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Student Guide

The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad or Overseas

What are the Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad or Overseas

Studying abroad is a huge decision that can have both pros and cons, a decision that many people make when they are in college. Some see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about another culture and grow as an individual, while others view it as expensive and difficult to juggle classes with new language and different culture.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to study abroad is up to each individual student – there are definitely benefits and drawbacks to both options! In this article we will explore some of the pros and cons of studying abroad.

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What is Studying Abroad and Why do People do it?

In a nutshell, studying abroad is the experience of completing part or all of your college degree at a university in a different country from where you grew up. Some students will attend school for only one semester overseas while others might spend an entire year away from campus. In most cases, studying abroad can be integrated into your degree plan so that you don’t have to tack on any extra semesters or years in order to complete it. You will still graduate on time with the same degree as students who stay home for school.

There are many reasons somebody might choose to study abroad. Some see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a different culture and grow as an individual, while others view it as a way to expand their knowledge of the world. Many students also see studying abroad as a great way to network with other people in their field because international schools have a lot of diversity.

The pros of studying abroad (Disadvantages)

Experience a new culture and grow as an individual.

The first and most obvious pro of studying abroad is the opportunity to experience a new culture and gain valuable knowledge about different ways of life. You will expand your world view and gain valuable knowledge that you can never receive in a classroom setting. Many students say that their time overseas changed them as a person, for better or worse-it really depends on your personal preference and how you approach the experience.

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Network with people in your field.

The third pro is the networking opportunities that come along with studying abroad. Many students see studying abroad as a great way to network with other people in their field because international schools have a lot of diversity. The exposure to other people in the same field is another great reason to study abroad because you will learn how your degree can be applied throughout the world.

​Acquire new skills.

Even if you are not studying abroad for any of the previously stated reasons, it’s important to note that there are practical benefits that go along with studying overseas. Many students who study abroad claim that the new experiences and skills they acquired while studying abroad helped them get their first job after college. For example, you will likely become more independent and self-sufficient because of the challenges of living in a foreign country. Additionally, since most colleges require students to do some sort of internship or volunteer work as part of their degrees, consulting with your international school is a great way to have that experience.

The cons of studying abroad (Disadvantages)

It can be expensive.

As with almost any decision in life, there are some drawbacks to studying in another country. One of the biggest disadvantages is the cost. Attending a school overseas can be extremely expensive and you might have to take out loans or sacrifice this experience in order to pay for it. If money is an issue for you, you might want to think about whether or not studying abroad is right for your current situation, else, then congrats!

Classes might be taught in a language that you’re not familiar with.

Another thing to consider is the difficulty of juggling school with a new language and culture. You will need to take mandatory classes, do research papers, write essays, etc., but this will be much harder if English is not your first language. You will also need to consider the level of English proficiency among other students-will you be struggling to communicate with people around you? If this is an issue for you, then studying abroad might not be the best decision right now.

Additionally, depending on the school and program that you choose, you may find that classes are taught in a different language than English. It’s important to recognize this before signing up for classes so that you can figure out whether or not this will be an issue for you.

The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad or Overseas
Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad or Overseas.

How to make the decision if studying abroad is right for you

Making the decision of whether or not to study abroad is a big one, and it’s different for everyone. Here are a few tips on how to make the decision that’s right for you.

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1. Consider your reasons for wanting to study abroad.

Are you looking to experience a new culture? To network with people in your field? To learn a new language? Once you know your reasons, you can start to weigh the pros and cons of studying abroad.

2. Consider your budget.

As mentioned before, studying abroad can be expensive. Make sure that you take into account the cost of tuition, room and board, and other associated costs before making a decision.

3. Consider your level of English proficiency.

If you are not very proficient in English and there is a good chance that classes will be taught in another language, then studying abroad might not be the best decision for you right now.

4. Research your options.

There are many colleges all over the world offering study abroad programs subject to availability of courses of interest to you. If you are looking to study abroad in another country, look for a program that will allow you to enjoy your experience while maximizing the time you are spending there. Make sure that the school has good reviews and is accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the US Secretary of Education. Also, don’t forget that it’s important to know the cost of tuition, room and board, fees, course materials, etc., before signing up for a program.

5. Apply!

Once you have considered your options and figured out the factors that are most important to you in deciding whether or not to study abroad, then it’s time to apply! Make sure that you look at all of your schools’ deadlines for applying to study abroad, and don’t miss out on this wonderful experience!

How to study abroad if it is the right choice for you

If you’ve decided that studying abroad is the right choice for you, then there are a few things that you need to do in order to make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Start by researching your options.

There are many colleges all over the world offering study abroad programs subject to availability of courses of interest to you. If you are looking to study abroad in another country, look for a program that will allow you to enjoy your experience while maximizing the time you are spending there. Make sure that the school has good reviews and is accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the US Secretary of Education.

3. Keep track of deadlines.

Make sure that you’re keeping track of all of the important dates and deadlines associated with your program-not just application deadlines, but also important dates like orientation, early arrival for language research or pre-departure orientation, etc.

2. Apply!

Once you have considered your options and figured out the factors that are most important to you in deciding whether or not to study abroad, then it’s time to apply! Make sure that you look at all of your schools’ deadlines for applying to study abroad, and don’t miss out on this wonderful experience!

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4. Keep a budget.

It’s always a good idea to keep track of your money, especially when you’re studying abroad! Overseas programs can be much more expensive than attending school in the US. Make sure that you are keeping track of all of your spending, and keeping your budget balanced at the end of each month.

5. Prepare for cultural differences.

You might think that it’s a good idea to pack everything from home and take it with you when studying abroad…but don’t! You will have a much more meaningful experience if you embrace the culture of your new home. If you are living abroad, try shopping at local markets to get a feel for prices and what is available in your community. There are many resources on the internet that can help you learn about the customs and traditions of your host country.

6. Try living in the culture.

If you are living abroad, try shopping at local markets to get a feel for prices and what is available in your community. There are many resources on the internet that can help you learn about the customs and traditions of your host country.

7. Don’t forget your roots!

Don’t be afraid to bring a little bit of your own culture with you. You will be able to share it with the people you meet, and an American accent is sure to make you stand out wherever you are!

8. Get involved.

Don’t be afraid to get involved in extracurricular activities like sports or dance clubs. You might even want to try joining a student association or volunteering at an after-school program. These experiences will help you meet people and get involved in the culture around you.

9. Don’t forget about settling in.

It’s going to take a while for you to adjust to a new country, and that means that you might be a bit homesick at first. Although it is your choice whether or not you want to settle in at the beginning of your program, if you do, you will have an easier time adjusting and getting into a routine.

10. Get ready to become fluent!

If you are going abroad for school, remember that your education should still be your first priority. Don’t let your time abroad become an excuse to procrastinate or fall behind on schoolwork!

Conclusion

Studying abroad can be an amazing experience, but it’s important to consider all of the factors involved before making a decision. There are many pros and cons to both studying in a foreign country, so it’s up to each individual student to decide what is best for them. No matter what you choose, make sure to enjoy every minute of your time overseas!

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