There are a number of educational – and social – opportunities you could experience while in college. There is only one option that offers students the opportunity to see the world and get college credit for doing so, and that’s a study abroad program. We’ve come up with the most important information you’ll need to know when deciding whether a study abroad program is right for you, from reasons why study abroad is rewarding, preparing for the trip overseas, choosing the right program, and finding funding for study abroad. We’ve also included resources for international students looking for ways to finance study or research outside of their home country, and other options for international, educational experiences for students who really want a change from the norm and want to a good portion of their college career abroad.
Apart from the fact that you’ll probably have an unforgettable experience, there are a number of good reasons to look into studying abroad. We’ve come up with a list of the top 10, although there are probably many more. Take a look to see if you’re at all persuaded, because you may be even be surprised by the potential benefits of a study abroad program.
The number of options available to you when choosing a study abroad program may be overwhelming, but if you take the time to think about why you’re looking to study abroad in the first place, the kind of program you should be targeting may be more obvious than you think. We’ve come up with some ideas on what you should consider when choosing your program, but remember that this is a good time for some self-reflection. It’s up to you make the most of your experience abroad and decide what you want to achieve personally and academically.
Preparing for a study abroad program can be stressful if you’re going into the process blind, but if you do your research well enough in advance, you’ll be starting your program confident and well-prepared. We’ve come up with a good deal of information on the things you need to know before starting your program, although it’s never a bad thing to do even more research independently. Your study abroad advisors will also be an excellent resource, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have them.
There is free money out there if you’re interested in studying abroad, whether for the majority of your college experience or a summer. Don’t let the idea that a study abroad program is an endeavor only experienced by college students with extra money to burn stop you from going abroad, because there is a good deal of financial aid assistance available to those who may have a more difficult time paying for time overseas. Many of the scholarships and grants available are need-based, but some only want to know that you’re passionate about the potential to study abroad. Do your research – or conduct a free scholarship search – to help cover the costs of your study abroad program.
The financial aid application process may especially stressful and overwhelming to international students looking to study in the United States. As federal aid programs that are popular among American students are only open to U.S. citizens, international students must then become creative in funding their educations. Luckily, there are opportunities to land some generous financial aid through scholarships, grants, and fellowships targeting international students. Check out our ideas for coming up ways to pay for an American education from your home country.