Studying abroad, in general, can be intimidating as you are traveling to a new place, far away from home where you will experience different lifestyles, make new friends, etc. However, selecting the place and program you want to spend your study abroad in is even more overwhelming. For those who have decided to study abroad but are lost in the search of where to go, look no further. I was in your same place and recently made my decision on where to go after months of research. Here are some tips on how to narrow down your options and find the best study abroad fit for you.
Talk to your peers
I know this may sound obvious but there really is no better resource than a student who has gone on the same program that you are interested in. They understand the place you are in and can fill you in better than anyone. A lot of schools will have study abroad fairs or information sessions where you can learn about the programs and speak with students who have previously gone on the trips. Seek out any kind of resources like this that your school has and attend! This was so crucial in my decision-making process. If your school doesn’t have something like this, go to your study abroad office and ask for contacts of previous students who have traveled abroad on that program, there’s always a way to reach out!
PHOTO: Layne Miller
Do your research
No, I’m not talking about the in-depth research paper type research. This is fun research! One of my favorite ways to explore study abroad options was through watching vlogs on YouTube. There are so many students who take you along with them through their study abroad journey by vlogging their everyday life, but also take you on the weekend trips they make! This helps you get a great look at what a day in the life actually looks like. Further, there are a ton of videos about the cost of study abroad, where you live, how to travel, and many more tips and tricks to make the most of your experience.
PHOTO: Maddy Haller
Decide what you want to get out of your experience
There are an enormous amount of options for studying abroad. Before beginning your search, write down what you want to gain from your experience in a notebook. Decide if you want to be immersed in a different culture, take classes, intern, be located in a city, etc. This will help you eliminate options right away that don’t fit your wants and make the search less overwhelming.
Once you’ve picked a program, it’s time to start preparing! Check out this cute carry on and this camera to capture your adventures! I challenge you to get out and do these few steps when looking to study abroad! You will find yourself ahead of the game with little stress and able to nail the perfect program for you.
Have you ever studied abroad? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured photo by Lex Kelly.