Already convinced? But first of all, it takes a lot of planning for a study abroad application. When should you study abroad? Can you afford it? Which country should you even choose, and then how to apply? Read on for all the details.
Make a plan
Two of the most important decisions you will need to make are when to study abroad and how to pay for them. It can also be difficult to convince your parents to let you study abroad if they resist. Before we get into the details of the application process, let’s first make sure it works with your life.
When should I study abroad?
If you’ve just graduated with a bachelor’s degree and are ready to go abroad for a master’s or doctorate, it can be easy to decide if you can study abroad. But if you’re in the middle of your bachelor’s degree, when you go can be very important. You’ll need to consider where studying abroad fits in with your other academic commitments, like internships, co-op programs, and course requirements.
Depending on your university or major, you may not have a choice. Few schools allow freshmen to go abroad, and it’s still rare in the second year. Junior year is a common time to go abroad, and it may still be possible to be in senior year. Be sure to check with your university’s study abroad office or academic advisor who can provide information on what is most typical and practical for a student at your school.
CAN I STUDY ABROAD AS AN ENGINEERING OR PRE-MED STUDENT?
You can study medicine or engineering abroad. There is a 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 ! Although you may need to plan a bit further in advance if you have high academic requirements, it is possible to study abroad and will likely make you an even stronger candidate for medical school. . Contact your school’s pre-vocational counseling office as soon as you know you want to study abroad. They can work with your schedule to see how you can fit it in. Although you may not be able to do a full year abroad, you can usually still fit into a semester or, at the very least, a summer program. .
Can I afford to study abroad?
There’s no way to water it down – studying abroad can be expensive and it can be a huge deterrent for those wanting to study abroad. But you have options, and how much it will cost 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 could be equal or even lower. Beyond program fees, you will also need to consider airfares and cost of living. If you live in New York, the cost of living may seem much lower in Costa Rica. And if you are currently going to school in Stockholm, studying abroad in New Delhi could be quite affordable. Also expect to add a good amount of spending money to this total.
But there’s good news – you have plenty of options, especially if you’re looking to study abroad at undergraduate level. For example, if you are currently receiving financial aid to go to college, that financial aid will still go towards your study abroad program. You can also take out a student loan or accumulate scholarships. And, of course, if you can’t afford to go for a full year, a summer program will still provide you with 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 are (or they) have never left the country before. But if you build your case, you’ll probably be able to convince them .
First, get ready – they’re going to have a lot of questions and you’ll need answers. Make sure you know how you’re potentially going to pay for it, because they’ll definitely want to hear it. Describe the many benefits of studying abroad and ensure that you will communicate with them often when you are abroad. If you approach the conversation with empathy, you will certainly have a good chance of convincing even the most protective parents.
Start your search
Once you know roughly when you’ll be going and how you’ll pay (as well as a green light from your parents if you need it), the fun stuff begins. Let’s decide where you need to go!
WHERE SHOULD I STUDY ABROAD?
Maybe you already know exactly in which country or continent you want to study – but at which university? Or maybe you’re really open to countries, but you know you want to take a high-level biology program since you’re in 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 seamless when it comes to transferring credits. Many schools have partnerships with various universities around the world, so check with your study abroad office.