Getting an opportunity to go abroad to pursue college or university is once in a lifetime experience, that you should try to relish the most. However, there a few things to be considered first. For example, where would you like to go and why? What kind of program does your school offer? What classes will you take and how are they taught overseas? So before you get excited and book that plane ticket to a new world, weigh your options. Furthermore, let the team of Academic Insights help you with your decision-making process, by stating out the pros and cons of studying abroad.
Pro: Making new friends
No matter where you end up studying abroad, take this time to make new friends. That could mean someone from your school in your program or major. It could also mean a native of the city or country you are visiting. Remember, even your best friends started out as strangers. Do your best not to isolate yourself. Having friends from various cultures and backgrounds is a great thing. You can learn so much from them and vice versa. It also makes for great stories and memories.
Homesickness is just the opposite of making new friends. No matter where you go, you will probably get a little homesick. We have all been there and that is perfectly normal, especially in the beginning. For example, on special occasions like birthdays, holidays or special events with your friends and family. Luckily, for you, with social media, you can connect with your loved ones almost instantly at any time of the day. Your folks would want you to have awesome stories, pictures and adventures to share when you come home. Possibly souvenirs, too.
Pro: More options
For some, studying abroad may offer flexibility in their program. Especially in the case of international students. For example, if an international student is studying something like economics, business or finance there may be more choices for them in the U.S. compared to where they’re from in the case of class selections, internships, and even job opportunities. Having options is always a good thing. It may open your eyes to new ideas that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. The possibilities are endless.
One of the main concerns we hear about study abroad is how much it costs. Especially if you plan on studying internationally. Flights, housing, meals, living expenses plus tuition and fees can all add up pretty quickly. However, if studying abroad is something you really want to do, don’t let that stop you. The solution is very simple: do your research. Contact your institution and look into any financial aid for your specific program. Ask about scholarships, grants and other forms of free money to cut costs where needed.
Pro: Learn a new language
This one might seem obvious, but one of the best parts of studying abroad is learning a new language. By learning a new language, you will be able to communicate with people in your new home, connect with them and hopefully blend in more. After all, that is your home for a limited time. Also, speaking another language no matter which one is yet another useful skill. Employers and internship coordinators take interest in that when considering applicants
Con: Losing time
For many, studying abroad can be a wonderful experience. However, going away for a semester or even a year can sometimes affect your degree program when you return. For example, some students who choose to study abroad end up having to do an extra semester or even an extra year of school. This is to make up for the time that was lost. If that happens you also have to factor in how that changes your college plan.