Archive | Studying Abroad

Have you always dreamt of traveling the world? For many people, international travel remains but a dream.

Between work, kids, and family, finding the time and money to travel overseas can be difficult. Fortunately, that opportunity is right at your fingertips.

Deciding to spend a semester abroad comes with a unique set of challenges. With so many destinations to choose from, it can be hard to decide which city is right for you.

If you’re considering studying abroad, don’t feel overwhelmed by this initial decision. As with any big decision, exhaust your resources so you’re as prepared as possible.

Speak to college advisors for in-depth information. Chat with other students who have traveled overseas in prior semesters. Looking for a place to start? Check out our list of the 7 best study abroad cities for college students:

Gold Coast, Australia

The city of Gold Coast is a popular destination for college students studying abroad. It is teeming with beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, and amazing food. Like most major cities, it’s simple to navigate, find a place to live, and discover incredible places to eat.

In Gold Coast, it’s easy to feel at home even though you’re far away. As a bonus, most Australians speak English, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing the language.

Salamanca, Spain
Rich with history and culture, Salamanca is a small, walkable city that’s easy to get around. Home to the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain’s most beautiful central squares, it is a city full of art.

With countless museums and stunning architecture, Salamanca is best when traveled by foot. When you’re not studying, you’ll be able to walk around, see the sights, and tour the city.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich is one of the most beautiful and safest places to study abroad. The weather is great year-round, making it a great city for walking, wandering, and exploring. This lakefront city offers exciting nightlife and amazing shopping. As a bonus, it has an incredible view of the Alps!

When you’re not studying, plan a trip to the Botanical Gardens or stroll the promenade of the lake. It’s a gorgeous city with beautiful sights, delicious food, and a thriving art culture.

Tokyo, Japan

There’s nothing quite like Tokyo if you love the hustle and bustle of a big city. Easily accessed by public transportation, Tokyo is full of culture and incredible sights.

Home to historic temples and modern museums, it’s a meeting of the old world and the new. Despite its high tech appeal, it has one of the lowest pollution levels of any major city. It’s also considered a very safe destination for students studying abroad.

Submerge yourself in the food, culture, and art scene. You can visit a historic landmark one day and find yourself on the cutting edge of a new trend the next day.

Check out special events like the Kiyose Sunflower Festival. And don’t forget to take in the sights of the beautiful cherry blossom trees when they’re in bloom!

Cape Town, South Africa

With beautiful parks, gardens, and museums, Cape Town is a unique study abroad option. Known for its stunning ocean and cliffside views, it is home to the iconic Muizenberg Beach.

Rich with nightlife, incredible bars, and amazing restaurants, Cape Town has something for everyone. Cab and bus transportation is readily available, but the city can be best explored on foot or by bike.

Munich, Germany

Munich is an ideal location for any nature lover. Full of parks, forests, and lush green spaces, the city boasts rich culture and beautiful views. It’s ideal if you love museums, music, and cultural events. Plus, it’s easy to enjoy free (or inexpensive) concerts and museum tours.

Munich also offers affordable travel to other European cities and countries. While you’re there, find some time to hop a train to Paris, Milan, Austria, or Prague!

Florence, Italy

There may not be a more beautiful city on Earth than Florence. Best toured on foot, this walkable city has it all.

Rolling hills and beautiful landscapes show the majesty of the Italian countryside. Centuries-old architecture, chapels, and artwork fill the city. When you’re hungry, the restaurants offer the world’s best cheeses, artisan breads, pizzas, and pasta dishes.

Florence has a big city feel but doesn’t feel overwhelming the way some cities do. For anyone studying art, history, or architecture, it’s the ideal place to study abroad.

When it’s time to decide where you want to study abroad, take the time to do your research. Speak to college advisors to get a full understanding of the programs available to you. Talk to other students who have been there or are considering going with you.

Read travel guides online to learn about transportation and lodging options. Know what landmarks, beaches, or museums each city has to offer. This will help you narrow down your options.

Studying abroad can be one of the greatest college experiences. Once you’ve made the decision to go, do your homework so you’re prepared ahead of time. Consider the costs involved and make sure that you can afford it. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you do it right!

