Educational Guide for Studying Abroad
The world is becoming more interconnected each day, and understanding the culture of other nations is essential for a college student’s future success. Most colleges and universities require their students to study other cultures in class, but there is no better way to learn about another culture than by immersing yourself in it. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to learn about another country’s culture. Every year, thousands of students move to other countries to take classes. These students usually live in dormitories at a university or with a host family to learn more about the country’s culture. Students who choose to study abroad have made a very important decision. Before deciding to take on this venture, you must have all the information. If you are considering a study abroad program, read this article thoroughly and make use of all of the resources it provides.
Why Should I Study Abroad?
Studying in another country is a thrilling experience. Nothing can compare with the excitement of seeing new places and meeting new people with different appearances, cultures, beliefs, and attitudes. Through this experience, students can build lasting friendships with new people and maintain their relationships even after returning home.
Interacting with people from different countries allows students to learn more about other cultures than would ever be possible in a classroom. Students also develop empathy for people from other nations, and they gain a deeper appreciation for other societies’ ways of life.
Studying in a new country also allows students to interact with instructors whom they never would have met otherwise. These teachers provide new learning experiences and demonstrate cultural differences to students through classroom instruction. In many cases, studying abroad allows students to connect with some of the top experts in their field.
Finally, students who study abroad have an unmatched opportunity to become proficient in another language. Immersion within a culture that speaks a certain language is one of the best ways to learn to speak that language. Not only will students learn the formal structure of the language and the proper way to speak it, but they will also learn cultural deviations and slang.
Preparing to Study Abroad
After a student decides to study abroad, there is much that must be done to prepare. The student must prepare his/her student visa and passport. The student’s host school can provide additional information about the documents he/she will need.
Students preparing to study abroad must also check with their health insurance providers for information about how to handle illnesses and medical emergencies overseas. Students may need to purchase other coverage while they are overseas. Before traveling, students should also contact the host country’s health ministry and ask about risks of disease. If there is a significant risk of a certain disease, the student can obtain a vaccination before he/she leaves.
Students must also make themselves aware of any risks to their safety that they may encounter abroad. All students studying abroad should remember that they are not in the United States anymore and they must respect the values, beliefs, and culture of the host country. Students should act appropriately while in the host country, and they should also dress themselves in a manner that will be well-received by natives.
Before You Go
Organizations That Can Help
Health & Safety
Funding for Studying Overseas
One of the greatest obstacles for students who want to study abroad is the cost of the program and travel. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to gain funding for study abroad programs. Many governmental entities and foundations offer grants, loans, and scholarships to students who qualify. Some of the most well-known resources are listed below this passage.
For low-income students, the U.S. Department’s TRIO program can provide grants and other financial aid for study abroad programs. Students should consider this option especially if they currently receive hardship assistance from the government, such as Pell Grants.
Spending a large amount of time away from the home country sometimes causes students to experience “reverse culture shock.” When a student arrives in the host country, friends, advisers, teachers, and parents often focus on easing the initial culture shock. However, when students return home, reverse culture shock is often overlooked. As a result, students may experience anxiety, irritation, and depression as they attempt to readjust to their “normal” life. If students, their families, and friends are prepared for reverse culture shock, students may be able to cope better. Family and friends should allow students plenty of space and be prepared for the student to exhibit more independence than he/she did before the experience. Returning students should try to talk about their study abroad experiences with friends and family who are willing to listen. This allows the student to process his/her experience. All students experience their return from studying abroad differently, so not all students will have the same feelings after coming home. More information about the returning from study abroad programs is listed below.
Study Abroad Programs
The demand for study abroad programs is endless, so there are many government programs and organizations that offer exchange programs. The following resources provide information about some of the most well-known study abroad programs.
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