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!