Today I'd like to share a guest post from Amanda Perkins about studying abroad. As some of you may know, I've shared posts about the opportunities for going abroad here on my blog before and Amanda's article is a wonderfully helpful addition. Enjoy!
Studying abroad is a great experience that looks amazing on any resume. Studying abroad is open to all students who meet their school's minimum GPA requirement and who are in good academic standing. Studying abroad consists of attending a college in another country for a semester, which last about four months to a whole year. While studying abroad is a great experience that can broaden your view of the world as well as heighten your college education, it can seem scary to some. Many students become anxious about how they are going to pay for their study abroad experience. Others are nervous to be so far away from home for a long period of time. However, the good news is that studying abroad isn't as scary as it sounds. There are many ways to turn your study abroad experience from a nightmare into a great time.
First, many students worry about how they are going to pay for their study abroad trip. Finances include application and program fees, travel costs, housing costs, and the costs of living. There are many ways to keep these costs down though. Many organizations offer scholarships that you can apply for and these scholarships will cover the cost of your travel expenses or costs of living. The government also offers financial aid and grants to help students participate in study abroad programs. If you do not want to apply for a scholarship to reduce travel costs you can always look into using frequent flyer miles or flying with an airline that has lower costs. Airlines that are cheap have many inconveniences such as no leg room or bad airport locations but the money you will save on traveling is well worth the trouble. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on housing you can look up a hostel, which is like a student hotel. They are known for having cheap rates and everything you need. Second, many students are nervous about being far away from home. For those who are very close to their friends and family you can still keep in daily contact with them through social media platforms such as Skype, Facebook, and Twitter, which are all free as compared to international phone calls. Skype and Facebook even have video phone call options so you can see your loved ones as if you were sitting right next to them. It may also comfort you to buy them gifts and souvenirs. This way you can show them that you were thinking of them while you were away. Finally, always remember that studying abroad is not forever and you will be home before you know it. By looking forward to seeing your friends and family when you return home you will be able to enjoy the rest of your trip.
Studying abroad is definitely not as scary as it sounds. The first step is to overcome your fears and know that there are always ways around them. By following these simple tips you will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your time away from home. Being less anxious will also allow you to focus more on your schoolwork.
Amanda Perkins writes and edits the Study Abroad website ClassAbroad.com. She enjoys traveling, learning, and writing. She recently published a piece on the Top 5 Nursing Study Abroad Programs.