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Study Abroad

College can be a great experience for any student, but some people find it even more rewarding if they study abroad. Taking this step offers many advantages and can increase your ability to find a job. This is even more important in today’s global economy. This does not mean, however, that studying abroad is right for every student. You need to examine your own situation careful before deciding.

Making the Decision

No matter what your career choice is, you can find the right kind of training in a foreign country. You should also note that that studying abroad does not have to mean for the entire degree program. You have a variety of study options ranging from a few weeks to one year or more. Paying attention to the following tips will help you to make a decision about studying overseas:

Contact the schools you are interested in

This is an important first step in making the right decision. You need to learn all you can about these schools to see if they will offer what you need as a student. A few important points include financial aid for foreign students, the size of the campus and the length and types of courses offered. You also need to find out what kind of support is offered to foreign students.

Find out if the schools are accredited

Some employers do not accept degrees from schools outside the country without having the degree evaluated. Sometimes they feel that the degree just might not be good enough, but in most cases, they are concerned that the school might not have accreditation. Before you apply to any school abroad, you should check to make sure it is accredited. For this reason, you need to consider schools that are reputable and have a good international reputation.

The language spoken

If you speak the language of the country you are interested in going to, this will make the process of fitting in and learning easier. You will have no problems keeping up in class or moving around in the country. Of course some people study abroad to learn a new language and experience a different culture. If this is something that interests you, then you should consider studying abroad.

Do you like to travel?

Some people do not study or take jobs abroad simply because they do not enjoy traveling. If this is not a problem for you then you can consider going to school overseas. Just be sure to determine how often you will need to travel back and forth between your home country and the country where you are studying. You need to take into consideration the expense of airfare.

Can you handle living in a foreign country?

This is an important question for anyone who has never been away from home. Being in a different country for the first time can be difficult for anyone. When you add to that the pressure of being in college and trying to cope on your own, it becomes even more difficult. You must think seriously about whether being far from home is really for you.

No matter what anyone says, it is up to you to make this decision. You have to make sure that you are making the decision for the right reasons, and not because someone else wants you to. Many people who have studied abroad have said that it was the right move. You could open yourself up to new opportunities in life.

7 Top challenges students face when studying abroad

Students enrolling in colleges overseas will find the experience frustrating, challenging but also exciting. When going to a country with a very different culture, students have to try to adjust to their surroundings. While the experience is definitely not easy, it can be a lot of fun. Knowing what to expect before travelling to another country is the best way to make things easier. Given below are a few challenges that students commonly face when they study abroad:

Fitting in

All students will initially feel like an outsider when they go to a new country. They find it difficult to understand the local norms and culture, the language and food. While most countries are quite welcoming, the experience can be trying as you try to come to grips with your new surroundings. However, this problem will eventually seem smaller as you adjust to the new environment and find the locals to be friendly and encouraging.

The culture

The culture in every country is different. In fact, the cultures within the same country tend to be quite different. For students, it is important to understand and accept this fact. From minor cultural differences like accepted dressing and communications to larger issues, students in a new country will take a little time to fully understand the extent of cultural differences. The best way to deal with this problem is to read a little about the culture of the country you will be visiting and talking to other international students about their experience.

The food

Every country has different food. The food items served in the college cafeteria in a new country might be very different from what international students are used to eating back home. Initially, there might be a few adjustments required and you may even face physical issues as your body tries to adjust to the new ingredients and taste. However, with time you may easily get used to the new cuisine. Students can also try to find ingredients from their country in specialty grocery stores and supermarkets and try to cook at home.

The language

Language is perhaps one of the most common challenges that all students studying abroad face. Learning a new language takes time but once you are well-immersed, the problem will go away very quickly. English is spoken in most countries today so it should not be too difficult for students to communicate with others. However, it is also important for students to persevere and try to learn the language normally spoken in the new country.

Social life

Studying abroad can be a very enjoyable experience. However, being away from friends and family can take its toll over time. The best way to deal with this problem is by building a new support network in your new environment. Make new friends, talk to your classmates, join clubs at the university and do everything you can to build meaningful relationships.

Learning Style

Students from Asian countries are usually accustomed to lecture based classes. Universities in western countries usually involve group discussions, seminar and interactive learning techniques that international students may not be very familiar or comfortable with. These students are usually more comfortable with passive learning and tend to take some time to adjust to self-directed, independent learning that is usually required in western classrooms.

Academic Expectations

Because of the many difficulties that students tend to face in a new learning environment, it is common to see their grades drop during the first year of university. Some students may have high academic expectations and may find their performance depressing and discouraging. It would be help if you start studying up on some of the more difficult courses in advance. Take fewer credits in the first semester to ensure you have a comfortable schedule and try to avoid going for the tough courses right in the first semester. Most important of all keep an open channel of communication with your instructors and professors.

While there are several challenges that you will normally face when studying abroad, the experience is very rewarding and enriching.

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