#MyArtTravels Tips: Preparing for Your Study Abroad Experience: Choosing the Right School
Studying abroad is an experience like no other. Not only do international schools set the stage for unique character building moments, but they can also provide the perfect environment for fostering a student's independence and maturity. To reap the full benefits of studying abroad, however, each student must choose the school that is right for them, which isn't always the easiest thing to do.
To help make the process a little easier, here are some questions that, when answered, will help you identify your perfect school:
- What do you hope to get out of your overall experience?
- How long do you want to study abroad?
- Which countries interest you most?
- Do you have a specific course or language you'd like to study?
- Are you more drawn to urban or rural settings?
- Do you prefer larger institutions or smaller, more intimate schools?
- Would you prefer a school that handles all the planning for its students or one where students take the initiative in most areas?
By answering these questions prior to searching, you'll be more equipped to find the schools that best fit your personal needs and preferences. As you conduct your search, be sure to make a list of any schools you would consider studying at, so you can more easily compare them later. Making a list of each school's features and drawbacks can also be helpful for when it comes time to compare individual schools. Finally, depending on your circumstances, it may be worth checking if each school's accreditation is recognized by schools and employers in your home country.
Now, before ruling out any schools, there are certain considerations that should be explored. A major factor you'll need to consider is the total cost of each study abroad program. Remember, different programs cost different amounts of money and the full cost of studying abroad isn't always straightforward. Before deciding on a school, always check if the stated fees include the cost of housing, food, and extracurricular excursions. If such fees are not included, then your adventure will likely cost far more than the advertised price.
Before applying to any schools, you'll also need to check if your chosen program has any requirements for joining. Must students meet certain academic grade requirements to be welcomed into the program? Perhaps there are prerequisite courses that must be completed before you'll be granted admission. Certain schools also have language requirements that need to be met before enrollment can be finalized. To avoid wasting your time applying for programs that you aren't yet qualified for, always consult each program's list of requirements before filling out its corresponding application.
In the end, no matter which schools you are considering, it's important that you thoroughly research your options so that you fully understand what to expect if you are accepted to a study abroad program. Studying abroad is big commitment, so always research ahead of time and talk with your family, friends, and academic advisor about any concerns you may have. By choosing the right school before you leave, you can maximize the benefits of your overall study abroad experience.
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