So you want to study abroad but do not know how to start? Let this article help you make your first steps in preparing for an international education.
First, Ask Yourself
Getting an education in another country is usually a big decision to make, and this decision is likely to make a huge impact on one’s life. Thus, the first thing you should do is ask yourself these questions: why do you want to study abroad and what are your goals?
Asking and answering these questions is likely to set you in the right direction, and it can make it easier to choose your study abroad destination.
For example, if your goal is to study abroad and learn a new language, like Spanish, then you should choose a language school in Spain. If your goal is to study abroad and then eventually get a job there, then maybe you should enroll in institutions in Canada or Australia, since both countries offer stay-back programs for its graduates.
Moreover, if your goal to study abroad is just to gain an international education and experience, then maybe, short-study programs like a study exchange or summer program is the right choice for you.
Find the Right Institution and the Right Program
After knowing what you want to achieve, then it’s time to look for an institution and program.
Some considerations when looking for the right school and program may include the following:
- Cost of tuition fees
- The city where the institution is located since your cost of living will depend on that
- The activities and facilities available in the institution
- The people you can meet and the network you can build (which can be related to your goals)
- The reputation of the institution in teaching, especially the program of your choice
- The admission procedure
After considering these things, create a list of the institutions that fall under what you want in a school. From this shortlist, check alumni’s reviews, ranking, and create a pros and cons list.
Apply to the Institution of Your Choice
After choosing your institution, process your application. For example, check the needed requirements which may include undergoing an entrance exam and passing a language proficiency test, and prepare the needed documents such as your application form, passport, certificate of completion from your high school or undergraduate degree, and so on. Be very particular about the requirements and double check the deadline of submission, according to US News, common reasons why many applications get rejected is due to errors and incomplete applications.
Look for Ways To Finance Your Study
Next, plan on how you can finance your study abroad. There are two ways to do this, by using your own savings or by applying for a scholarship or grant. When you study abroad, aside from tuition fees, you also have to include in your budgeting the cost of accommodation, estimated living expenses for one month, flights, visa application, and extra money for books and leisure.
If you are going to apply for a scholarship, there are scholarships that are only specific to tuition fees, and scholarships that can help you finance both your studies and cost of living.
Process Your Student Visa
Most international students need a student visa to study abroad and usually, students can only apply for one once they get accepted in the institution of their choice. When applying for one, it is important to know how long it will usually take before you can get it, as the duration may last from two to three months.
Look for an Accommodation
Before you travel abroad, it is important to look first for a place to live. You can check your institution first if they are offering on-campus accommodations for their international students. If not, you can also look for other types of accommodation like a rental apartment, a homestay, or even a temporary place to live like a hostel if you plan to look for an accommodation after arriving in the country.
Want to know other tips about studying abroad? Check out MSM Unify’s articles to learn more.