10 Ways To Study Abroad

Students in high school and college are more eager to study abroad than ever before. This is due to the abundance of information on the Internet, and to social media's tendency to inspire #travel goals. With the abundance of resources, however, comes information overload. There is more than one way to study abroad.

Your school may be known for having a great exchange program. You may have met someone who loved a company specializing in immersive experiences. Maybe someone you follow shared an inspiring account of their experience studying abroad and you know that you have to do it for yourself.

The Student Helpline has sifted the digital clutter and reviewed the top ways to study abroad, and how to start. You'll no longer be worried about "How?" but more interested in "When!" Here are 10 ways you can study abroad in a new country and have a great time.

1. Booking A Program To Study Abroad Through Your University

Students typically study abroad via their college or university. Studying abroad credits can be the easiest way to book an international program.

Study abroad programs may manage visas, housing, and other logistics. Housing is another important factor. Did you know that for many students, studying abroad can be cheaper than staying on campus?

If you're interested in learning more about the study abroad programs offered by your school, contact your campus program counselor or visit their online study abroad portal.

2. Find Study Abroad Opportunities Through A Third-party Provider

Not all university study abroad programs are the same, just as not all schools have the same focus or dates. Don't assume that because your university does not offer a study abroad program with the dates, location, or focus you want, you aren't destined to go abroad.

Many companies in the education industry help students to spend a summer, a year or whichever period they choose abroad, regardless of their major or school. They are known as "third-party provider" companies and specialize in matching students to study abroad programs all over the world. There is almost always a fee associated with their services.

If your university has few options for study abroad, it may have established relationships with some program providers. This means that your credits can be transferred easily. Ask your academic adviser or the study abroad office to make recommendations. You can begin your search by searching The Student Helpline if your school does not have established relationships.

3. Directly Enroll With An Overseas University

Directly enrolling at a university abroad is another way of studying abroad that not many students consider. You can enroll directly at a foreign university for a full degree, a semester or a year rather than through an organized program run by your home school.

You may be surprised to learn that you can go to school in another country, even if you are not a native of the place. Many colleges and universities in other countries welcome international students. Direct enrollment has many benefits, and this is just one.

Note that you will need to have a good command of the language of the country you are applying for. We've compiled a list with international universities who teach in English. If you want to finish your degree at home, make sure that the credits from your international university are transferable.

4. Take A Global Independent Study

You're working on a large project or paper in your major, but the programs that you researched for study abroad seem too generic. This project could be crucial to your future academic and professional career. This might sound like you. A global independent study abroad could be the perfect solution.

Students usually create and complete an independent study under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Brown University, for example, has a great system on its website that helps students complete the requirements of independent study.

These types of study abroad programs are similar to those you can book through your school. You'll need to contact a professor, an academic advisor, and the study abroad office. However, they differ in their size, requirements, and focus.

5. Add Field Research To Your Education By Going Abroad

You love hands-on learning and you can't imagine sitting in a classroom again (even in another country). You can study abroad in a way that suits you.

Field research offers a different type of immersive experience to students interested in studying abroad. The field experience is still worthwhile, even if it does not provide as many academic credits as class-based study.

You can choose programs that get you dirty digging in an archeological site or diving off the coasts of Malaysia for marine research. There's a program to suit your needs, no matter what it is.

6. Earn School Credits By Working As An Intern

You can still earn school credit for your internship abroad before you graduate.

Many companies offer internships only to those who are eligible for academic credit. In addition, many universities require internship credits to graduate.

They may not be paid, but these pre-entry jobs offer an abundance of learning opportunities and meet academic requirements. Be sure to pre-approve your internship program to ensure that the hours and type of internship meet your home school's credit requirements.

7. Student Exchanges Are A Great Way To Study Abroad

Ever thought about swapping places with a foreign student to experience a semester or yearly in their shoes? You're in luck because it's a real thing!

Student exchange programs are often facilitated by "sister schools" or schools with established relationships abroad. They accept an exchange student from another country, but only if the international school accepts you in return. After both of you finish your semester or school year, you will switch back.

Most student exchange programs take place in universities, but they are also available to high school students. High school exchange programs are usually shorter in duration and include cultural immersion as well as language learning.

8. Study Abroad Programs For High School Students Are A Great Way To Start Early

Going abroad during high school can be a great way to start your studies abroad experience if an exchange program is not an option.

High school study abroad is becoming more popular among graduating seniors. It has now overtaken college-level studies. You can start your international education in high school. You can make connections that you will use for college or career. And you will gain a new perspective on life.

The full year can be spent on high school study abroad. Start by browsing hundreds of high-school study abroad programs on The Student Helpline, rated and reviewed by students.

9. Study Abroad With The Support Of The Federal Government

Did you know that the Department of State, as well as federal agencies, fund study abroad programs for students of any age? You can apply to these programs whether you are in K-12, college or university.

Students in high school can apply for year-round and summer scholarships based on merit, and participate in language programs like the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange or National Security Language Initiative for Youth. Students in undergraduate and graduate programs can apply for need-based and merit scholarships, as well as teaching assistantships, language study, field research assistance, and other benefits.

Find out more about the study and research opportunities abroad that are supported by the U.S. Department of State on their website.

10. Join A Language Course Abroad

Enrolling in a foreign language school is another option for those who have graduated or are still in college.

It's a bit different from studying abroad with a third-party provider. They often include extras like excursions or non-language classes, and may even connect you to a local institution. The study abroad program at a language institute is exactly that: You take language classes and may live with a family host or rent an apartment.

The main reasons why language schools are popular are that they are affordable, enjoyable, and require less paperwork than traditional study abroad programs.

Bonus: Study Abroad Virtually

The Student Helpline is not always an option. It could be that your schedule is too busy, your budget is tight, or there's a global pandemic preventing international travel. (We see you, Coronavirus). It doesn't necessarily mean "studying overseas" is out of the question.

Virtual study abroad has become a trend thanks to new technologies in distance learning. Enrolling in a virtual program allows you to broaden your horizons and make new international connections. You can also grow your global network and learn a language and culture from the comfort of your couch. Virtual study abroad may not be for everyone, but it is an excellent alternative if you can't do traditional study abroad. Plus, the costs are often much lower!

Are You Ready To Travel Abroad?

There is no best way to study overseas. What works for one student might not work for another. Review your options and evaluate your budget, financial aid, and goals to determine the best study abroad program.


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