Study Abroad

This guide answers some frequently asked questions about studying abroad in college. This guide provides answers to some frequently asked questions about college study abroad.

You may have fantasized about discussing Plato and Homer in Greece on the ancient acropolis or reading great Romantic poetry in England's Lake District. You might prefer to wake up in Australia and study marine wildlife, or learn about ecology in Costa Rica.

You should study abroad if the idea of learning and living in a foreign country appeals to you. Many students are afraid to take this chance, either because of the costs or fearing navigating life in a new place.

International programs may be more affordable than what you imagine. Studying abroad is a great way to deepen your knowledge and learn more about yourself.

Why study abroad? What is the cost of studying abroad? Why is it important to study abroad? Continue reading to find out more.

What Is "Study Abroad?"

Studying abroad is an opportunity to continue your college education in a different country. Students can attend lectures at a foreign institution or do research through the study-abroad programs of their home universities. Participants usually live in a dormitory, an apartment or with a family from the locality through a homestay. Some students choose to enroll in an overseas program for a term or year. Others decide to earn their degree in another country.

What Are The Different Types Of Programs?

There are many types of study abroad programs. Choose the program that suits your goals and interests. Here are some of the most popular types.


Many American colleges and Universities offer a wide range of study abroad programs. They have agreements with universities abroad that allow American students to enroll or they run their own study-abroad centers in the host countries. In some cases, universities provide a schedule of classes, while in others, students must create their own. The professors must approve these courses for the student to be able to transfer their international credits back to his or her home university.

These experiences usually include group travel and prearranged housing. Sometimes professors from the U.S. teach English in countries that speak a foreign language. Students can also enroll in courses taught by non-English speakers if they want to learn another language.

Third-Party Programs

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIE) and IES Abroad provide a variety of programs to college students. The experiences are typically structured so that students attend required courses, and then stick together with their cohort to experience cultural activities and weekend excursions. The programs usually cover the costs of accommodation and many other daily expenses.

Direct Enrollment

Students can also integrate themselves more deeply into their home culture by taking advantage of other opportunities. Students take classes with other students in the host country. They can either learn a language in English or a foreign one if they are in England or Australia. They also have to coordinate their finances and housing. This is the route taken by students who want to complete their degree at a foreign institution. However, they can also enroll for a year or a semester.

Unique Experiences

You can also find experiences that do not fit into the categories above. Some programs, for example, take students on cruise ships, where they can attend classes and explore different countries. Students can apply for work experience, internships, or research funding overseas.

Why Study Abroad In The Uk?

Every student has a different reason for wanting to study abroad. You will be told by your college counselor that studying abroad is a great way to enhance your resume. This is true. Your Instagram might make you feel excited at the thought of having a travel guidebook-style Instagram. Few people would turn down the chance to taste authentic, delicious foods such as Spanish chorizo and Italian risotto. Why you should study abroad goes beyond the food, photos or a nice line in your resume. It's about discovering yourself.

Five Reasons To Study Abroad

  • Broaden Your Horizons: Living abroad exposes you to unfamiliar customs and cultures. You can gain a new perspective on the world by learning how others see it.
  • Learn A Language Quickly: It takes a lot of time and effort to become fluent. Fluency is achieved by immersing yourself in the language as much as you can. You can improve your language skills by studying abroad.
  • Form Friendships Around The World: Many universities have active international student groups, so you will meet people from all over. The friendships that you form during your college days can last a lifetime.
  • Learn About Your Heritage: Are you curious about the past of your family? Studying abroad is a good way to learn more. Study the language and learn where you're from. You might even find distant relatives.
  • Set Yourself A Challenge: Instead of taking a vacation, you should study abroad. It's not easy, but it is necessary to grow. You'll thrive before you even return to the United States if you make a commitment.

What You Should Know Before Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be a completely different experience, even if you have traveled abroad before. This is partly due to pesky practical issues, such as obtaining a visa for students. Prepare yourself for the emotional aspects of studying abroad. You may experience a rollercoaster ride from excitement to homesickness.

Adapting To New Cultures

Instagram pictures can make it seem as if studying abroad is a wonderful adventure. The experience is not without its challenges. Many students start out with excitement, but this can quickly turn to anxiety and homesickness. Culture shock can be intimidating.

What can you do to deal with these feelings? To beat homesickness, get involved at your host institution. Most universities host events for new or international students. In England, social activities such as "Fresher’s Week" are held at the beginning of the school year to help students get to know one another. Look for expat or international groups on Facebook that often host regular events. You won't have time to sit in your dorm and mope around.

Even if you are not studying a language, you can still learn a few phrases and words if you find yourself in a foreign country. Locals often appreciate foreigners who make an effort to learn the language. This can help you blend into the culture faster. Get to know your city by going for walks and chatting with the baristas in the coffee shop next door. You might find it strange at first but you will soon know your new city as well as your old neighborhood. Culture shock will not be an issue.

How To Pay For Your Studies?

What is the cost of studying abroad? It depends on the program. The cost of tuition can be as high or higher than in the United States, and students must also pay for their plane tickets. There are ways to reduce these costs.

Check with your university or college to see if you are eligible for funding. Check if you have any scholarships that apply to your experience studying abroad. You might be able to get special funding for studying abroad through your school. Check the financial aid options of any third-party programs you enroll in.

Then, search for scholarships outside of the university. Many well-known scholarship programs offer hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in tuition money. The Fund for Education Abroad, for example, offers scholarships for first-generation students, minorities and community college learners. The U.S. Department of State provides the Gilman Scholarship which can provide up to $5,000 in financial aid to students who need it. You can also find other scholarships by doing some research.

You may want to consider enrolling in a foreign institution. Some countries provide free tuition or offer very low rates. Students in Germany, Iceland and Norway can enroll at universities for free. In Austria, Greece and Hungary, students can attend college for around 1,500 euros per year.

Nuts And Bolts

It is true that studying abroad can be exciting. Before you get on the plane, it's important to finish the tedious paperwork. Check your specific program's requirements. Each experience is different. Here's what to expect in general:

  • Apply for a passport if you do not have one. It is required to leave the U.S.
  • You will also need to obtain a visa for your chosen country. It usually involves completing an application form and gathering the relevant documents.
  • It may be necessary to purchase round-trip tickets in advance to prove to the host nation that you will not exceed your visa limits.
  • Some countries require that you also keep a record of your health and immunizations.

Remember to also consider the other factors. Check how your insurance policy works overseas and whether you have international roaming charges covered by your phone plan. You will need to look for a place to stay if your study abroad program does not cover housing.

Remember: Some countries require special instructions to enter the country with a student visa. For entry, you may need a letter of acceptance from your host school or study abroad program. Check any rules and regulations and make sure you have the necessary documents in your carry-on luggage.

Does Studying Abroad Make Sense?

Yes, for many students.

A study by Florida State University revealed that studying abroad helps students to appreciate other cultures, better understand themselves and form deep friendships. Study-abroad companies have also conducted research that shows study-abroad graduates can take advantage of their global cultural knowledge and intercultural communication skills when they are on the job market.

Not everyone has to study abroad. If you are unsure, consider your goals, the program options available, your finances, and funding possibilities. Only you can determine if this experience is right for you. For many people, studying abroad can be a valuable experience that offers challenges, personal development, and life-long memories.


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