It is normal for you to be concerned as a student when looking to study abroad. There are numerous concerns you may have about your education, including selecting the appropriate study program, country, university, submitting applications, obtaining a study visa, and most importantly, ensuring your safety. Most students considering studying abroad have no idea where to start or what questions to ask in order to make the best decision. This article is here to help by answering some of the most important questions to consider before making a choice.
How much does it cost to study abroad?
The cost of studying abroad varies greatly depending on the path you choose and the country you select. Direct enrollment, exchange, and third-party programs are the three main ways to study abroad. There is no right or wrong answer, but each road has its own advantages and disadvantages. Direct enrollment at an international institution is often the cheapest choice, but it also necessitates the most effort and independence on the part of the student. The cost of exchange programs varies, and they are organized through a partnership between your home university and the host university. This means that, in addition to any program expenses, you will most certainly owe tuition to your home university while studying abroad. Your student loans, on the other hand, are likely to be used to this expense as well. Finally, studying abroad through a third-party program provider is usually the most expensive choice, but in many circumstances, the benefits justify the additional costs.
How to budget for your study abroad
The cost of living in a host city, the type of program, and the length of your travel all influence the real budget for a study abroad adventure. Having said that, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before creating your budget:
- What are the accommodation options?
- What are the transportation requirements on a daily basis?
- What is the current rate of exchange?
- What are your plans for extracurricular activities while you’re away from home?
- What percentage of your time will you spend traveling outside of the program?
- Are there any other costs that your program fees do not cover? Textbooks, visa costs, and health insurance requirements are just a few examples.
You can create a budget once you have a preliminary estimate of all of the above. Numbeo is an excellent tool for predicting various expenses, such as food and rent, and determining the cost of living in different areas. Ensure that you are working with the correct currency when creating your budget. To receive the best exchange rates, exchange currency before leaving your home country and exchange any remaining currency before returning home.
What are the factors to consider when choosing a country to study abroad?
One of the first considerations you will have to make is where you want to study abroad, and there are a lot of wonderful alternatives. Answer the following questions to aid you in your decision-making:
- What languages are you fluent in? Are you comfortable living and learning in a country where English is not the primary language?
- How much do you think your budget will be?
- Is there a particular field in which you’d like to gain experience?
- What are your plans for extracurricular activities while you’re away from home?
- What level of study or degree are you currently pursuing?
Finding destinations that match the answers to these questions is a good place to start. Even better, Setlinn offers a study abroad program search engine which allows users to narrow down options based on their objectives and circumstances. This function will assist you in making a decision by displaying thousands of options from across the world. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, and there is no right or wrong response. Whatever country you choose to study abroad in, you will be forced to become more self-reliant, obtain culturally immersive experiences, and broaden your horizons. If you are having trouble deciding, start by asking friends and relatives who have studied abroad what they loved (and disliked) about their experience. Also, just because a destination is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. To find the perfect country and program to meet your goals, read real reviews here on the Setlinn feeds.
Can I get scholarship to study abroad?
Yes, you can. Scholarships for study abroad can be found in a variety of sources. Your first stop should be the university’s website, which will provide you with information on possible scholarships. External scholarships, such as those granted by the government or by the school’s commercial partners, are occasionally listed by the university. If not, you should look for government programs in your home country and your country of study and financing from outside groups relevant to your field of study (e.g., an engineering firm might offer a scholarship for engineering students). Check out these scholarship articles to learn more about what’s available around the world.
Can I work during my studies abroad?
Your ability to work abroad will be determined by whether or not your student visa allows you to do so. There are restrictions in several countries on the amount of paid labuor you can do while studying. During the school year, there is often a maximum of 20 hours of paid labour per week, with full-time work permitted during the holidays. If you don’t need a student visa, you may be free to work as many hours as you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with your studies — but double-check with the university and/or the official government website.
Do I need to apply for a student visa to study abroad?
Student visas are a common concern among individuals seeking to learn how to study abroad, while they are not required for all international students. You don’t require a visa if you’re an EU citizen wanting to study in another EU country, for example.
