Planning to Study Overseas
Studying overseas is one of the most rewarding, memorable, and enriching experiences that a student can partake in. They become exposed to parts of the world that they may never again have the chance to experience, providing an opportunity to learn about a new culture, live in a new environment, and meet new people. Although it takes a decent amount of planning and preparation, studying overseas is a unique experience that should be taken of advantage of if at all possible.
At the start of the planning process is the most basic question: where is the desired travel destination? Almost every country offers some type of study abroad program, whether it be through a school, an independent study, or a long term housing situation. A lot of times it can be easiest to start with the curriculum and work backwards from there. Some countries may specialize in a certain area of study, so course availability and open programs will vary from place to place.
Probably the most important aspect of any overseas study trip is the financial component. With traveling costs such as flights and a visa kit, school costs of the program itself, and discretionary costs such as spending money for souvenirs and tourist days, the total bill for such a trip can add up to quite a lot, and it can add up quickly. It is very important not to get overwhelmed with the final number – there are many options for financial aid available, from scholarships to grants to student loans, and most of them are relatively easy to obtain. Sit down and make a detailed list of any and all costs that will incur during the trip, adding a little extra cushion for anything that may get tacked on. From there, simply do a little research into the various types of loans available or visit your local bank to discuss what the best options will be.
Another logistical step to take care of is obtaining the necessary travel documents, most importantly a visa. This step can either be done via an agent or as a DIY visa, but either way it must be accomplished well before taking off for the trip. The DIY visa tends to be less expensive, less timely, and less cumbersome, but utilizing an agent comes with a professional’s seal of approval. However, as students tend to look towards saving money wherever possible, getting a visa kit and taking care of the process personally is one surefire way to save some cash.
Traveling as a student may require a bit more planning and preparation than an ordinary trip, but when it is all said and done it is a fantastic experience and is worth every penny. The biggest key to successfully studying overseas is planning out a budget and sticking to it – there are always going to be some extenuating circumstances, but doing the proper research and planning ahead of time will ensure that you get the most for your money. Whether you choose to study abroad for a week, a month, or a whole year, an overseas trip is definitely one that will forever be remembered.