The prospect of living in another country for a few years – or a semester – is incredibly exciting. Living abroad can be a wonderful experience and a brilliant opportunity to learn more about different cultures and how the world works. This is why many students consider applying to educational institutions from different parts of the world so they can combine their college education with travel. They are many great benefits to doing this, but there is a lot of planning that needs to go into it, too. If you’ve been thinking about applying to a university or place of study in a foreign country, here are some considerations to bear in mind.
Not only should you be researching the colleges you’re applying to but also the area you will be living in during your time abroad. Are you staying in a large city or a smaller countryside town? Will you be living on campus or elsewhere? You will also need to think about the currency used in that particular country and consider the exchange rates. You may also need to set up a bank account in that country if you’re planning to stay for an extended period. Find the best places to eat and drink and other interesting cultural spots you will want to see while you’re there.
Another thing you will need to look into is the cost of visas for your stay. There are various types of visas available, so you must find the one that is relevant to your situation, or you could risk being kicked out of the country. For educational purposes, you will be required to apply for a student visa. Make sure you know how long your visa lasts and when you need to renew it.
Studying at the college level can be expensive when you’re staying in your country of birth, let alone when you’re adding travel expenses, visas, and exchange rates into the mix. Although studying abroad is an amazing experience, you will need to be prepared for the financial strains it might cause. Save up plenty of money before you go, but you might also want to consider securing funding from elsewhere. Scholarship programs are one option you might want to look into as a way of financing your education. For example, organizations such as asmscholarships.com offer sports-based scholarships, including golf, soccer, and baseball.
When you first move abroad to study, it is recommended that you find accommodation on campus for your first year. This will help you to get settled into the environment and meet fellow students you can bond with. After that, you might want to consider moving further afield and renting an apartment in the city to experience more of the local area. Just make sure you have researched the safety of the area and average rental rates to make sure you’re not being ripped off by landlords.
Finally, make the effort to learn the language of the country you’re moving to. Eventually, you might be able to speak it fluently after living there for a period, but knowing the basics when you arrive will help you a lot. Besides, the locals will appreciate the effort.
Studying abroad could be the best decision you make and will certainly be an experience to remember. Keep these points in mind while you’re planning your move to make sure you don’t get caught out.