This article was contributed by the team at University Suites: University Suites  is a great townhouse-style community located about a mile from Eastern Carolina University’s campus. The community consists of 2×3 and 3×3 apartments and contains a full amenity suite including a fitness center, pool, business center, and game room. The community is the best value in the Greenville NC student housing market.


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Life can move in all sorts of directions. If you’ve found yourself at a junction where you’re looking at finding new employment or a college course, the question of whether you are in the right geographical location, or whether you may need to transfer elsewhere, has probably arisen. You may be considering moving to a new town, city, state or even overseas.

Should you go?

Regardless of whether you may be moving tens or thousands of miles, the decision to relocate your life for school or work is never straightforward. Aside from determining whether or not the job or program of study is the correct one for your career plans, there are many other considerations such as family, a partner, friends, costs and expenses, or logistics to take into account.

Our unique personalities also mean that while some of us jump at the opportunity to start over in a new place, to make new friends and explore a new area, some of us also find this notion terrifying. Either way, the decision to move is complicated and stressful.

To help you make sense of this opportunity and to decide if this is the right one for you, be sure to answer each of these five essential questions before getting close to a decision.

1.    Am I certain this job/course is right for me?

Before you make the life-changing decision to relocate, you need to be sure that this is 100% the right choice for your career, so do all the checks you’d do if the job/course were local, and then dig even deeper. This is simply because if you change your mind later, it’s going to be a lot harder to extricate yourself from the situation.

To minimize the risk of unpleasant surprises, you need to leave no stone unturned:

  • Be absolutely certain of what you’ll be spending your time doing
  • Learn as much as possible about your future boss/colleagues/teachers/fellow students
  • Ask what subsequent opportunities typically arise from taking this role/course
  • Read everything you can about your employer or school
  • Go over job/course descriptions, contracts and relocation packages for storage and moving with a fine tooth comb

2.    How Will Life Change?

Outside of work, your everyday life will change, too. Quality of life outside of work is of paramount importance if you are to flourish in your new role. Consider what you enjoy about your current lifestyle and whether it can continue or improve in your new location.

For example:

  • Are there affordable facilities where you can take part in your hobbies?
  • Will you be able to spend time with the people whose company you currently enjoy?
  • Will you have access to the kinds of restaurants and entertainment you prefer?
  • Does your new location offer any opportunities for further personal growth (i.e., new hobbies, language learning, or travel)?

Social media channels such as Facebook groups can really help you delve into a community before you even arrive.

The cost of living will also affect your quality of life. Before making any commitment, make sure that your new salary can maintain or improve the quality of life that you are accustomed to, that suitable housing can be found, and that you know the local costs of groceries, fuel, power, internet connections and other everyday essentials.

3.    How Do My Loved Ones Feel?

In any relocation, there will be people left behind whose feelings are important to you. You need to consider how you can maintain close relationships with them despite the distance. Thankfully, social media and the affordability of internet and video calling have made life easier in this respect.

You should also investigate how easy and affordable it will be for long-distance loved ones to visit you and for you to visit them.

Of utmost importance are the opportunities for family members to make the move with you. If you are relocating with children, are the education options suitable? Will they have chances to make new friends? And will they be able to enjoy their new lifestyle through their hobbies and activities?

Similarly, can your partner or spouse find the right employment and lifestyle opportunities to ensure their happiness alongside yours? It’s a good idea to trawl the local jobs market to see what opportunities regularly appear or to discuss whether they are happy to take a career break while waiting for the right opportunity.

4.    Can You Cope With the Unknown?

No matter how well-prepared you are and how much research you will have done, the one thing that can be guaranteed is that there’ll be plenty of surprises along the way. Some of us thrive on never knowing what’s around the corner, whereas some of us find it stressful to say the least.

By staying organized where you can, and by not overloading your relocation schedule, you are better set to cope with frustrations, delays and surprises. It also pays to make sure you have some friendly contacts in your new destination that can help you out when locating services you may need, or translating in an emergency, for example.

