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Deciding whether or not to study abroad is a huge decision. Studying abroad is an experience that can change your life forever. It opens your eyes to new culture, food, and people while still doing all the things that you love. Most colleges and universities offer study abroad programs tailored to specific majors. Study abroad programs usually take place in countries outside the United Statues such as Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia. It can be a difficult decision to decide where to go but these tips should help narrow down your choices.

What do you want to get out of your experience:

Although it might sound a tad bit cliché the saying, what you put in is what you get out, is ultimately true in studying abroad. Most study abroad programs take place over the course of a semester, which can be anywhere from a month to six months. At first this can be a scary thought but the time really does fly. You will be so busy learning and being immersed in the culture that there will be little time for you to become homesick. Most schools offer a structured program catered to the major in which you are specializing. This is because some countries may specialize in the field of your major. For example most fashion students will either spend their time in Milan or Paris, which are the fashion capitals of the world. While other popular places to study abroad are Italy, England, China, and Australia.

What to look for in a study abroad program:

Deciding on the right destination will have such a huge impact on your experience. You want to be sure to pick a place that you have never really been before and are eager to learn about. In the United States we have our own certain culture that is way different than overseas. The food, art, and entertainment are also an important aspect on your experience. Picking a place that shows interest to you is important because it will build anticipation for your trip. Being immersed in a new culture is an exciting and scary experience but it will be a huge learning experience. Also looking for a destination that is surrounded by other areas that you would like to visit would be nice. Traveling is a huge part of the study abroad experience. Most programs will allow free time, which is ample time to travel to new places.

How to make the most out of your experience:

After choosing what program is the best fit for you it is important to plan what you want to get out of your trip. There will be so much to take in and learn that it can start to feel overwhelming at times. The most important thing is to make the most out of your day and take everything as a learning experience. Believe it or not shopping and eating do count as learning on study abroad. Interacting with the people and the culture is huge too because most study abroad programs will occur away from the typical tourist attractions. By doing this you will be able to create a bond with the locals, and they will become new teachers. It is also helpful to try and learn the language while you are there because it is the best souvenir to come home with.  And lastly the number one rule of studying abroad is to have the time of your life!

What Do You Think?

Have you studied abroad already? Do you want to? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Sarah Lazarus Author: SarahBLazarus

More Every College Girl

6 Comments

  1. Katie Dwyer Katie Dwyer says:

    Study abroad is so important! It’s a delicate balance, though–I’ve been lucky enough to go abroad several times and I’ve had the time of my life and have also been extremely lonely and confused several times. You learn a lot about yourself by suddenly finding yourself in a strange culture and place. You get to re-invent yourself, but also have to get used to new ways of living. Everyone should go if they get the chance–it’s a big, exciting world out there!

  2. ENha ENha says:

    to Leah above in my cmmoent reply, if I added one more to the list, it would have been to live in San Diego. Maybe still one day….. can I stay with your family?!

  3. Lauren Lauren says:

    This is at the top of my to-do list while at college. I think one of the toughest decisions once you’ve decided to study abroad is where to go. When i looked into at at my school, there were so many places that a student could go to study abroad. I would recommend choosing a place that your school has affiliations with. This would make the overall process a lot easier. I plan on studying abroad in Italy next fall and i cannot wait. I’m obviously a bit nervous but I’ve heard from others that not going has been one of their biggest regrets during college.

  4. [...] Why you should consider studying abroad [...]

  5.  Jessica Prieto says:

    Well, I used to live in the US but two years ago I came to COlombia S.A to finish high school and it has been the best thing that could have ever happened to me even though at first it was very hard. Here I had to see 12 subjects and obviously all in Spanish so I had to perfect my Spanish and now I am completly bilingual and I’m smarted since I see more subjects in less time and with more intensity.. My doubt now is, Should I go back to the US for college or should I stay here? really confused about that :/

  6. Megan Megan says:

    Haha I think this was a sign for me…I woke up at 6 am trying to decide if I should study abroad and then looked at this website and this article showed up :D Great advice, I will be going to London next year!

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