Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!
1. See the World
The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.
In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.
Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.
You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.
3. Take in a New Culture
Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.
4. Hone Your Language Skills
Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.
In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience
5. Career Opportunities
When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.
Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.
6. Find New Interests
If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.
You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.
7. Make Lifelong Friends
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.
After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.
8. Personal Development
There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.
A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.
9. Graduate School Admissions
Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.
Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.
10. Life Experience
Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.
Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.
This past November, the International Institute of Education (IIE) released its Open Door Report for 2014 during the 15th Annual International Student Week in Washington D.C. This annual census provides detailed data on many aspects of international education, such as the 8% increase to more than 886,000 international students studying in U.S. universities during the 2013-2014 academic year. Based on these students, the Open Door Report created a chart ranking the primary sources utilized by students to fund their U.S. education. Here are the top 3 ways international students fund their US education:
1. Personal and Family
2. U.S. College and University
3. Foreign Government or University
Personal and Family Funding
From the 2012-2013 academic year to the 2013-2014 academic year there was a 10.2% increase in the number of students who utilized personal and family resources to fund their education. For example, any savings you or your parents may plan on using to pay for your international education would fall under this category. Once in the U.S., some students have the opportunity to work to help with extra costs; this would also be considered personal funding.
However, in many instances what has been saved, or is being earned, is not enough to fully fund your international experience. This is when private loans, such as our international student loans, come in handy. Applications for international student loans are available year round, so they can be a great help for unexpected expenses that may occur. There are many types of loans out there, but it is important to find the right loan for you and your situation. If you and your family have been considering applying for an international student loan, use our Student Loan Comparison Tool to see what loan options are available for you.
U.S. College or University Funding
U.S. College and University funding did not demonstrate a significant change from one academic year to the next; in this year’s report, there was only an increase of 1%. Most universities provide need-based and merit-based assistance to incoming students, which includes any type of grant or scholarship awarded to you directly from you host institution. Each university’s admissions office works a little bit differently, so it is important for you to get in contact with them and see what they can offer you. Most schools provide basic financial aid information online in the financial aid sections or admissions page of their school website, so be sure to take a look.
Foreign Government or University
The third most used primary source of funding came from foreign governments or universities. The type of funding that could be available to you from your home country may depend on such things as your chosen field of study or whether there is a special program in place between your university in the U.S. and in your home country. In order to fully take advantage of what is available you must take the time to do your research. A great way to start is to reach out to all outlets possible, such as your country’s ministry of education, which will be able to give you information about what government programs are available for international studies.
The key to properly financing your international education in the U.S. is to try to receive financial assistance from all areas that are available to you. For more information and ideas you can check out our page Help Finance Your US Education.
In recent years the number of international students going abroad for higher education has steadily increased. The availability of numerous scholarships and study-grants and education loans from leading banks has brought “higher education abroad” within the reach of the working class. The most popular destinations for students looking to pursue educational opportunities in English abroad are the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Canada. In this article, we will do a comparative study of international students’ options in the US and the UK specifically.
Making the mental commitment to studying overseas is a huge step: now you have a goal, and can work towards making that goal a reality. Two major questions then arise:
- What course do I opt for?
- Which country do I go to?
For those students wanting to go abroad, answering these questions early on will help simplify their search in finding the perfect institution for their studies.
Maybe you have a liking for the UK, and dream of studying at Oxford or Cambridge and spending evenings in pubs, making small talk about the rainfall. Maybe the idea of an American university sounds more attractive; you want to don your most school-spirited swag for intense sports rivalries or grab a Starbucks latte on your way to class. Either way, you will ultimately have to make a decision. We recommend considering the following factors.
Numbers and Statistics
The number of international students attending school in the US has risen steadily in the past five years, and now totals more than 723,000 students according to the most recent report from the Institute for International Education. Within the US, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Texas are the most popular locales for foreign students.
Though the UK’s higher education system is much smaller than what the US has to offer, the proportion of international students in the UK is comparatively high, accounting for 17% (as compared to ~3% in the U.S.). In 2009-10, the number of international students in the UK was 428,225; in descending order, the most chosen destinations for study were England, Scotland, Wales, then Northern Ireland.
Here are eight places just about every university has that can help you during your time studying in the US.
1. The International Student Office
The International Student Office is like a Swiss Army Knife that can help you with just about everything, from resolving school-related issues to helping answer any cultural questions you might have. This is the best place to ask just about anything and be pointed in the right direction. You’ll also meet fellow international students in and around this office, these students can also be helpful with any questions you may have.
2. The Writing Center
Regardless of how strong your language skills are conversationally, you’ll want to ensure your writing skills are excellent for all the essays you’ll be working on. Your university writing center will provide one-on-one tutoring not just to foreign students but to anyone who needs the extra help. This is an invaluable resource that’s worth taking advantage of. Even experienced writers might learn a thing or two.
Your professors will likely understand that international students will have additional challenges to face, whether they’re language-related or cultural. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek additional clarification about assignments if needed. Also, if you hear something referenced in class that you’ve never heard of before, just ask about it. Asking questions is a totally normal thing to do at U.S. universities.
4. The Student Union
The best thing about studying in another country is the friends you’ll make. It’s tempting to surround yourself with other international students, but making local friends is what studying internationally is all about. A good place to start meeting people is the student union, which is the social hub for most campuses. Also look into clubs pertaining to your interests to meet some like-minded people.
5. Career Services
If you’re planning on working during your time in the US check in with career services. They’re there to help you with your resume, job interview skills and to even assist you in the search to find jobs during OPT and CPT. They can spruce up your resume, help you find jobs worth applying to, and provide excellent advice as you begin your career.
6. Your Academic Adviser
The academic adviser assigned to you will be a big help. They’ll fill you in on the courses you need to take and how close you are to fulfilling all requirements for your education, but they’re also so much more than that. They help you come up with a plan for your education and help you out as you transition to a career. You’ll likely have a meeting or two scheduled each semester, but set up additional appointments if you feel you need it. Helping out is exactly what your academic adviser is there for.
7. Counseling Center
It’s completely normal to experience some culture shock when moving to another country. The experience can also feel a little isolating or overwhelming at times. University counselors are there to help you talk through your problems. They work around your schedule and can make a big difference in how you’re feeling. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you feel like it could help.
8. Legal Services
The legal services department is one of those places you’ll hopefully never have to visit during your studies. However, if you encounter any visa or immigration problems, you’ll want to seek the help of your school’s legal services department. They’ll guide you through the confusing legal process and will have your side as they work to solve your problem. If you don’t have a legal services office then your international student advising office is a good place to start.
If you seek out these resources, you’ll feel prepared for a successful cultural transition and college experience.