Study abroad is the best decision of your life. It can affect the course of your entire life, but even if your path remains the same, the global perspective you gain is invaluable.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably the type of person who wants to travel the world and have new adventures. You’re open to a change of pace and maybe want to master another language. Even if you feel shy sometimes, you know the right environment can totally bring you out of your shell.
Can you imagine going to school during the week and exploring a whole new country on the weekend? Or intertwining your lunch break with a casual convo in a second language? That could be your life, or at least one semester of it!
Study abroad is about stepping out of your comfort zone, embracing a new culture and way of life, and coming home with unforgettable memories — all while not missing a beat with your school requirements or plans to graduate.
Studying abroad is one of the most powerful ways to advance academically, improve your resume, and connect with the world (and yourself) on a deeper level. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to start your study abroad journey.
Research shows students who study abroad are more likely to excel academically, broaden their world views, and prepare for an impactful career. An international education enhances your academic performance by supplementing coursework and textbooks with hands-on experiences.
Study abroad is important if you want to be competitive in a job market that values candidates with international work experience. Global exposure is not only vital to a well-rounded education and successful career, though – it is also an effective step in becoming a better world citizen.
When you study abroad, you are able to face fears and biases fuelled by stereotypes and oppression, you also embrace diversity and recognize the beauty in our similarities and differences.
While going overseas to study may be one of the best times of your life, you’ll quickly learn the long-term benefits of study abroad are even better. In a world of globalization, study abroad prepares you with the skills needed to excel beyond borders (and impress future employers).
International exposure promotes language-learning and cross-cultural immersion, expands your network, and can even offer career opportunities.
The When: Though there is no perfect time to study abroad, you’ll find certain school years and semesters to be most common for students seeking an international academic experience.
While it isn’t unusual to hear of high school graduates going overseas before their freshman year in college, sophomore and junior years are often popular for study abroad. By this time students have realized why everyone should study abroad, and are more likely to have narrowed down the direction of their major.
Once you’ve chosen which school year to spend abroad, it’s time to choose what time of the year to go. Students either study abroad for one semester, the whole school year, or summer break. Though less common, some even elect to spend their school breaks (like Christmas or Spring Break) to join a shorter program.
The Where: With nearly 200 countries in the world, how do you choose where to study abroad?
At Go Overseas, we continuously research, review, and compile lists of study abroad opportunities to bring you up-to-date suggestions on the best destinations to visit in the world.
The two most popular ways to study abroad include direct enrollment and using a third-party provider.
Direct Enrol: When you directly enrol in a study abroad program you can either apply through your home university and let their program facilitate the process, or apply for direct enrollment with a university overseas. Just remember that the latter option is more likely to have a language requirement and may not offer transferable credits.
Here’s what students think about the benefits of studying abroad through direct enrolment.
Third Party Programs: These are independent programs that have relationships with international schools. There are program advisors who assist you with the entire process, often charging an all-inclusive price to study abroad — which is less of a headache, but may cost more.
Here’s what students think about the benefits of studying abroad through a third-party provider.
CEA is your trusted source for travel abroad programs: here you can browse and discover thousands of vetted providers. Just like a trusted travel buddy, we want to help you find the right information and feel excited and confident about your first or next culturally immersive trip overseas.
We know sometimes having an abundance of options can be overwhelming, so we have a few tips on how to find the perfect transformative travel program for you.
1. Browse programs: Narrow your search results by using filters, such as program type, location, and length.
2. Read Reviews: Real people have gone on these programs, and have experiences to share. Read alumni reviews on any program that interests you to get an idea of what it’s really like to be on the ground, overseas.
3. Read Interviews: For any program that really sparks your interest, read personal stories and in-depth accounts from travellers like you. If you’d like to reach out and hear more from the traveller who left an interview, let us know and we’ll help connect you.
4. Browse community photos: Pictures of food, accommodations, adventures, and people (oh, the friends you’ll make!) in program community galleries will help you visualize yourself abroad.
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