Ever more students venture to distant destinations to fulfill their dream of study abroad. Reasons to study in a foreign country may vary individually.
One of the dominant motivations to spend time studying overseas are better career chances. Every student counselor and career advisor will tell you about the benefits of international experience for your resume as well as your personal development. Part of the benefits is gaining proficiency in a second or third language. And then there is the sheer lure of travel and global adventure. It has to be fun after all!
However, numerous well qualified prospective students forego the opportunity to travel abroad during their university years due to misconceptions about study abroad programs.
While it can be challenging and even frightening to leave the accustomed social environment and culture, make sure you honestly assess your options and do not fall for one of the seven universal myths about study abroad.
In hindsight, the vast majority of students passionately confirm that their study abroad experience has been a remarkable memory from their university years.
Make sure don’t miss out and bust the significant myths of study abroad. And if you decide to stay at home anyway, well the choice is yours.
Myth No. 1: Only the Affluent Can Afford to Study Abroad
Tuitions abroad may well not be higher than programs at home. Inquire study costs at sponsor overseas universities. Most likely you will find out that they frequently remain at the same level as home institutions. Furthermore, federal and state financial aid applies to a term abroad also; not to mention the numerous options of scholarships for students who wish to extend their academic experience internationally.
Myth No. 2: It Takes More Time to Graduate in Study Abroad
Carefully planning can ensure that despite studying abroad, you may well be able to finish your curriculum in no more than four years time. Both winter and summer interims have overseas options for all aspiring students. Majors often also have the opportunity of study abroad for a whole year and at the same time, graduate well on time.
Myth No. 3: The Home University Does not Acknowledge Credit Courses Taken Abroad
The payoffs from study abroad are most pronounced in the promotions by American schools, helping students adjust credits from abroad universities to their courses. You will need to do your homework in this matter: Get detailed information about every class’s syllabus. Contact your advisor what kind of credit you will receive and if possible, get it in writing. Get assurance that you will receive credits for all your efforts abroad.
Myth No. 4: It May Not Be Safe to Study in a Foreign Country
Caution is indeed advised for travels abroad but merely associating the term overseas with specific danger is absurd. Students are notified by study abroad offices on matters of safety and health well before departure along with stringent guidelines and course of action for the safety of the students.
Myth No. 5: Going Abroad Only Makes Sense Once You Have Graduated
Having started life in the real world, professional financial, and personal obligations make study abroad a remote possibility. Study abroad is unique for living out a culture, which as a tourist can be more difficult to achieve. The sooner you gain international experience, the better in fact.
Myth No. 6: Only Juniors Benefit from Studying Overseas
Educational institutions try to make study abroad programs available that are suitable for a broad range of students. These programs are for both, first-year and graduate students. Many of the study programs run during the winter or summer interim. By the way, did anybody say that you can go abroad only once during your studies?
Myth No. 7: Study Abroad Programs Only Make Sense for Language Majors
Regardless of your primary subject, there is a study abroad program for everybody’s academic requirements. If you limit your choices to English speaking countries such as the US, England, Australia, and Ireland makes fitting in with the language a breeze. But also states where English is not the native language such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany, have universities that offer courses in English. Why not take your classes at the university in English while you learn an additional language in your daily life. Remember that your study abroad experience is not limited to your academic life on campus but entails your entire life and experience while in a foreign country. Stretch your comfort zone a little. Your brain works like a muscle, the more you use it, the more efficient it will get.
What Does All this Mean for Your Plans to Study Overseas?
If it is your dream to study abroad, make it happen. Plan your goals of what you are trying to achieve and do not listen to people’s assumptions. Do your research, stick to the facts and then make a well-informed decision that is best for you. Websites like Study Abroad Directory can help you in your search for information and in the application process to go overseas.
At the same time make sure you do not go abroad at all costs. Choose a study abroad program that is in line with your set goals and that supports your curriculum. Travel is great and exciting, and some say it is the best and fastest way to learn. But for now, you are a student and in this role make the curriculum work for you. The future you will be grateful for the wise academic choices you make today. A substantial degree is a handy entry ticket to your future career.