Something on most college students bucket list is to spend a semester abroad. There are a lot of factors that come into play when making decisions about studying abroad. What will the finances be? What will I study? Where will I go? Do I choose a destination where I know other people? Do I venture out on my own? Will I be able to communicate with the locals? Is my college compatible with easy credit transfers to a school abroad?
Spending an academic semester in a foreign country has many benefits. You will experience new cultures and languages. While learning about these new cultures you will also learn about yourself. The whole thing is a growing experience. College could be the only realistic opportunity you have to spend time in another country, and it is a great time to take advantage of that. You can learn a new language, make new friends, create memories with old ones, and start professional networking.
With the good comes the bad. As much fun as it could be, there are also plenty or risks to consider when thinking about studying abroad. If you choose to go somewhere that does not offer courses toward you major, or classes that do not transfer, it could put you behind schedule for graduation. This could mean that you have to take on extra classes once back from abroad to catch up, or graduate a semester late. Finances can also be a risk factor, as we all know, traveling is not cheap. On the bright side, there are ways to budget and plenty of scholarships and financial aid options to help out.
Here are the top 5 places to study abroad, according to TOP UNIVERSITIES 15 of the Best Places to Study Abroad in 2015
1. Paris, France
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. London, England
4. Sydney, Australia
5. Hong Kong, China
Okay, you’ve decided to study abroad and have picked your school or program. Now what?
Step out of your comfort zone. Spend time seeing the sights and travel to nearby cities and countries
Be comfortable or stay cooped up on and around campus
Spend money. Try new foods, buy souvenirs, do as the locals do, be a tourist, visit museums and galleries. However, give yourself a budget and follow it responsibly.
Spend all your money, or spend too much too fast. You don’t want to be the one who can’t experience anything because you’re broke.
Make sure you have the necessary documentation to get into the country. This could include passports, visas, and additional forms of identification. Also, make sure to leave copies of all of these with your parents in case you lose them.
Be the one to hand over your credit card when asked for your student visa…I know somebody who did this.
Meet new people and make new friends
Venture out alone without a buddy