Things to Consider When Studying Abroad

Photo: Olga Lioncat

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity; it can open many doors for your future as well as being an incredible adventure in itself. However, if studying abroad is a route you want to pursue, it can be complicated. Therefore, it is best to prepare and understand the requirements of a study abroad program before you commit to it.

Read on for some considerations you need to make when studying abroad.

Preparation and Research

Every country and every study abroad program is unique, and your decision will affect your experience. At the very least, you should begin your research with the major things such as the local language, culture, food? After you have looked into these factors, you can begin to look up the experiences of other students studying abroad in general or at your chosen institution.

During this part of the process, you can even begin to look into accommodation. Some study abroad programs provide accommodation, and some do not. Some of the accommodation provided by the institutions can be dreadfully expensive too. It is worth looking into all of your options as it may be cheaper to rent. There are opportunities and companies which offer both mid-and long-term leases in over 400 cities, so there is a wide range of rental options. Again, it is worth doing your research as it could be the most cost-effective option and a good option for safety as you have more privacy.

Also Read: How to find International Scholarships to Study Abroad for South African Students

Selecting a Program

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There is a huge variety of study abroad options out there. It is recommended that you first start with a university in your home country to see what study abroad options they offer, although they may only have programs that last for a year or even a semester. The program that you pick should align with any long-term goals that you have.

When looking through your options, you may find it helpful to categorize them by type, for example, summer programs vs gap year vs exchange programs vs an entire degree from a foreign school. For example, some students want a language degree, so they choose a foreign school taught in the language as a truly intensive experience.

Visa Requirements

Depending on the program that you pick, you may have to procure a student visa. There are a few prerequisites for getting a visa. You will likely need several pieces of documentation and paperwork. For starters, you will need your academic transcripts and educational background. You will also need your birth certificate and passport. You may also have to provide bank statements and financial records. In rare cases, you may have to have your documentation translated into the necessary language. You may also need online apostille services to authenticate these documents.

In Conclusion

Following the processes and protocols for study abroad can be overwhelming and a little daunting at times. However, if it is something you want to do, studying abroad has been an enriching experience for those who have done it. As with many things in life, you must have no illusions going into it; you need to do your research and prepare to ensure that you are ready to take on the experience.

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About the Author: Brian Novak