5.    What Do I Do If It Goes Wrong?

Before you make the move, you need to be sure you are 100% committed, but even with the greatest intentions, occasionally things don’t go as planned. Perhaps you’ll love the job, but not the location, or vice-versa. Perhaps you’ll need to return home for family reasons or because of political instability.

It pays to research ways out, too.

For example, if the job doesn’t work out but you want to stay, is the employment market in the locality strong enough for you to be confident of finding an alternate position? Will you be able to afford the costs of moving and storage companies to relocate back home again if necessary? Having an escape plan will also have the effect of making you feel more confident and safe in your choice.

The Final Decision

Asking these five questions is the key to being as organized and as prepared as possible, but there is also a lot to be said for going with your gut instinct and hoping for some luck along the way, too. Only you can decide if this is the right move for you, but remember: Often, our biggest regrets are for the opportunities we didn’t take, not for those we did. Good luck!

This article was contributed by guest author Chris Humphrey.


Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

Today, with so many opportunities available in college and universities, doing a study abroad is a great option to see the world, learn a new language, and experience a new culture, all while getting school credit. Doing a study abroad can introduce you to new experiences as well as put you in touch with new contacts and give you experiences you can build your resume with. Usually provided by certain classes, or by the university itself, these opportunities are few and far between, but very worthwhile. Tuition helps to cover some costs, but in most cases, you’ll end up footing most of the bill yourself. For prospective students wishing to study abroad, but who feel hindered by expenses, there are options out there. Fortunately, there are a few useful tips below that can help enable students to save and afford their studies from afar.

Financial Aid

In choosing to study abroad, the initial step that should be taken to make the destination more affordable, is checking for financial aid. Although many students are already well informed of the availability of loans and grants with financial aid, most are unaware of being able to apply it toward a study abroad program if certain qualifications are met. In addition, there are study abroad scholarships specifically merited to those students wishing to study abroad. Independent financial institutions sometimes grant assistance to study abroad students, work study programs for work on campus, and even exchange programs that allow students to trade places with other foreign students of other countries.


Outside of financial aid, another useful tip to lessen the expense of a study abroad trip is crowdfunding sites. With the use of online crowdfunding sites, students can set up a campaign to enable their friends and family to donate to their cause. Crowdfunding sites can be very beneficial to students wishing to study abroad by serving as a means of extending help and allowing students to connect via networking. Reach out to alumni, to fellow students, and relatives to start your campaign rolling.


Being able to adhere to a few adjustments in order to live within a budget is always a useful tip to consider when trying to cut down on expenses and save more money. Living within a budget entails cutting back or refraining from any unnecessary spending on habits that typically include shopping, fast-food eating, going to the movies, salon maintenance, or any other extracurricular activities that consume a significant portion of one’s income. Students can even opt to sell old unwanted clothes or books as a way to earn additional income. Be sure to save and spend wisely as you prepare as well. Get photos for your passport, pack tight and full suitcases and be sure to exchange money when rates are good.

Being able to travel and study abroad is usually a lifelong dream for most students eager to explore the world. It is a wonderful educational experience that no deserving student should be denied due to their inability to afford it. There are so many excellent resources and individuals who are willing to help students in pursuit of bettering themselves that following a few of these tips will surely get students there.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

Image by Garon Piceli,


Your application has finally been accepted and you have been admitted to the university of your choice. Although you have already settled all the entry requirements, such as application forms and recommendation letters, you are not quite done. There are still some legal requirements that you need to fulfill before you leave for school to secure your future life as a student living abroad. No matter where you are planning to spend the next couple years of your life, here are some legal items you should sort out as soon as possible.

Passport – without it you won’t get very far

A passport is an essential document when traveling abroad. While crossing a border, you will be asked to present your passport to the border guard who will examine it. Make sure that your passport is neither torn nor shabby as to avoid problems.

Along with using your passport to explore other countries and cultures, it can also be used as identification, in case you forget or misplace your ID. Before setting off, check the expiry date. Usually, a passport is valid for five or ten years.

