4 answers

Is studying abroad beneficial?

Asked Collegeville, Pennsylvania

I am applying to be a physical therapist and have always wanted to study abroad, but am not sure how that will affect a college schedule and costs #study-abroad #finance #college

4 answers



Studying abroad was one of the best decisions that I made in college. I had the best time and it's an important learning and growing experience. I would suggest thinking through what country/city would be best for you. Language issues or other cultural issues might be tough. Although that is part of the whole process and it's meant to be uncomfortable in some ways you want to make sure you feel good about where you are living and studying. I studied in England because I knew that while I wanted to experience a different culture, I didn't want the added stress of a language barrier. And it turned out to be a great choice.

If finances are an issue I would suggest meeting with your counselor at school and have them walk you through scholarship and financial aid opportunities. There are a ton out there that might help you offset some of the expenses.

Best of luck! I hope you are able to have the study abroad experience.

Dhairya’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn about different cultures and explore new places. College is a rare opportunity where travel to new places for an extended period of time (semester or even a year) without having to consider life responsibilities (works, bills, etc) that later in life make it hard to travel.

You should talk to your academic advisor and the study abroad office. Start early so you can plan in advance. There are ways to tailor your study abroad experience such that credits taken abroad count towards you major and won't hinder your academic progress. Additionally, your school will have partnered study abroad programs. This programs have similar costs structure similar to your current tuition and room and board structure. From a financial point of view, you would pay for the study abroad program the same way you do currently, usually directly to the school bursar's office.

When you are abroad there will incidental costs (eating out, transportation, and personal care) that you'll need to budget for and plan ahead for. I worked the summer previous to when I studied abroad and saved all the money I could to cover incidental costs. Also check to see if there any scholarships for studying abroad and apply for them. I had an additional 2k in scholarship funding to cover costs of books and materials directly from my study abroad program based on my grades and course of study.

Good luck and I hope you get the opportunity to travel and have new adventures.

Roger’s Answer

Updated Walnut Creek, California

Studying abroad is beneficial, can put you on a path to graduate early if you go during summer, and may be no more expensive (or even less) than studying on campus.

Both of my daughters went to school "out of state" at Arizona State University and studied abroad. The cost was the SAME as going to ASU on campus and paying for housing. The only additional cost was the FLIGHT. 

My oldest daughter minored in Spanish and studied abroad in Spain. She took 6 units in Barcelona and 6 units in Seville. She was gone for 12 weeks over the summer. 

My younger daughter studied abroad in New Zealand.  She took 6 units on the "Filmography and Economic Impact of Lord of the Rings." She was gone for 4 weeks during summer. Seriously, my younger daughter toured scenic film locations of "Lord of the Rings" in beautiful New Zealand for a month... sweet. 

Both daughters truly benefitting from the Study Abroad experience. Highly recommend if the costs are right. Adding a semester abroad can help you get ahead on college credits and (depending where you go for your 4 years of college) can cost the same or less than the college you attend. 

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

That really depends upon many factors. It all begins with getting to know yourself better to make sure that this is an appropriate career for you based upon your personality traits and then talking to people who are doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can see what they do, how they got there, and what advice and suggestions that they might have for you.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##