Although there is a lot of study abroad program types and study abroad destinations available to you today, knowing where and how to start can be a little harder than they seem, especially when you are considering how to begin your study abroad plans. There is a long list of things you need to do before actually leaving.
Studying abroad is not a spontaneous decision, there is often a long list of activities that lead up to your departure. But you don’t have to be at sea, you can nicely get around your study abroad plans with these tips.
Related Read: 5 Professional Benefits of a Study Abroad Program
Find Out Why You Want to Study Abroad
Truly, the thought of studying overseas seems great, but is it right for you? Here are some of the questions you need to be able to answer yourself:
- Am I comfortable in unfamiliar places?
- Is it okay to be away from family and friends for some time?
- Do I enjoy trying out new things?
- Will I use study abroad to help shape me academically, professionally and/or personally?
If you can answer these questions affirmatively, studying abroad shouldn’t be a problem for you. And if you can’t, it could mean that you need to reconsider your decision or find a way to work around these situations.
The truth is, studying abroad is a personal, daring opportunity to try out new things and grow as both a student and an individual, but it also comes with a lot of challenges since you would be out of your comfort zone and far from family and friends.
Research a Study Abroad Program and Destination
One thing that makes travelling overseas for your education a little tedious is deciding where to go. Though there is a lot of study abroad destinations to choose from, deciding where you want to pursue a study abroad program can seem like a daunting task.
One way you could get around this is to make a list of potential study abroad destinations, and cut it down to the type of location that interests you the most. Here are some of the questions you could ask:
- Do I prefer to study abroad in a city or outside a city?
- Do I want to be in an area where a familiar language is spoken?
- How do I intend to spend my weekends and vacations?
Whatever your answers are, you would need to research about the features you would like in your study abroad destination. This second step in your study abroad plans involves researching by country, city or follow student bloggers to see what living in that location is like.
Following your research, you need to decide when you want to study abroad in your desired location. Usually, it’s smart to decide when you plan to travel abroad at least nine months ahead of time, or more. A lot of study abroad programs demand that applicants apply at least six months before the program starts, so that gives you some time to research, discover and apply to a program(s) at your leisure.
Research Study Abroad Programs
The third step involves finding a study abroad program, just as you did with the study abroad destination. There are more than a few types of study abroad programs to select from; from holiday study abroad programs to full academic year programs, you get to decide which is best for you.
There are many options that you can research, but it is advisable you to talk to a study abroad consultant so you can learn more about your program of interest and find out about what the offers are, how much it would cost, and which provisions are contained within the plans such as airport pick-up, accommodation, etc.
Contact an Education Consultant
Contact your academic supervisor or meet with a career consultant to confirm you can keep track of the academic calendar and graduate on time. Part of your study abroad plans would also include planning the paperwork you would need before and when you arrive your study abroad destination. Education consultants and study abroad agents are well qualified to guide you through this process.
Also, have a chat with your parents, guardian or sponsor about why, when and where you want to study abroad. Making a decision to study abroad is a tedious and often challenging task, and would require the consent of your parents or sponsor. Discussing with them can hasten your study abroad plans and save you a whole lot of hazzle.
Set Aside a Study Abroad Budget
Lastly, financing a study abroad program causes a lot of worry for many students, parents, and sponsors; but it doesn’t have to be with proper planning and budgeting. It might cost a lot to put the funds together, but it is worth every penny.
Once you have learnt how much it would cost to pay for your study abroad program tuition, you can start to save and budget for your study abroad daily living expenses. Making a study abroad budget involves a lot of prioritizing and learning what’s worth spending money on and what isn’t.
Need more information?
Contact us at Solid Link Consulting for more tips on how to best make your study abroad plans. We will provide you with detailed information about how to acquire the appropriate travel documents, instructions on packing and real-life student advice on how to make the most of your time abroad.