Should I study abroad in college?

Should you study abroad in college? That’s a question with no easy answer. On the one hand, some students say that the experience of living and studying in another culture can be transformative. Others worry about the costs and challenges involved. Still, others worry about the lack of English skills they might develop overseas. The truth is that there’s no one right answer to this question. What matters most is what will make you happy and fulfilled.

Studying In College vs University

Before looking at the reasons you should study abroad in college and the things to consider before studying abroad in college, let’s take a look at what it means to study in college as against studying in the university. 

Colleges are usually smaller institutions than universities. You will find colleges as part of a university and studying in a college usually lasts at least 2-4 years while universities last a minimum of 3 years.

If you want to advance your studies by taking a postgraduate course, you will need to study at a university if you have just finished a college degree. On the other hand, universities have both undergraduate and postgraduate courses that a student can take. 

Multiple colleges make up a university while a college can stand on its own. For instance, you can have a college of management and social sciences or a college of medical sciences in a university. They are all there under an educational institution to form a university. A college on the other hand can stand on its own. 

Studying at a university can be more expensive than studying in college, especially in public colleges. 

Now, let’s take a look at some reasons you should consider studying abroad in college.

Five Reasons To Study Abroad In College 

1.Make Global Connections

Studying abroad opens you to a lifetime opportunity of meeting people from all over the world. This is something you may never achieve if you study in your own country. There are global connections that will make you a global asset. 

When I left to travel abroad to further my studies, I met people that shaped and keep shaping my life from different parts of the world. From my classmates to my lecturers and professors, it was indeed an opportunity that was worth the move. 

You will meet people that will impact your life in no little way. Some people have also left their own country to study in the country that you are in. This means that you will meet a lot of people like yourself and people that are more advanced than you that you can learn and gain from. 

2. Learn New Things

Since you are coming into a place where you are new, you will learn a lot of new things. From the culture to the food and way of life, you will keep learning every day.

This will be an opportunity to be bilingual by learning a new language and adding to the list of languages that you can speak and understand. This will further set you up for more global opportunities.

You will also eat amazing foods from different cultures. You may realize that a simple snack such as pizza tastes a different way than you are used to. 

3. Opportunity to Boost Your Resume

As a result of the many opportunities which you will be opened, you can boost your resume. For example, most research studies involve internships and fieldwork where you get to intern with organizations in your field. These can be added to your work experience on your resume and it will give you more value globally.

Sometimes, you may be asked to embark on fieldwork where you get to collect raw data if you are into a research program. This is also a good opportunity that can boost your resume.

4. Experience a Different Education System

You have the opportunity to experience a different education system when you study abroad. Different countries have different education systems due to their specific laws and systems. Undergraduate degrees last three years in some countries such as England while it lasts for four years in other countries like the United States of America. 

There are also other things that you will get to experience when it comes to education systems in various countries. For example, lots of schools in Europe are tuition-free unlike many other parts of the world. This will be a lifetime opportunity for you to learn and experience other countries education systems.

5. Explore Hobbies and Ideas

Studying abroad can open you up to new hobbies and ideas that you never thought possible. It can bring out your creativity. For me, studying abroad opened up a creative side that I never thought I had. You may realize that you are in love with something outside your academic interests such as art or music. 

Seeing historical and artistic places abroad may bring out the artistic nature in you or you may simply just develop an interest in it. Exploring new ideas or hobbies revitalizes you and makes you do other things outside academics.

5 Things To Consider Before You Study Abroad In College

1.The Cost of Study

Another important aspect to consider before studying abroad is your finances. It can be costly to school abroad so you need to have enough money to study abroad. You may not have to worry about this if you have a fully-funded scholarship to study abroad.

Check your finances and be sure that you have the financial capability to study abroad. Studying abroad can be expensive so you need enough to study and live there. Most schools require that international students show proof of their living expenses for at least a year so they can be sure they can foot their living costs in the country. 

Although most countries allow international students to work for at most 20 hours per week, you should also have enough to start your life and study there. Remember that placing the sole financial responsibility on your child may distract them from their studies. You should try to support them so they don’t have to fend for themselves alone and without support.

2. System of Education

The system of education abroad will differ from the one you are used to in your home country. Depending on your country, most educational systems abroad will be more holistic and sophisticated than the one you have been used to. However, you should find out the type of educational system that is being used in the country. 

Find out if the educational system of the country is better and more wholesome than yours. There should be no reason you want to spend so much money on an educational system that is not as standard as yours. If your educational system is better than that of the other country, you may want to reconsider spending such a huge amount of money on it.

Education should not be limited to textbooks or academic achievements alone which is a general standard in most countries. Students should be evaluated on their talent, skills, and desire to excel and not just through academic achievements or prowess. 

Universities provide a host of extracurricular programs and have a large number of clubs to nurture students’ interests and hobbies. As a result, you should acquire a well-rounded personality, and in-depth knowledge to succeed in any field.

3. Culture and Way of Living

Apart from studying, you will also live and interact with people in the new country. The culture and way of life of the country should be considered. You will experience different cultures and learn about new beliefs and practices. It’ll be an eye-opening experience for your child when he/she will understand the relevance of social customs. 

Education should not be limited to academics as established in the previous section. Studying abroad can help you appreciate different viewpoints and grow immense respect and allegiance to your traditions and values.

This way, you will become more learned and open-minded which is needed in the world today. Experiencing a different culture will help you remain open-minded to new things and understand that being strange or different does not mean danger. You can openly embrace other people’s cultures while not losing respect for yours.

4. Opportunities That Your Child Will Be Opened To

It is important to consider the immense opportunities that you will be open to when you study abroad. People take years to build their professional identity, at home as well as internationally. 

By studying abroad, you can have an extensive international network. Studying abroad encourages you to collaborate with peers, and professors, go on field trips and exchange programs, converse with locals, gather authentic knowledge, be actively involved in clubs and extracurricular activities, and other relevant engagements. 

These activities allow you to know people, work with them and sometimes make life-long friends and associations. Studying abroad will give you the chance to meet and connect with diverse individuals. Your contacts are invaluable resources for career development as well as personal growth.

Studying abroad should be considered an amazing learning opportunity that most alumni and current students will vouch for. Studying abroad will prepare your child to partake in the wealth of opportunities that studying abroad has in store.

5. The Program Country

Although we have mentioned this throughout the other sections, it is important to consider the country in which you want to study. Choosing a country is one of the first steps to take in studying abroad. Consider the location of the country and the systems that may affect you while living and studying there.

This is also important for your safety. If they have a good security system and a low crime rate, you can be a little assured that your safety will not be easily jeopardized. 

If the country has a good health care system, you can consider the country safe. However, you should find out the cost of health insurance since this kind of infrastructure are not usually free for international students abroad.

Choosing a country with high crime rates or a substandard health care system can pose a great threat to your life. A country with a high rate of racial discrimination or racism can also be a threat to your safety. As a result, the country you choose is as important as keeping your child safe.