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Tips about where to study abroad

Tips about where to study abroad

Convinced yet? Studying abroad is truly life changing, and you should be. But first, a lot of the planning has to go into applying for study abroad. When should you study abroad? Can you afford it? Which country do you even have to choose and then how to apply for universities? Read on for all the details.


Do you need to make a plan?

Two of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make will be when to study abroad and how to pay. It can also be difficult to convince your parents to let you study abroad if they are resistant. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to apply – let’s make sure it works with your life first.


When should i study abroad?

If you’ve just completed a bachelor’s degree program and are ready to go abroad for a master’s or doctorate, it can be easy to decide when you can study abroad. But if you are in the middle of your bachelor’s degree, when you leave can be very important. You will need to determine where study abroad fits amid your other academic commitments, like internships, co-ops, and course requirements.


Depending on your university or your specialty, you may not have a choice. Few schools allow first year students to go abroad, and this is still rare in the second year. The junior year is a common time to go abroad, and it may still be possible for the senior year. Be sure to check with your university’s study abroad office or academic advisor who can provide you with information on what is most typical and convenient for a student at your school.


Can i study abroad as an engineer or pre-medical student?

You absolutely can study medicine or engineering abroad. There is a very common misconception that for students majoring in pre-med or other STEM fields, studying abroad will not work with their highly structured academic requirements. It’s wrong! While you will need to plan a bit more in advance if you have a lot of academic requirements, studying abroad is possible and will likely make you an even stronger candidate for medical school. Contact your school’s pre-professional office to let them know the second you know you want to study abroad. They will be able to work with your schedule to see how you can fit it. While you can’t do a full year abroad, you can usually still do a semester, or at least a summer program.


Can I afford to study abroad?

There’s no way to coat it – studying abroad can get expensive, and it can be a big deterrent to those who want to study abroad. But you have options, and how many will depend on the country you are going to and of course, how long you are staying.


How much does it cost to study abroad?

According to the Institute for International Education, a semester abroad costs an average of $18,000 per semester. Depending on how much you pay per semester at your home institution, this may be the same or even less. Apart from the program fees, you will also need to factor in airline tickets and the cost of living. The cost of living differs from different cities. For example, the cost of living can seems much lower than that in Costa Rica. Expect to add a fair amount of money to this total.


“A semester abroad costs an average of $18,000 per semester.”

But there’s good news – you have plenty of options, especially if you’re looking to study abroad at the bachelor’s level. For example, if you are currently receiving financial aid to go to college, that financial aid will still go to your study abroad program. You can also take out a student loan or accumulate scholarships. And, of course, if you can’t afford to spend a full year, a summer program will still give you that life-changing experience for a fraction of the cost.


How can I convince my parents to let me study abroad?

Your family might be reluctant to let you study abroad. Put yourself in their shoes – they’re probably just nervous, especially if you’ve always lived nearby or if you (or they) haven’t left the country before. But if you build your case, you can probably convince them.


First of all, be prepared – they are going to have a lot of questions and you will need to have answers. Make sure you know how you are potentially going to pay for it, as they will definitely want to hear this. Describe the many benefits of studying abroad and make sure you communicate with them often when you are abroad. If you approach the conversation with empathy, you are sure to have a good chance of convincing even the most protective of parents.


Once you know roughly when you’ll be going and how you’ll pay for it (as well as getting the nod from your parents if you need it), the fun things begin. Let’s decide where you need to go!

Where should I study abroad?

Maybe you already know exactly which cotinent or country to study abroad in – but which university? Or maybe you are really open to countries, but you know you want to go to a top notch biology program since you got pre-med.


Another thing to consider: Does your university partner with universities abroad? If so, this may be the easiest route for you, especially since it will likely be transparent when it comes to credit transfer. Many universities have partnerships with a variety of universities all over the world, so ask your study abroad office.


Some countries are known for different things, and while there are probably great programs in many countries, this can be a good place to start if you are at the beginning of your research. Consider the following ideas:


Business and Finance: Think of the big cities that are hubs of activity: London, New York, Hong Kong, Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo.

See Also

English and Literature: The main literary centers include Santiago, Oxford, Paris, St. Petersburg, Dublin and Edinburgh.

Medicine and Public Health: Developing countries often offer you hands-on experience, but also think about the best healthcare in the world. Consider places like Denmark, South Africa, Ghana, Thailand, or India.

Politics and Law: Political hot spots include Brussels, Geneva and Washington, DC

Engineering and technology: think of innovation hubs like Singapore, San Francisco, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Stockholm and Lisbon.

Visual arts: try a city with a rich cultural history of visual arts and tons of museums, like Florence, Paris, Barcelona, Beijing or Chicago.

Performing Arts and Music: Theater and music centers include (but are certainly not limited to) Havana, Nashville, London, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires and Berlin.

History: Whether you’re interested in archeology or just history in general, you can’t beat places like Athens, Jerusalem, Cusco, Alexandria, or Moscow.

Education: Consider studying in countries with the best education systems in the world (Finland, Netherlands, Japan, South Korea) or in places where there is a demand for English teachers (Vietnam, Colombia, Taiwan ).


You are more than just a student! So think about your interests outside of the classroom. Do you want to go somewhere with a beach? Do you want to be able to go camping? Does a hot food scene matter to you? Consider the following ideas: If you’re outdoors, consider countries like South Africa, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Norway, or Tanzania. If you want to study near a hopping food scene, consider cities like Tokyo, Marrakech, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, New York, and Taipei. If you are an ambitious shopper, consider top shopping cities like London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris and New York. If you like drinking coffee, consider these cities with some of the best coffee cultures in the world: Stockholm, Seattle, Melbourne, Rome, Singapore, or Vienna.


If you stay on a tight budget, you might want to consider cities with a lower cost of living. According to Numbeo, the countries with the highest cost of living in 2018 are Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Luxembourg and Denmark. You might consider more budget-friendly countries – these, for example, all have low cost of living, according to Numbeo: India, Mexico, Kenya, Peru, and Hungary.


If you already know where you want to study, now you need to decide where to apply. When choosing universities, consider the following:

Does the university offer a program that matches my career goals? If you want to do a full bachelor’s degree in biology in England and then come back to the United States for medical school, you will need to be very careful that you meet certain requirements so that you can apply to American medical schools. Do your research first!


Will I be able to transfer credits to my home institution (if you are going for one semester / year and not for the entire degree)? Some schools can be quite strict about the study abroad credits they count towards your degree, especially when it comes to major requirements. Make sure, and do this in writing in advance, that your university will allow that biology course you take abroad to count as your required biology course for your major in public health!

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