Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in another country.
Length of study can range from one week, usually during a domestic break, to an academic year, encompassing a couple academic terms, to an entire degree program that spans several years. The most common are semester long programs that cover either the spring or fall semester. There are also winter and summer semester programs. The winter semester programs, for public, 4-year universities, are usually more focused on a specific area of the countries culture due to the shortened time students have in the country.
Some students choose to study abroad to learn a language from native speakers. Others may take classes in their academic major in a place that allows them to expand their hands-on experience (e.g. someone who’s studying marine biology studying abroad in Jamaica or a student of sustainable development living and studying in a remote village in Senegal). Other students may study abroad in order to get a credential within the framework of a different educational system (e.g. a student who goes to the United States to study medicine), or a university student from Albania who goes to Germany to study mechanical engineering.
Before you opt for studying abroad; you need to take care of certain factors like:
- Quality of education of the concerned country you are planning to travel.
- Cost of living
- Scholarship Programs
- Course Fees
The following points are to be taken care of:
- Consulting the study abroad advisor is a must as you get to know the different university programs you will be offered.
- Taking help of the academic advisor will let you know the type of credit you can receive.
- To ensure the facility of education loans for the students studying abroad, you need to take help of the financial advisor.
- Apply for your passport and visa and make sure the type of Visa you require.
- Do some homework and get a better picture of the country you are about to travel.
- Apply for the travel insurance and make sure that it should cover migration and homecoming.
- Chalk out a budget and find out how much will be the cost of living and what are things you cannot afford to do in that foreign land.
Study abroad programs have a spectrum of integration, from those that offer the greatest integration into host institutions to those offering the most assistance to students.
- Integrated - Complete (or nearly complete) integration into the host academic programming; the director is often a citizen of the host country; students take regular university courses with locals. Examples include interstudy.
- Peninsula - Mix of selected local resources and provider-managed resources. Some courses may only be available to program participants, others may be taught by local university faculty.
- Island - Strong support services enhance the local experience and give it context. This allows an overseas experience without diverging from the home school's degree program.
Costs for a study abroad program include:
- Health insurance
- Living costs incurred during the program
- Passport and visa fees
- Round-trip transportation for the approved program
- Tuition and fees for the program
Students who wish to study abroad fund their studies through a variety of sources, including gifts or loans from family, grants from their home governments, grants from host nations or host universities, scholarships and bank loans.
Financial aid for U.S. students who wish to study abroad may include a combination of scholarships, government student loans, and private student loans.