Proof of age card as an ID

Instead of hanging on to your passport as identification all the time, apply to get a proof of age card. This small card usually contains your name, date of birth and a small-sized photo. It can really come in handy for confirming your identity in a club or a bar and you needn’t bother with carrying your license or your passport. The inconvenience of losing your passport is far greater than if you lose this card. Check out the application forms for an age card – it differs from country to country.

Copies of your travel documents

Wherever you travel, you should always have copies of at least two of your travel documents. The best way would be to entrust someone with one copy while you are away from the country and keep the other one with you. By doing so, if your documents get lost or stolen, you will not have a hard time obtaining new ones. This may sound a bit over the top, but one can never be too careful. If you don’t have a copy with you, the procedure to get new ones can take a while.

Visa and copies of visa

A visa is an extremely important document that lets you stay in a country for a longer period. To apply for a visa, you need to fulfill requirements such as having a residence in a foreign country, a passport, an acceptance letter to study abroad, visa fees, etc. These requirements may differ from country to country. If you need to get a student visa, it’s probably better to consult immigration lawyers and agents. They can advise you about student visas and which option is best for you.

A health insurance ID card is a must

Another crucial document to consider when preparing for your trip is your health insurance ID. In case of an emergency, it’s good to know that you can get medical help right away. A number of study abroad insurance plans will ask you to print your card, while other insurance plans may mail you a physical card. When it comes to your health, dress warm and carry your health insurance ID wherever you go.

International Certificate of Vaccinations

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Before you depart for foreign countries, you will need to meet medical requirements and get vaccinated against some diseases, after which you will receive a certificate that will also enable you to enter a foreign country. This certificate is available in a travel agency or at a local health department. If you need to bring medication with you, make sure you ask your doctor for a letter of prescription.

And don’t forget to bring:

Image by Miguel Constantin Montes,

In the end, don’t forget to bring your positive attitude. Sorting out all the papers seems like a tedious and endless job that you really don’t want to undertake. Indeed, it is. Keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Without the right documents, you cannot enter a foreign country, even if you got accepted into a foreign university. And when you’re there, replacing lost or stolen documents isn’t easy. Bureaucracy should be the last thing preventing you from studying abroad. Sort your paperwork out on time, make enough copies, and you’re ready to go!

This article was contributed by guest author Cate Palmer.

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So you finally made it! Brand new place, brand new degree, brand new you. You get to explore a different country, all while getting the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in the workplace. You’re studying abroad, so congratulations!

Everyone you’ll meet will be incredibly happy for you; they’ll pat your back and envy you for all the adventures and challenges you’ll go through. You already know the benefits of studying abroad, but face it, you can’t really have many adventures and explore the world if you’re broke.

Studying abroad can be extremely expensive, even more so if you’re doing a master’s degree. Whichever degree you are getting in whatever country you are in, you may find that it’s difficult to manage your budget. So we’ve asked some former study abroad students to guide us through a few actions you can take to save money. Here’s what they had to say.

Get a scholarship

This is not something specific to just studying abroad, but it is one of the most important ones. Unless you’re in a country where tuition is free, such as Germany, you’ll notice that your biggest expense is paying for classes. So go to your financial aid office and find out as much as possible about getting a free or cheaper degree, as well as information on merit scholarships. You could save anywhere from $500 to your entire thousands-of-dollars tuition. Then you’ll have more disposable income to explore and have fun in your new home.

Learn some cooking skills

Different culture, different cuisine! Many students are excited to try the new food their new country has to offer. Each country is so diverse in terms of food, that you might just discover your new favorite dish there. No one says you shouldn’t try the local delicatessens and desserts, but overdoing it will leave your wallet as empty as your kitchen fridge. So stock up on ingredients and find some good recipes online. It’s time to put your cooking skills to the test.

Cooking food on your own doesn’t mean you’ll never get to eat out, it just means that at least a few times a week, you won’t spend a ton of money on restaurants and fast food chains. Not only will you be healthier, you’ll save a fortune, which in student terms means a few hundred dollars a month.

Invest in a bike

Biking is healthy and with all the new food you’ll be trying in your study abroad home, you’ll most likely need the exercise. Plus you’ll save a bunch of money avoiding public transportation, cabs, or Ubers. Make sure you get a reliable bike, one that won’t leave you in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire or broken brakes. Try to stay out of the way of cars, and if possible, stick to the bike lane. Unless public transportation is free for students, make sure you know that you don’t have to spend the extra dollars getting to class, when you can do it just as well for free on a bike.

