What Will the Location Be Like?
Choosing to study abroad is a great excuse to live temporarily in a different country. You get to experience a brand new culture and meet new people, but is it the right place to study and learn? What sort of environment are you looking for? Every country and city has its pros and cons, New York is a huge, densely populated city, but so is London. Australia has fewer people, but still has popular cities with still a lot going on. Do you want to be in the heart of the city, or will you vibe better living just outside? Do you think you want to live closer or further away from your campus? Research and educate yourself about the campus life and culture and familiarize yourself as much as you can as this is the information you need to make a well-informed decision.
Can You Afford It?
Studying abroad will cost you money, depending on accommodation and the cost of the university term or year, books and other expenses will be a deciding factor on whether you can afford it or not. You can however apply for compensation through scholarships and grants. Most universities offer aid for students, so don’t be disheartened by this fact of expenses and the cost. Also, you could plan your year abroad to be just one semester instead, which will save on money and other costly expenses. A top tip is to apply for aid and grants early on to guarantee that you have a better chance of receiving it.
Will You Be Able to Cope?
Even if you are only moving abroad for a semester, homesickness is commonplace. Making new friends and feeling comfortable can be difficult when you’re out of your comfort zone and far away from home. “Staying in contact with friends from home is important but also try and push yourself and put in the effort to make new friends while you’re away. If you put in the effort to try something different and study abroad, it will also help you get closer to your dream job and show others your willingness to persevere,” writes Tina D. Helms, an educator at 1Day2Write and Write My X.
You will go through some initial shock when you move away, but you’ll never regret trying something new.
Will It Be Easy to Make Friends?
Making new friends can be tricky but being in university can make it easier as there are more people in the same situation and place as you. “Chances are that you’ll go to the same social events and classes as them, being around new people in the same classes you’re bound to have similar things in common. In a different country you can feel like an outsider, but making the effort to introduce yourself to others, being open, and starting new conversations will help along the way to making lasting friendships,” writes Jennifer B. Duffy, college blogger at Brit Student and NextCoursework.
Does the Course Align with Your Values?
Teaching courses are not always going to be the same as they are in other universities, equally some universities have different priorities and values. To make sure that you agree and align with the university's values, do all your research before making the decision to study abroad. Depending on what your values align with — if you want to get involved with the community, learn about the culture, and give back — should be a defining feature of the choice you make. You want to get the most out of your time abroad and make it count.
Deciding where to study abroad and how long to go for will take some time, research as much as you can before making a decision. Also talk to your student council or other advisors about the best program for you, and reach out to other students who have studied abroad to find out their experiences and time abroad.
Michael Dehoyos is a content marketer and editor at PhD Kingdom and Coursework writing services, and is a writer at Essay Help. He assists companies in their marketing strategy concepts and contributes to numerous sites and publications.