Study Abroad Programs-Great Benefits and Challenges

Your college years challenge you and stimulate growth in unexpected ways. Taking advantage of study abroad opportunities is a major milestone on your path to becoming a talented, well-rounded human being. Taking your studies overseas with study abroad programs opens you up to new experiences in exotic foreign lands you may never again can enjoy. The benefits are many and there are challenges you will face. Below you will find useful tips on how study abroad programs work, how to apply and some challenges you may confront along the way.

How Study Abroad Programs Work

The first challenge facing prospective candidates for studying abroad is deciding what you want to accomplish and searching for a program to get you there. There are many options available including summer, a full semester and full term year programs. After you decide what program you want you simply apply for admissions and financial aid, if applicable. Your school financial aid advisor and organizations like EduBookings or The American Institute for Foreign Study can assist with applying for scholarships and grants.

The University of Kansas recommends seeking help and guidance from your academic advisor. He or she will be happy to discuss resources available for finding a program, admission, financial aid and arranging housing. Some institutions integrate it all together to make the process easier to complete and there are universities with campus locations in other countries. This often makes the process easier due to dedicated student housing onsite.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Every new experience shapes you and changes your outlook on life. Travel and experiencing different cultures, new friends and different ways of living opens your mind to new possibilities and gifts you with greater abilities. The places you see and languages and cultures discovered along the way make you a more capable individual and enhance your resume with better interpersonal skills prospective employers will find desirable

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers , many of the skills gained and improved through study abroad make prospective employees more desirable to employers. Comfort interacting with other cultures and the ability to speak foreign languages are prominent factors making prospective hires capable of doing more and achieving greater success for the company.

Challenges for Students

You will face challenges both in getting accepted to a study abroad program and after you arrive at the school overseas. Some programs only accept a few students and others might be difficult to get financial help to fund the journey.

Start early making plans and exploring the resources available to you. Getting a head start, even a year in advance, gives you a leg up on competition and a better chance for receiving the scholarships, grants and help you need.

Once abroad, you find yourself in a strange land far from familiar faces. Battle homesickness by exploring your new surroundings with a sense of adventure. New people, exotic places and delicious local treats lot to tell the folks back home.