Curb the alcohol

And finally, the cherry on top of the cake. Drinking! Yes, drinking a bit here and there is part of the whole student experience. You know what it’s not good for? Your liver, obviously! But also your wallet.

Alcohol is expensive in any country you go to and if you drink too much, a hangover won’t be the worst feeling you’ll experience. Not drinking too much will keep you healthier and will save money you can use to further your experiences in the new country you’re living in.

Travel Cheap

We all know staying at a 5-star hotel is a nice experience. You get all the perks and comforts, and you also get all the costs. When you study abroad, you’ll want to travel around, and that costs money too. The best way is to go about it smart and save a little. Use cheaper transportation methods, stay with friends, couch surf or book a low cost hostel. Also, if you don’t travel alone, you can share the costs with your travel mates, and you’ll have saved enough to afford another trip.

So here you go! Scholarships, cooking, biking, avoiding drinking and travelling cheap are definitely tips that will get your financial situation out of a rut and have you feeling like a millionaire.

This article was contributed by Liv Luget.

Image by Warren Wong,

The world suddenly becomes full of possibilities once you turn 18. You can do lots of things you weren’t allowed to do before, and enjoy more freedom once you go off to college or university.

If you’re still deciding which course to take and which school to go to, at your age, there should be no reason for you to limit your options. This means that you should also consider the possibility of studying abroad.

Making The Decision

But how do you know studying in a different country is a good, if not the best, option for you? You can do so by considering the following in your decision-making process:

1. Financial Capability

Let’s dive right into one of the most important factors you have to consider since there is no getting around it: the expenses that come with studying abroad. In the USA, the average tuition fee for international students who want to study at a private university falls between $18,000 and $35,000 per year. State university tuition fees are lower, ranging from $12,000 to $25,000 annually. Fees are usually higher for international students than for locals. In addition to your course fees, you will also have to consider your living expenses.

Because studying abroad can be a costly endeavor, you need to be financially capable of doing so. You have to be able to pay the course fees and have enough money monthly to meet or satisfy your living expenses. To ease this burden, look for universities or colleges that offer scholarships and find out if you qualify for them.

In addition, international students have rights to work as well. For instance, in the USA, international students are allowed to work with pay on campus. If you are granted an Optional Practical Training (OPT) status, you will be allowed to work off-campus, with certain restrictions. Either way, you will be able to earn some extra money you can use while studying here.

2. You Have a Supportive Family

In addition to any financial support, you will need the emotional support of your parents. You will experience homesickness every now and then and nothing will make you feel stronger and better able to face your challenges than some quick words of encouragement from your family.

3. You Want to Earn an Internationally Recognized Degree

There’s nothing wrong with a getting an education and degree in your home country; there are certainly many local colleges and universities that offer good quality courses. But if you want a degree that will help you go places, nothing will be more effective than having one that is awarded by a well-known educational institution (think Harvard University, MIT, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, etc.).  Employers will know immediately that you are top-caliber since you were able to graduate from an institution where the screening and learning processes are rigorous. Having a degree from a highly recognized school will make you employable anywhere.

4. You Want to Become More Self-Reliant

You will need help with finding the right college or university abroad, and even which course to take. For these purposes, seeking expert advice from college admissions professionals is the smart thing to do. Generally, though, once you’re overseas, you’re on your own. You won’t be able to rely on your mom to make you breakfast or do your laundry, and your dad won’t be able to chauffeur you anywhere you want to go. When you study in a different country, you will have to do everything by yourself, which is a good thing if you want to be more independent and responsible.

5. You are Ready for an Adventure

Lastly, if you want to live in a different country, learn about new cultures and traditions, meet more people, and make new friends, you will experience all of these (and more) when you study abroad. Make the most of your life even if you’re still young. Although you are studying, you will have plenty of time to do some touristy stuff (after all, you are in a different country) and meet new people. Even if you’re just on one of the pre-college programs offered overseas, you will have a great, life-changing experience.

