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So, you’re interested in studying abroad right? Of course you are.
You wouldn’t be here otherwise.
It takes a very decisive person to study abroad. Out of the
thousands of abroad programs in hundreds of countries all over the world, how
can you possibly decide where to study and what to study? How do you know what
country will be the right fit? Which universities have your major or a program
you can receive transferrable credits?
The number of students worldwide who choose to study abroad
increases about 4% each year as studying abroad has become the new normal for
American students (according to the 2011 IIE Open Doors Report). There are
heaps of lists out there ranking universities with the “best study abroad
programs.” This may not have been the ultimate deciding factor of where you
chose to go to school, but having a great study abroad program couldn’t hurt,
Recall back to high school during your college search and remember
the amount of information you had to gather before even going on a tour of a
university. Well…welcome back to those glory days! The amount of research it
takes to study abroad for only five months is a hefty amount, but rewarding in
itself. Before you choose the destination of your semester abroad you must
follow a few key steps.
The earlier you start planning the better. Talk to your
university advisor to see if it is feasible to fit a study abroad program into
your schedule. This conversation should happen pretty early on – maybe even in
your first year! Sophia Ben-Achour started planning a year in advance of her departure
of her semester abroad in Melbourne, Australia.
“I had a lot of paperwork to fill out like getting classes
preapproved and filling out housing applications” but “I knew I would have
enough time to get all of my information together.” Sophia attended a small
university, so she knew every staff member who needed to sign off on approval.
If you attend a larger university, you may need to set aside a little extra
You’re off to a great start! What’s
next? How to make the decision of which program to enroll in…There’s a lot to
take into account when deciding which country to spend your time studying in,
so ask yourself these questions to get the ball rolling:
Hopefully by now you’ve chosen a country you’re itching to
visit, or at least have a better idea of what to look for while researching. Now
you can get down to the specifics. Check that the location you’re most
interested in has universities which offer your major or area of study. You may
not be able to study Geology at every university in Spain, but check out the studyabroad.com
search bar to sort programs by country/region, subject, and program type. This’ll
make your search way easier! Find out which universities in Belize offer an
Education program or where in the world you can go to Graduate School for a
Graphic Design program.
Remember that everyone has something different that they are
looking for in a study abroad experience. Keep your expectations and goals
organized to help you choose a program. And always remain as flexible as possible;
your study abroad program is what you make of it.
Looking for more information? Check out the top 5 must's before you study abroad.
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