Study Abroad Program: 5 Steps to Choosing the Right One
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience. You have the chance to meet new people, discover a different country, and improve your knowledge. However, as you start researching, you may find it overwhelming to choose the right study abroad program.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you!
Choosing the right study abroad program might feel challenging, but by following the right steps, you’ll be able to reach a satisfying decision. In this article, you’ll learn the 5 steps to take as you choose the overseas experience that is right for you.
1. Define your goals
Each person has his or her own expectations and plans. When planning to study abroad, you should ask yourself: “What do I want to get from this experience?”
You might be looking to learn a new language, experience a new study methodology through an intensive hands-on program, or broaden your professional network. First of all, you need to decide whether you’re looking for an academic experience or a program focused on your future career. Here are some points to consider:
- Do you want an academic or professional experience?
- How extensive would you like your study abroad program to be?
- What skills do you want to develop?
- What type of study methodology would you like to experience?
- Do you want to study in an international environment or with locals-only?
We encourage you to write down all your answers and be specific as you define your goals. Evaluate some of the pros and cons of each possibility before you start Googling your best options.
2. Figure Out Your Finances
The experience and knowledge you’ll get while studying abroad are immeasurable, but you need to figure out your finances in order to choose the perfect fit.
Study abroad programs have different prices, and extra costs need to be taken into consideration. However, there are many scholarships and grant opportunities for students and young professionals. You can also be creative and try a crowdfunding campaign to help you on this journey.
Create a list with the programs you like the best, and search for funding opportunities that will match your budget.
3. Choose your Destination
What places in the world do you want to see? Do you want to undertake your study abroad program in big cities or experience something different? Which cultures attract you the most? It doesn’t matter if you’re spending 15 days or 6 months – you definitely have to look for destinations that excite you.
A quick tip: think outside the box and go beyond the most famous spots for a more authentic experience.
4. Contact Program Alumni
Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and forums like Quora and Reddit are all really useful. There are plenty of opportunities to find former participants in the program that interests you. Connect with as many alumni as you can, and ask them to share their experiences. Don’t forget to look for participants’ testimonials online to understand more about what you can get through your desired programs.
5. Ask Before Applying
While you’re doing your research, you must also contact the institution offering the program. Exchange emails and book an e-meeting. Prepare some questions to ask in order to understand as much as you can about the study abroad program. The following list of key items will help you to guide this conversation:
- Dates of application/program
- Tuition fees and funding opportunities
- Length of the program
- Language skill requirements
- Visa requirements
- List of mentors and tutors
Talk to your parents, colleagues, and friends before making this call. They can bring insights that will help you make this important decision.
Once you have answers to all the steps listed in this article, it’s time to apply and start getting ready for a life-changing experience.
Discover more about EIA Study Abroad Program here.
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