Hello fellow budget hunters
This is a post that is not from personal experience (I was too late to apply to some programmes and was rejected from ERASMUS!) Anyway I decided to travel in my holidays instead but I’ve tried to put together a guide to finding the best study abroad programme.
University is a time in your life that will most likely be filled with incredible experiences and memories. It’s a stage in life where EVERYTHING is changing and this is a good thing, even if it feels challenging or difficult at times.
Embrace the opportunities that arise and let them fill your life with new and unexpected adventures.
Speaking of adventures, one of the best things you can experience during your time as a student is a study abroad programme. You get to travel, feel the liberation of independence and earn university grade still.
You will undoubtedly learn a lot during your university years but, there are more important things than studying hard and getting good grades. There are certain things that you will experience while studying abroad that simply cannot be taught in a classroom. Life experience looks better on a CV than just a degree alone.
Also I would recommend looking into it as soon as possible in your first year. You don’t want to miss deadlines and most UK universities want you to study abroad during your 2nd year.
For anyone interested in studying abroad, here are my tips on finding the best study abroad programme:
Where do you want to study?
Some of us may already have our hearts set on a destination. But, it’s important to realise that not all programmes complete course requirements for your degree and not all programs are available in every destination.
So, if you have a certain country in mind or a destination that you absolutely have to go to, do some serious research to find out if there is study abroad programme there that fits your studies.
Weigh up how important culture, language immersion and the course offerings are for you and make sure you find a programme and a destination that will tick all of your boxes.
What do you hope to gain from studying abroad?
First, ask yourself what you hope to gain from a study abroad experience. Once you determine what the long-term goals of study abroad are for you personally you will be able to choose a program that’s best suited for your personal interests.
Are you just looking for a good time? Or, is this something you hope to gain professional experience from?
What are your professional and education goals?
You’re going to find that you have a lot of goals that you want to accomplish by the time you’re a graduate. If you are studying abroad for uni grades and professional experience, your study abroad goals deserve the same planning.
Studying abroad makes you a more globally-minded candidate to employers. Especially if you’re adding a second language to your repertoire.
If you have any interest in working for a major corporation, a global brand or maybe even becoming a travel writer *insert wink here* cultural experience is essential.
Your competition includes people from all over the world, not just your community.
Consider Costs Involved
Some schools work with exchange programs where there is no additional cost to study abroad than for normal tuition fees or sometimes even less.
Research the options at your university to see what is available to you within your budget. Each programme comes with different costs, whether it’s tuition, flights, cost of living or accommodation.
Keep in mind that you are essentially funding what could very be one of the most important life experiences you will ever have and that is priceless. Also current students are accepting
What programme is best for you?
When you’re going to study abroad there isn’t just a one-size-fits-all. There are SO many programmes available that can fit in with just about any schedule.
Are you interested in doing a semester abroad, or a full year? Would you prefer a summer program, or perhaps a short-term internship? Or even volunteering instead?
It’s worth deciding what you want to do. If you have a job then sometimes a whole term is a bit much but my university does exchanges with China during the Summer.
There is also the decision on rather you would like to learn or volunteer as volunteering can be done in Summers usually helped by the university global centres. Projects like ICS could be more suited to your own goals.
Does study abroad benefit your degree?
The next step is to determine whether a study abroad program complements your major or not. At the end of the day, you want to choose something that will benefit your area of study and fulfill your academic requirements.
This is an opportunity to make your time abroad fulfilling and worthwhile.
What Type of Housing Would You Prefer?
Things like housing may vary with different programs. You might be living in a flat with other students or with a local family depending on the programme.
Housing can play a big part in your study abroad experience.
That’s all I can think of to help you with your study abroad decisions.
I got inspiration for this post from the Blonde Abroad’s post and took some inspiration from her fantastic ideas for this post.