If you find all these appealing, it may be time for you make the leap and start planning for your future as an international student.

This article was contributed by guest author Brian Giroux.

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Twenty years ago, traveling abroad to study and expand your knowledge was unique. Not many could afford to travel internationally and study at some of the best colleges and universities in countries like the US, UK, France, Italy or Spain. Things have changed. Thanks to advanced technology, online learning and the internet, studying overseas has gone mainstream. With companies making a good profit from international business trades, increasingly more students choose a university out of the country in an attempt to come back and be qualified to work in a multi-national or corporate company without years of experience in a specific domain.

The perks of studying abroad

There are hundreds of programs for expats looking to studying abroad, and increasingly more institutions in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy have specially allotted spots for foreign students. The rules and regulations for a student to continue his studies overseas are different from country to country. One thing’s for sure – in Europe, tuition fees are much lower than in the US. Furthermore, in some European countries, going to university only involves a small entrance fee.

How can studying abroad make you a better leader?

You have a unique opportunity to explore the world all on your own. The mere thought of traveling to a different country alone instills a sense of responsibility from a young age. Not many students have the drive to leave the home nest at age 18. But when you study abroad, you spread your wings and are compelled to make ends meet.

One of the key benefits of studying abroad is socializing and meeting new people. Multi-cultural people are fascinating, and it’s a unique opportunity for you to see how others think. Talk to them, share ideas, opinions, and in time, it’ll help you form and strengthen your personality too. It’s also a great way to learn a new language. When you return home, you’ll have better chances of getting a job that demands a second language.

Overseas universities have different curriculums

Another perk of studying abroad is the diverse, unique curriculum. In France, for example, the Bologna curriculum has proven to be extremely efficient. It emphasizes both theory and practice, thus preparing 18-year-olds to become responsible adults. In Denmark, the system is quite different. Most universities and colleges focus on the practical part of a course. Rather than forcing students to read a ton of books per week, the system is all about throwing the student out in the world to practice, experiment, make mistakes, and learn.

Outstanding academic benefits

Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to learn new things; things that are not included in community schools and universities. It is a great chance to learn more about a different culture, boost your self-confidence, and aspire at an outstanding academic future. You may know some French, but if you don’t travel abroad, you may not be able to speak the language out loud and express your point of view. Cross-cultural communication is yet another benefit of studying overseas. In 4 years, a student can learn to see life from different perspective. Your knowledge will be broader, and you’ll be more capable of handling a challenging job from an early age.

High potential for a well-paid job

As more companies move out from the regional and national environment to the global one, business owners and entrepreneurs constantly hunt for recent grads who have studied abroad. High-end enterprises deal with foreign associates on a daily basis. This means that a recent grad may be better qualified at age 23 than someone at 40 who hasn’t studied overseas. Even if a new graduate doesn’t have much practical experience, just because he studied abroad and has some basic understanding of what multi-cultural learning is, he might be offered a better paid position.

There’s no doubt that traveling overseas to study is an excellent idea. Sure, it might seem difficult to leave your home town, but it’s best to focus on the end result. When you get home, get a part-time job and look for student home rentals to be ready to enter the workforce. You’ll come back prepared to face even the most challenging situations at your new job.

This article was contributed by guest author Jason Phillips.

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Everyone dreams of traveling abroad. What better way to complete that dream than to make it part of your education? You can not only see the world and experience different cultures, but also have a taste of different learning activities. You’ll get a different perspective, which gives you a better outlook on the educational world. Certain MBA courses require an admissions essay with newly developed skills to give you a good head start in your competitive future. To make it more reasonable, here is a list of the top 10 reasons to experience education abroad.

1. A good addition to your CV: Your CV looks really good if you have a degree that’s not local. With a degree from an MBA program abroad, you are likely to receive a superior class of preference. Unless you’re unqualified for the position, you will always be within the top candidates.

2. Language improvement: Your language is more likely to get polished if you have influence from people across the world. Skills like drafting, reading and essay writing, as well as your communication, ways of interaction, personality will be influenced.

