process, you are faced with a stark reality. Most admissions counsellors are just salesmen trying to sell you admissions to a university they’re partnered with. They lure students with discounts and free services while all the time, they’re selling their partner university’s courses. The cost of availing their services is sacrificing your preferences and ambitions and possibly getting in to a university that isn’t the right fit for you.
Study Abroad Programs are for experiential education. Picture the world as your classroom with each destination a new interactive textbook where instead of reading, you are experiencing history, art, culture, fashion, food and the arts in real-time! Maybe you have traveled overseas and had a taste of exploring a foreign city, a sandy beach, or a historical landmark. If you are looking for countries to study abroad and another opportunity to travel, to discover, learn, understand and connect with new people, studying abroad is a great option.
WHY STUDY ABROAD?
Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!
1. See the World:
The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world. By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation. In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London, Barcelona, and Rome.
Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home. You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.
3. Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres. You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.
4. Hone Your Language Skills
Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in. In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience.
5. Career Opportunities
When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers. Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country
6. Find New Interests
If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home. You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.
7. Make Lifelong Friends
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students. After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road. Check out all the different ways to keep in touch with your friends and family back home, and with your new friends from around the world.
8. Personal Development
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor. A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve. 9. Graduate School Admissions Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations. Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.
10. Life Experience Why study abroad?
For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity. Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.
STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS
Any hesitation about studying abroad is typically related to the cost. However, what most students don’t know is that they can actually apply their current on-campus financial aid package to their study abroad trip in addition to scholarships. In fact, for some students, particularly those who pay out-of-state-tuition, studying abroad can sometimes be cheaper than a traditional on-campus semester.
A study abroad scholarship is a monetary award for students to use toward the expenses of their program such as travel, course, credits, books and lodging. Students must apply for scholarships and some can be very competitive while others are underutilized. There are several types of study abroad scholarships to apply for such as:
Merit-based: These awards are based on a student’s academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant’s extracurricular activities and community service record. It’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.
Student-specific: These are scholarships for applicants who initially qualify based on factors such as gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.
Destination-specific: These are scholarships awarded by a country to students planning to pursue a study abroad program in that particular country. They are awarded as an incentive to study in that country instead of elsewhere. Check with government-sponsored travel websites of the country where you wish to study to see what scholarships are available.
Program-specific: Program-specific scholarships are offered by individual study abroad programs and/or the colleges and universities where they may be associated to qualified applicants. These scholarship are often given on the basis of academic and personal achievement, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship. Check with your study abroad program and university to see what scholarships are available.
Subject-specific:Subject-specific scholarships are awarded by study abroad programs or institutions to students based on their particular major or field of study. These scholarships may require the recipients to enroll in subject-specific courses while abroad or conduct subject-specific research while abroad, but it’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on each scholarship.
BENEFITS OF STUDYING ONLINE
Some courses may require students to be online at a specific time for a class or interaction with an instructor, but this is fairly rare. For the most part, online courses allow you to log into the course material whenever it suits your schedule. While there are deadlines for homework and other assignments, the flexible schedule provided by online courses allows you to balance school with your other responsibilities, such as work or family life.
The number of online schools in existence grows every year. This means that you can shop around for the program that is the best fit for you, whether you are looking for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, certificate, or even doctorate degree. Given the growing number of traditional institutions that now offer online programs, you can also choose a hybrid (online and in-person) program.