How to Find the Best Study Abroad Program
Study abroad can be one of the best experiences of anyone’s life. You will improve your skills, meet new people, maybe learn a new language. And, above all, you will get to know yourself better and come back home more mature and with lots of stories to tell.
But how to find the best study abroad program, you might be asking yourself. There is so many choices available and very little information about each one of them. So how to make a decision that you won’t regret?
# 1 – Decide what you want first
The first thing that you will want to do is to decide what you want from your study abroad program. Where do you want to go? Which type, of course, are you looking for? How much support will you need? How much money do you have to afford your dream?
Your answers and your mindset will define which study program is the best one for you because not all of them comes with the same items in the package. It is up to you to create a checklist with your priorities and go through each one of them to see which one get more ticks.
# 2 – Look for references and reviews
If you know someone who has taken the program that you are interested, try to chat with him or her and find out as much information about it as possible. Especially ask if they would recommend it and if they would do it again if possible.
If you don’t know anyone, search online and the social media networks for the top sites related to study abroad programs. And it is very likely that you will find people talking and giving their opinion about them.
But don’t look only for the negative aspects. Also question the positives, because what one people think is important might not be relevant to you.
# 3 – Chat with a couple of them before making up your mind
No matter how excited you get when you talk to any of them, make sure that you chat to a good number of agencies and schools or colleges before you make a deal. Emotions hardly are your best advisor in this situation, and you probably will forget to mention some important things.
On the other hand, more people you talk more you learn about what is crucial to a successful study program. So take note of what each one of them says to you, then compare them later. And call them again for follow up – because one will tell you something that other won’t, and you will only notice it later.
# 4 – Read the contract carefully
Usually, people just sign contracts without thinking much, but you definitely shouldn’t do it when it comes to studying abroad. Remember that you will be far away from your family and friends in a foreigner land, meaning that your chances to fill out a complaint will decrease for many reasons.
Plus, the last thing you want is to realize that what you dreamed for will never happen, thanks to the small letters that you didn’t read. So take your time and ask for as many clarifications as you need. And make sure that everything that matters is written as it should be on the contract.
# 6 – Check all legal and immigration issues by yourself
Each country has its own laws and regulations when it comes to accepting students from other countries. And your study abroad program should be able to advise you on that. But, it is far too serious for you to leave it with them only.
So make sure that you check all legal and immigration issues that you might have to deal by yourself. And trust on reliable sources only. Go to the embassy or consulate of the country of your choice and ask them about it. Tell them what you are planning and what you should know.
You might also be able to ask about the program itself and find out if they are trustworthy – many countries have a list of eligible programs allowed to enroll foreigner students, so you should know they have it and if your favorite agency or school is on the approved list.
The bottom line
Study abroad is a fascinating experience that you will never forget. But, in order to make it perfect, you must spend some time find out as much about you can about the country and program you chose.
Be in another country by yourself is a great opportunity to grow up, but there is no need to take any risks. So ask around, take your time, and make a confident decision. If you do your homework right, soon you will find out the perfect study abroad program for you and have the best time of your life.
About the Author: Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about blogging, writing tips, and education system. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Find Janet here: twitter, facebook