No pressure, but deciding where you go to school is one of the biggest decision you make in your life. It’s where you will learn, set the foundation for your career, grow, become independent, make lifetime friends…need I go on? Needless to say, choosing what college or university that will take up that premium real estate on the top of your resume is important.
So often we tend to allow our hometown, guidance counselors, and alumni statuses narrow the field for us. But instead of thinking regionally or even nationally, there is another category of colleges and universities that are often overlooked.
Instead of studying abroad for a semester or summer, what if you studied abroad for your entire college experience? Ask anyone who has spent time studying abroad and they will tell you it was one of the best experiences of their lives. Besides that knowledge you obtain in the classroom, opening yourself up to a new culture, city, country, and international classmates adds a whole other layer to your personal growth that few students tend to take advantage of.
Going to college abroad is not all passport stamps and international late night food, however. There are other things to consider before you take the leap. So we asked some of our Style Gurus who are attending university in Canada to share their personal pros and cons of studying outside of the U.S.
Here’s what they had to say:
- Studying abroad is a life-changing experience and offers a fresh perspective of the world
- Tuition, while still pricey, can be much less expensive than in the United States.
- Being away from home and literally in a foreign place pushes you to be more independent.
- International universities tend to focus more on my academic and career goals earlier on in the college experience.
- Though international schools may not carry the same traditions, university culture in isn’t lacking by any comparison. They may not have events like homecoming to the same scale, but each school tends to have its own unique tradition.
- Especially in Canada, there are fewer schools, which means competition between schools is a bit less intense and recognition of your alma mater by future employers is almost guaranteed.
- Think about what industry you want to study. For example, the fashion industry is very small in Canada when compared to the U.S. or Europe.
- Sometimes it feels like there is less integration between work and school. Internships or co-op placements in a program are something you need to look for ahead of applying; they’re often hard to come by unless you dedicate a good amount of time searching online.
- It requires additional paperwork, visas, and logistics that can be time consuming to manage.
- Flights home to visit your parents or going to visit friends for the weekend are an international affair.
- It honestly does get very cold in Canada.
Are you thinking of going to school abroad? Share your thoughts and factors you considered in the comments below!
Photos via @thatchiclex