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I am debating on studying abroad. What advise could you give me?

I am not sure if it would be the right decision for me to go. #study-abroad

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Roseanna,


It is such a good idea! If you're considering, then you'll also likely regret it if you do not choose to. It is the only time in your life you will be able to escape for a few months, take entertaining classes, and travel! There are multiple levels of immersion programs: native speaking countries, foreign speaking countries with high numbers of US students, or complete immersion programs. I went to Florence, Italy, learned a new language but found it pretty easy to speak English, and met some of the best friends of my life.

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Steven Chang-Hsun’s Answer

Hi Roseanna, I would recommend you to give it a shot if conditions permit. I had studied in the US and lived there for a few years. It was a really exciting and challenging experience. You would have the opportunities to learn or even master a new language as well as expand your choices in the job market. Here are a few things you might want to consider when making such a decision. 1. Costs 2. The major/courses that you want to take 3. Are you familiar with the country/language/culture you are planning to go to? 4. Speak with senior students who are willing to share their experiences or thoughts.

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Vic’s Answer

I debated this a lot when I was younger and decided to finally make the leap and go my senior year of college. I have found in life that when you go out of your comfort zone and do something that is scary/new/unfamiliar you truly push your boundaries and limits. On this line is where you truly learn who you are and what you are capable of. The amount of personal growth and development is accelerated like none other in a different country where you are forced to depend on yourself. This experience is invaluable and is something that is harder to do with age due to working full time/ having more high-stakes responsibilities.

I recommend for you to chat with your college's study abroad office or if you aren't in college yet to google and find the study abroad office website of schools you are thinking of attending/applying to. The websites may have helpful pamphlets on the process. Each school has a different process and even depending on what study abroad program that may differ as well. I recommend for you to speak to an advisor specific to what you are looking to apply to.

Some potential factors to also think about:
1. Countries - proximity of travel to other countries, currency, passports
2. Programs - class requirements, attendance policy, pass/fail policy, transfer of credits, housing requirements
3. Financial Aid - implications, currency rate, use of local currency or credit cards, where to get the best r
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Jen’s Answer

This is a great question! I studied abroad in college in Florence, Italy and it was the best 4 months of my life!


That being said, it is not for everyone. Some things to consider in your decision:

  1. Cost. What is the cost of the program? How will you pay for it if it's higher than you'd have to pay for in a usual semester? If you like to travel, think about how much you'd like to budget for travel during your time abroad and if that's feasible for you.
  2. Will you be able to get all necessary coursework done if you go abroad? Each program is different, but you want to make sure that your program has enough classes that you can complete toward your degree there and still graduate in the time you'd like to.
  3. What kind of experience do you want to have? Do you want to learn about the Renaissance in Italy? Fashion in Paris? Finance in London? Think about want to achieve with this trip and where the best place might be to do that. Also, if you want to be fully immersed in the culture you're traveling to, you should consider a homestay. If you're interested in traveling every weekend or doing activities more on your own or with friends, you might consider living in a dorm or apartment. Different programs offer different options
  4. What kind of academic program are you looking for? You should talk to people at your school who have attended each different program you're looking at or the country you're looking at to see if it would be the right fit for you. I had friends who were in very demanding programs abroad, where their course load at that school was more challenging than our (already demanding) university work. My program, in contrast, was lighter academics, which allowed me more free time to explore Florence and travel.
  5. Are you going to be happy being out of your comfort zone for several months? Of course you will adjust after time, but are you ok with potentially feeling homesick or not feeling comfortable for a while? For me, the benefits of going abroad outweighed any potential risk of discomfort, but if you've never traveled before, it may be very shocking to be away from home for an extended period of time.

Going abroad is a personal decision with many factors, but in general, I think travel is an amazing way to get a new perspective on many things. You may not ever get the chance to live in another country again, so consider that in your decision if it's feasible for you!


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