You may have heard about the wonderful, life-changing experiences your peers have had studying abroad. You are now also interested in the opportunity to learn and live in another country. While the idea of studying in a foreign place seems exciting and like an adventure worth having, there are many challenges that come with studying abroad. To help you decide if studying abroad is right for you, here are some considerations.
1. Getting Your Visa
You will likely need to pay a service to have your transcript interpreted by admissions. From expensive fees to waiting periods, applying for your visa may be reason enough to avoid studying abroad. It may also cost you more money if you end up needing to pay for any translations or educational tech tools to make the process smoother for those reviewing your paperwork.
Obtaining your F1 student visa can be a hassle, depending on where you will be coming from, how long you will be studying abroad, and so on. From completing the heavy paperwork to waiting for the approval status, the steps to obtaining your student visa will take time.
2. Can You Speak The Language?
If your goal is to study in another country, you will have a tough time comprehending what you will learn, let alone communicating with others, if you do not know the language spoken in the area. Make sure you have read up on the language exam requirements that you must pass to attend school in another country.
You may need scores that fall within a particular percentile to be considered by a top school. If nothing else, you should consider investing in a translation service and educational gadgets that can help you make sense of what is being said while you travel and study abroad.
3. Can You Afford It?
Some of the programs for college are too expensive for native and international students. The prices of tuition costs and additional fees can catch both local and international students by surprise. You may find that attending school in your home country is more financially affordable for you than acquiring personal loans.
Alternatively, if you want to study in another country, opting for community colleges or local universities may be more accommodating to your financial health.
You do not need to limit yourself to top schools, even if you pursue a very prestigious degree. You may end up needing to take up a day job or a seasonal gig to afford school and living expenses as you study in another country. Deciding if this effort is manageable is another factor to consider as you weigh how affordable studying abroad is for you.
4. Will You Miss Home?
Some people are more inclined to stay close to family, while others love exploring and seeing the world. You will need to decide for yourself where you fall within these extremes to decide if you will have the emotional tolerance to study abroad.
It could be that you will miss your family too much and will want to come home right away. Everyone is different in this respect, so you need to self-reflect and consider what feels best for you.
The Bottom Line
Studying abroad can be a wonderful and enriching experience if you have the financial and emotional means to embark on such a journey. Ask yourself what you are genuinely willing to take on to make studying abroad an option for you. Decide if these potentially strenuous efforts are worth pursuing or if attending college in your home country is a more practical solution for you.