However, if you are from outside of the geographical region/continent of your selected country, you will very certainly need to apply for a student visa. This is normally only necessary for extended durations of study abroad; if your exchange is only three months or less, a tourist or guest visa may suffice. The articles mentioned below provide instructions on how to apply for a student visa.
After gaining a letter of acceptance to study abroad, what do I do next?
You have been accepted. All that is left is to prepare for your studies, pack your belongings into a single (big) suitcase, organise your travel papers, apply for your student visa, research your housing choices, and look for funds… Don’t get too worked up; it will all be worth it in the end.
In fact, the first thing you should start thinking about is your travel documentation as soon as you’ve been accepted to a university. Ascertain that you have a valid passport, travel insurance, and, if necessary, a student visa. Make sure you leave enough time for your passport/visa to be approved so you can travel properly. Visit the government website of your chosen country for information for travellers, tourists, and foreign students for further information on what papers you’ll need to travel. Alternatively, you can seek advice from your university. Admissions departments will frequently assist you in preparing for your trip, and in some cases, they may even apply for your student visa on your behalf. However, double-check with your university; don’t trust that someone else will take care of everything.
Do I need to speak a second language to study abroad?
This is determined by the country in which you desire to study and the language in which your course will be taught. If you are not a native English speaker but want to take an English-language course, you will need to show that you can communicate effectively in the language by submitting English-language test results. This is to ensure that you will be able to follow your course without difficulty. English is also taught in a number of different countries around the world, particularly in graduate programs and business degrees. English-taught courses will be posted on the university’s website and can occasionally be found via a centralised database maintained by a national organisation. The TOEFL and IELTS are two common tests used to demonstrate English competence. There are analogous examinations in other languages if you need to verify your ability in a language other than English, such as the DELF/DALF and TCF-DAP (French) or the DSF and TestDaF (German).
What documents should I submit with my application to study abroad?
As part of your application, you might be asked to submit some required documents. International students are frequently expected to furnish the following items, which vary based on the country and university.
- Passport photos for identification
- A statement of purpose
- Academic references/ letters of recommendation
- Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education
- Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in
- English-speaking countries), or other language test
- Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)
What are the entry requirements for study abroad programs?
Because entry criteria differ greatly between institutions and countries, double-check the information provided by your chosen university before sending anything in. In general, if you are applying for an undergraduate degree, you will be requested to demonstrate that you completed your secondary education to a level that matches the needed grades (e.g., GPA, A-level grades, or equivalent) for the program you are applying to. If you have an international credential and are unsure if it will be accepted, you should contact the university’s admissions department. Non-native English speakers who wish to study in English-speaking countries will almost certainly be required to take an English-language test such as the TOEFL or IELTS to demonstrate their English-language skills. Those studying in other languages may be asked to take similar tests.
Can I study abroad virtually?
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed program providers to adapt to the still-complex international travel environment. Virtual study abroad programs have been one method for providers to keep providing relevant experiences to students. Students participating in virtual study abroad (also known as online study abroad) programs are exposed to a variety of cultures while learning about global concerns in a global classroom setting. Virtual study abroad programs, like traditional study abroad programs, vary widely, so finding one that meets your goals and expectations is critical to having a rewarding time. While the obvious disadvantage of virtual programs is that you will not be able to travel, you will still be encouraged to broaden your horizons and increase your worldwide network. Plus, you never know, you might meet your future travel companion or visit a bucket-list location.
What are the qualifications to study abroad?
With so many alternatives, almost anyone can study abroad. Universities and countries, on the other hand, have different requirements for students who wish to study abroad in their respective places. Many countries, for example, will require you to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to be granted a student visa. Another usual requirement for a student visa is financial documentation. You may be required to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your program as well as all living expenses for the duration of the semester. You may also be subjected to a physical examination and a background investigation. Academic standing criteria, most likely from your home university, may also apply if you choose to study abroad. Inquire with your school’s study abroad or international department about the specific criteria. Even if your GPA isn’t high enough, you can still study abroad through direct enrolment or a third-party summer program.
There you have it. These and many more are the frequently asked questions by students looking to study abroad. Do you have unanswered questions that have not been addressed in this article? Kindly do well to ask them in the comment section below. Wishing you the best in your future plans.