How to Prepare to Study Abroad as a College Student

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There are many things that a college student needs to prepare for before studying abroad, whether for a couple of weeks or an entire academic year. Read on for tips to prepare to study abroad.

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for college students. It exposes you to new cultures and ideas, broadens job opportunities, helps build a resume, and fosters independence by forcing you to rely on yourself while living and studying in another country. To ensure a successful and stress-free experience, you may also seek guidance from a professional essay writing service for academic support while studying abroad.

However, there are many things you need to consider when preparing to go to school overseas. Registering for classes, arranging for financial aid, and keeping in touch with your home college or university are essential for a safe, exciting, and meaningful study abroad experience.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Many students find that their study abroad experiences helped them to get jobs. By engaging with another culture during a semester or year abroad, you’ll make yourself more employable when you graduate from college, which should be on every student’s mind.

You’ll Gain a New Perspective

Your experience will be helpful to your employers because of the skills you will learn while you study abroad. You may not even realize that by adapting to another culture, you are acquiring skills that can be useful in your career. After all, growing to understand a new culture happens naturally over time. When you return to the United States, however, you’ll see just how much of an accomplishment it was to learn the ins and outs of a culture far removed from your own. You’ll have an understanding of the etiquette and conventions of your host country. You’ll have firsthand international knowledge and cultural awareness that others do not have.

By studying abroad, you can have experiences you wouldn’t get at home. Photo by Kar-Tr via iStock by Getty Images

If you become fluent in a second language while studying abroad, you will be even more valuable as an employee. After all, being bilingual is an enormous plus in many fields where international communications occur regularly. Being bilingual can help you in a career in education, social work, business, finance, or another field where you may sometimes have to communicate with those who speak a language other than English.

Study Programs Abroad Encourage Adaptability

Spending a semester or even a whole year abroad proves something significant about you: you quickly adapt to new rules, expectations, and roles. This is especially important in an employment situation where you must have multiple functions as an employee. Proving your adaptability is essential to landing a great job, and studying abroad is an opportunity to do just that.

You will learn to adapt to different settings and situations during your studies abroad. Photo by shironosov via iStock by Getty Images

Your study programs abroad will make you a more exciting and creative person, which is also essential to your future employer. After all, exposure to a new culture will likely fill you with new ideas that can influence how you work and enhance your contributions to your job.

Emphasize Your Experiences Abroad

You should always bring up your international studies abroad with your prospective employer. To put your experience to work, you should explain how your time abroad changed your life and why it will make you a more effective employee.

Always mention your overseas education experience when applying for jobs after graduation. Photo by monkeybusinessimages via iStock by Getty Images

Students who study abroad during college almost always have an easier time finding a job post-graduation. When deciding whether or not to go overseas as a part of your college degree program, consider the many benefits you’ll receive from this valuable educational adventure.

Planning to Study Abroad in College

If you are considering studying abroad, contact your global education office. Depending on your major and destination, various programs are available to study overseas. A study abroad coordinator can help you select a program based on your intended destination, college major, and reason for studying abroad. This will help determine the application process for studying abroad, which varies from program to program and school.

Check with your university when you start thinking about going to school overseas. Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

After applying to study overseas, you should keep in contact with your global education coordinator in case programs or schools need more information from you, such as courses you intend to take, proof of citizenship, visa information, or other details to make an admissions decision.

Studying Abroad and Graduating from College on Time

Studying abroad can be a great experience, but it is essential to remember your major and institutional requirements to enable you to graduate on time.

When registering for classes at a college or university abroad, you should bring a copy of your degree plan and find courses that suit the required courses to take abroad. To make sure that classes taken abroad will satisfy requirements at your home school, bring a copy of your intended schedule, course descriptions (translated if necessary), and a copy of your degree plan to the college or university’s registrar’s office and meet with staff in the office to go over potential courses.

Plan carefully so that you can still graduate on time after studying abroad. Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

If courses you take abroad do not transfer back to your home college or university, you should reevaluate those courses or plan to take missed credit hours and requirements in summer school or during another academic term.

Financial Aid for College Students Studying Abroad

Studying abroad involves some monetary costs, including tuition, transportation, visa and immigration paperwork, living expenses, and other costs.

Financial aid for undergraduate students wishing to study abroad usually comes from federal grants and loans. Each college and university has policies regarding institutional financial aid transferring to international programs, so students should consult a financial assistance coordinator to work out a financial aid plan. Regardless of the student’s home school’s policy on financial aid and studying abroad, students and parents must make sure that they still file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and that it is current.

Numerous scholarships and grants are also available for students planning to study abroad. Information on these scholarships and grants can be found at a college or university’s financial aid office or global education office.

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Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but preparation is needed to ensure the trip and return to a student’s home college or university is thriving. Proper planning will help students ensure that they are adequately prepared to study abroad and can get the most out of their experience.


How to Prepare to Study Abroad as a College Student