When entering college, many people will ask you if you’re going to study abroad. First off, I would recommend that you do, as everyone who does it says it’s one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of his or her life. When deciding to study abroad, you of course must look up a school in which you are going to study abroad with. Many times your college or university will have certain connections with schools in certain countries, so it’s important to look into that before getting too deep into your research. Here are some things to look at when deciding to apply to schools abroad.
1) Their Programs Offered- It is of course very important to look at the programs and courses offered by the University or college that you are looking at abroad. Making sure that they are compatible with your major or minor is extremely important, because otherwise the trip is fairly useless to your college education. Be sure that the courses offered will transfer and count towards your credits towards graduation, otherwise you’ll be setting yourself back and have to graduate later than the rest of your graduating class.
2) Their Cost- This is extremely important. Most colleges say when you apply that you can study abroad for little or nothing more than what you’re already paying. Of course, this isn’t always necessarily true. Be sure to look up the cost of the school, and find out through your current college or academic advisor how much additional funding would be needed to study abroad. On top of this, be sure to take into consideration food, nightlife, shopping, and any other spending that is going to be taking place through your time spent abroad, as the costs can add up quite easily and quickly.
3) Are they Affiliated With Your School- This is of course the most important thing to look at when deciding what school to study abroad at. If the college or university abroad isn’t affiliated with your current college, the credits may not count towards your major or graduation. If they don’t count, you’re really just going on a vacation, and wasting your time and money taking courses that won’t count. Be absolutely 100% sure that everything you are taking abroad is affiliated with your current school, and that all the credits for the courses you are taking will count, so you don’t waste your time, money, and valuable resources for nothing.
4) What’s Nearby- This is also very important when shopping around for a school abroad. After all, the main reason you are going abroad is to see what life is like in a different country. Be sure you like the area surrounding the school, so that you also get to see some great sites while you’re there. If you want to visit a certain country, chances are that there’s something particular or certain sties that you want to see when you visit there. Make sure that the school is either nearby or in a reasonable travel distance from the site, so that you can make sure to see it while you’re visiting the country. Nothing is more wasteful than going to a country and not being able to see the sites you’ve been wanting to see, perhaps even your entire life.
5) Languages Spoken There- This is probably also one of the most important things to look at when deciding which school to study at abroad. If your language skills are limited to only one language, you better make sure that the college is going to be a English (or whatever language you’re fluent in) friendly university. Nothing is worse than not knowing where to go or what to do, or not having control over your life because you can’t understand what your friends, professor, and other piers are saying to you. It can also be quite dangerous, because if there was something important to tell you, you may not follow the proper instructions to avoid whatever is wrong, which could end up as a devastating result.
As you can see there is a lot to look at when deciding what school you would like to attend when studying abroad. Often times there are certain schools that are recommended by your current college, so I would recommend checking those out first and seeing what you think.