3. A different experience: Having a good time in a foreign country is a dream holiday. You can have the experience of a lifetime with unforgettable memories when visiting a new place. When you add education to it, like MBA programs abroad, your experience is brought to the next level and you’ll come home with a degree that will help you in your career.

4. Meeting new people: With new places come new people. Meeting new people is always fascinating, especially when it comes to sharing different cultures. If you are someone with a friendly attitude, you are more likely to find your abroad trip very exciting.

5. A different approach towards learning: You can learn a lot of things from different cultures. Not only is your verbal communication likely to develop, but you’ll notice yourself adding a different perspective when drafting, giving presentations, or writing essays.

6. Feel independent: The more you’re on your own, the more comfortable you’ll be making new friends. You’ll also grow more comfortable making your own decisions.

7. A new look at your own culture: When exposed to new cultures, you’ll automatically have a different view of your own. You will be the spectator as you get to know what others think about your culture and traditional beliefs. You will learn a lot of things and will have a chance to experience something new about your culture from a different point of view.

8. A strong portfolio: There are certain skills that employers look for in candidates. Among those skills, drafting and communication are top of the list. In an MBA program, these skills are also top of the list.

9. Appreciate the little things: The only way to understand the value of little things is to get some separation. When you’re away from your usual environment, you will start to care more for things that you never considered important when they were easily available to you.

10. Working outside of your comfort zone: Working outside of your comfort zone will help you understand your possibilities and limitations. You will understand what’s important to you. You will know what you need to change in order to develop your personality; something very difficult to do if you are in a place where everything is easily achievable.

There are many reasons to take part in an educational career abroad. You will come back independent, active, understanding and more mature.

This article was contributed by guest author Diane Webster.

Image by Iker Merodio, Flickr

Image by Iker Merodio, Flickr

Leaving your loved ones to move to university can be a daunting task for any student, but can be an even bigger challenge for those who chose to move abroad and become an international student. Not only will you be faced with the typical challenges of student life, you will also have to deal with the additional challenges that come from being in a completely new country.

There are several things you need to tackle before you set off on your new educational journey as an international student that will help ease you into the British life. So, to give you a helping hand, we’ve listed some of the top tips to consider before arriving in your new country.

1. Get Your Visa Right

This may seem like a given, but it is so commonly overlooked that it needs to be mentioned! The last thing you want to do is not be able to get into the country and waste endless hours getting your immigration status in order. As a non-EU member, you’ll need to make sure you sort out your student visa well before you arrive. You will likely need to obtain a tier 4 visa for your study, unless your course is less than 6 months long, in which case you will be eligible for a Student Visitor Visa instead.

It is always best to check with an immigration service or speak to your chosen university’s student services team. You’ll find that most universities have international coordinators who are there to help you with the logistics of your paperwork, application and move as a whole.

2. Research! Research! Research!

You need to thoroughly research every detail of your move, including the area, the university and where you’ll be living. While it is important to get to know the local area, most international students find it is easier to adapt to UK life by joining societies and groups for international students. Whether it is online groups or forums, or actual clubs that you attend, they’re all great sources of information and support from people who’ve been in your shoes. Find local versions of your hobbies prior to your move as it will help settle you in a lot quicker.

When it comes to accommodation, if you’re not looking to move onto campus, you’ll need to identify places where you can stay locally with an easy commute. Ensure you look into what deposits you’ll need as well as I.D. in order to secure a place. If you’re looking to use a house share solution, you should meet your potential housemates first to see if you get on with them and would be happy to live with them.

3. Don’t Forget Your Finances

Aside from already knowing your financial situation and how you’ll be funding your study, you need to ensure you’ve got all of your bases covered. Each bank will offer a different rate and fee to transfer money to and from UK based accounts. They may also have offers that are specially catered for international students. You’ll need to make sure that these aren’t solely for new accounts and that you won’t encounter large fees further down the line, especially if you’re studying in a program that is due to last a number of years. Before you even get to that point, though, most UK banks have extremely stringent policies on opening an account as a foreign national, so make sure you have all the documentation that you’ll need. You might also qualify for bursaries, scholarships or specialist funding, so it is more than worth checking to see if you fit the application criteria for these.

