Studying abroad is a great part of student life, and an experience that many people find brings them excitement, independence, and a chance to experience a new part of the world. If you are considering a student study abroad programme, there are a few things you need to consider first.
For some students going abroad might be a big step and can even feel quite daunting. Living abroad and even travelling abroad will be an entirely new experience for many students, so the more you can prepare before you go, the better.
For information on the study abroad programmes available at your university, speak to your course convenor or research on the university website. Each institution will have its programmes and partnerships, so make sure to find the correct information for you before you begin planning.
Five things to consider for student study abroad programmes
The first and most important thing you will need to decide is where you would like the study in the world. Have a look at the different places your university is offering and which universities they have partnerships with; there may be some subjects best suited to a specific place. Beyond this, think how far or close to home you would like to be and what kind of environment you want to live in.
Studying abroad can be expensive, particularly in parts of the world such as America and Canada, so make sure to plan your finances before applying. However, money shouldn’t be a reason not to study abroad, and your university may be able to offer some financial support in the form of scholarships, bursaries and grants. It is a good idea to budget for your time abroad which requires some research into how much it costs to live in that place.
Your course requirements
Some university courses may require you to study abroad. Usually, these are language courses, and other courses may offer an option year. Ensure to research what your course offers and any requirements for the yea before you make any plans. For example, you may need to study a specific amount of credits or a particular module while away.
Another thing to consider when deciding where to study is the language barriers in different places worldwide. Suppose you are going abroad because you are doing a language degree. In that case, you are expected to be somewhere you can practice the language, but if you are going abroad to study, you need to decide whether you are comfortable adapting to a new language. Perhaps you are already bilingual and would enjoy the chance to speak your second language, or maybe you would prefer to go to an English-speaking country to avoid this barrier.
Finally, when you have decided where you want to go and confirmed your place, you need to think about where you want to live. Most likely, you will have a few options, including staying in halls of residence at the university you are studying at or finding your own flat or house share to move into. Both have their benefits, and you need to decide which best suits your needs. There may also be a difference in cost to consider.