Life is about opportunities remember the ones you passed up? And once they’re gone, there’s no turning back the clock. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, stop thinking and do it.
Studying abroad is something all college students hear about at some point.
What decides which students take the plunge, and which students wake up the morning of graduation regretting the opportunities that passed them by?
Only one person can decide that they want to pack up their stuff and spend a whole semester living in a foreign country, meeting new people and seeing things they never even imagined. But once you’ve decided you want to go, how do you get to the point of jumping in an airplane and beginning an adventure of a lifetime?
The first step is choosing a study abroad program where are you going and what agency can help you get there?
The place you’ll want to start is your school. If you have an extended studies center (or something similar), that’s probably your best bet. Otherwise, walk into any office and tell them you want to study abroad. They’ll know where to send you.
Now, you’re in contact with whoever is in charge of extended studies, and you should have all the preliminary info you need.
Step two is deciding if you want to opt for one of the exchange programs offered through your school, or if you will be going through a third party agency.
Smaller schools might not offer much that is ran directly through the school, but they’ll know which agencies they work best with, and can point you to somewhere that guarantees transfer credits.
If possible, you want to go through your school. This is usually the best route for a few reasons.
- You will be certain to get credit for your studies. It would be terrible to spend a whole semester abroad and end up with no credit for it.
- Sometimes third parties aren’t accredited, so be careful.
- Going through your school is usually the cheapest method. Often, your normal tuition will cover your tuition abroad, leaving you with only travel and cost of living to pay for yourself.
Third parties also offer some benefits, though. If your school doesn’t offer your preferred destination, check with a third party. Through third parties, you can basically find a program in any country that is a reasonable study destination. Just be careful that your school will accept the credits, that the agency is notable, and be warned it might cost a little more.
Whichever route you choose, do not forget one of the most important aspects, that is, language.
No matter where you go, you need to make sure you can communicate with the people around you, and also find out what language classes will be taught in. If your skills aren’t fully developed in a particular language, it can be extremely difficult to do well in a class taught in that language.
Many programs offer classes taught in English, even if the people there don’t speak much of it. If this is the case, you’ll want to brush up on the native language so you can get by at the grocery store and other places where you’ll need some basic skills.
Choosing your program can be tough, but with a little help, it shouldn’t be bad at all.
The hardest decision to make is the first one, the decision to actually go. Once you’ve made this life-changing choice, simply getting in contact with the right person at your school will take you all the way to the airplane bound for your favorite country.
If you’re still considering studying abroad, just do it. Once you make that decision, you’re basically there.