Postgraduate education has become much more international, with numerous exciting opportunities opening up all over the world .
Deciding whether to study abroad is a scary decision for any student to make, but it is also an exciting opportunity to discover new cultures, environments and gain invaluable experience.
Ask any former study abroad student and they'll be sure to tell you how it was one of the most rewarding and life changing things they have ever done.
Why Study Abroad?
Not sure whether studying abroad is right for you?
Check out these benefits on why you should take the plunge:
- Optimal way to learn a language - No better way to learn a language than when completely immersed in the culture.
- Opportunity to travel - Perfect opportunity to explore unknown environments that you might otherwise not have to chance to visit.
- First hand cultural experience - Uncover deep cultural differences and worldviews such as beliefs systems and values.
- Develop skills and experiences a classroom cannot provide - Learn how to adapt and respond to unfamiliar situations effectively.
- Make new contacts around the world - Connect with locals and other international students.
- Break from academic routine - Get a break from the monotony of academia as well as take courses that may not be offered by your home university.
- Enhance the value of your degree - Studying abroad shows that you are independent, self motivated, and willing to embrace challenges.
Top Tips for Studying Abroad Educate Yourself Educating yourself on where you are jetting off to is essential for a successful transition. Read up on customs, crime rates, and any other travel tips that may prove useful. Once there keep up with what's hot in the newspaper to stay in touch with what's going on.
Budget Your Money Setting a weekly or monthly budget will enable you to monitor what money you have available, and will also keep you on track when it comes to spending. It is easy to get carried away w hen in a new environment ! Once you have spent a few weeks in your country of choice you'll have a pretty good handle on the value of the foreign currency, and can then adjust your budget accordingly.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone A lot of students who choose to study abroad are happy to spend all their free time with other international students, partying until all hours of the night and speaking English for the duration of their trip. We suggest that you try something different and step outside of your comfort zone. Whether it's learning a new language, living with a local family, volunteering or simply venturing off the beaten track, you'll get much more out of your experience.
Take Lots of Photos Memories fade but pictures don't! Be sure to document your trip well as it will most likely be one you'll never want to forget. Use a photo sharing website like Flickr.com to upload, organize and share your pics along the way.
Know Your Digits Before setting off make a note of all essential emergency service numbers for the country you are headed and keep it on your person at all times. It is also advisable to know where your home country's embassies and consulates are located, as well as their contact details.
Protect Your Stuff A small cross body bag or money belt is essential for safe travel, and perfect for carrying around your passport, money or other important documents. When out and about always keep your bag close to your body, and never on the floor or back of your chair if you want to avoid the hassle of being robbed.
Student Discount Just because you are abroad doesn't mean you're not entitled to a student discount. Get yourself an ISIC card and take advantage of any student discounts that are available. From tourist attractions and travel to accommodation and shopping, you never know where you might be able to get money off.
Bring Pictures If you're prone to feeling homesick having a few pics of family and friends on hand could be a lifesaver. Plus depending on where you are based, internet connection may not be available 24/7 leaving you a little out of touch with the outside world.
Are you preparing to study abroad? Where are you headed?
Let us know in the comments below.