4. Travelling and Calling Back Home

Settling in any new place can be hard, and at some point, homesickness will set in. It is at this point that you’ll want the ability to get in touch with your friends and family back home to get that support you need. The main UK phone networks have fantastic deals with international operators, meaning your existing phone will more than likely still function in the UK. This, however, is a more expensive option, as it is likely to be cheaper to pick up a UK SIM card and use apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype to keep in touch with friends and family back in North America

This article was contributed by guest author Rebecca Harper.

Image by kychan,

Image by kychan,

Last January, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I packed up my bags and moved 6,074 miles away from my college in San Diego to study at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. During the four months that I studied in Milan, I traveled to 11 different countries and 22 different cities. While I was abroad, I experienced and learned something new almost every day. I did not recognize at the time that my experiences abroad would eventually help me in my career.

I am currently interning for eREACH, a marketing consulting firm in San Diego. My time as an intern has made me realize that I am a better employee because of how I apply the life lessons I learned abroad to my professional life. While there are countless reasons I’d recommend studying abroad to any college student, here are seven ways that studying abroad can give you a leg up in your internship:

1. You’ll Be Pushed Out Of Your Comfort Zone
To say I was terrified of moving to a foreign country is an understatement. I was so afraid of traveling alone that I had multiple anxiety attacks leading up to my departure. Today I am so grateful that I did not let my fears hold me back. If I had given up and stayed in San Diego, I would’ve passed up on the best four months of my life. Today I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was nervous to apply and interview for my internship, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing so. It is completely natural to be afraid and feel anxious about trying something new – but don’t allow your fears to stop you from going after what you want.

2. You’ll Learn To Keep An Open Mind
One of the best parts about traveling is having the opportunity to try each country’s specialty foods. However, what some countries consider to a “delicious delicacy” might seem repulsive to the average American. I am absolutely nauseated by snails – but while I was in Paris I kept an open mind and I tried escargot (also known as cooked snails). As it turns out, escargot was one of my favorite dishes that I tried while I was abroad! Some of the best experiences in life can be the most unexpected. For this reason, I make an effort to keep an open mind at work. I listen to the ideas of my co-workers and I am always willing to try something new. It is easy to think that you always have the best ideas, but two collaborative minds are better than one.

3. You’ll Develop More Effective Communication Skills
One of the most difficult challenges I faced abroad was learning to overcome the language barrier. It was easy to get flustered and frustrated when I couldn’t communicate with the cashier at the grocery store or ask for help when I was lost. I learned that if I first made an effort to speak the native language and then ask for help in English, the locals were much more willing to assist me. There are also many other methods of communication including hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language. If one form of communication didn’t work, I would try to utilize a different method. This experience taught me that not everyone communicates the same way – and that’s okay. If I feel that a coworker and I are experiencing miscommunication, I make an effort to reach out to them in a way they can understand.

4. You’ll Improve Your Time Management Skills
Traveling to eleven different countries in four months requires a great deal of planning. From purchasing plane tickets, to planning transportation to and from the airport, to booking hotels – all while being a full time student in Milan, I became an excellent time manager. I learned that the key to time management is staying organized. It is now easier for me to balance school, work, and my personal life with my newfound organization and time management skills.

5. You’ll Learn To Be Flexible
Not everything went exactly as planned while I was abroad. I traveled to Santorini to see its famous sunset, but it was overcast the entire time I was there. I was supposed to visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, but the line was a five-hour wait in freezing temperatures. Experiences like these taught me to be flexible and go with the flow. Sometimes at work my ideas are rejected or a project doesn’t go as planned. Instead of getting overly upset, I’ve learned to be okay with plan B.

6. You’ll Be Re-Inspired To Learn
Before moving to Milan I was feeling burnt out on school. I no longer had the passion to learn new things – I just wanted to get my degree. Living in Europe exposed me to a new kind of hands-on learning. I studied art by getting a first-hand look at the works of greats like da Vinci, Michelangelo, Degas, and van Gogh. My history lessons included visiting Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and the colosseum in Rome. After being re-inspired to learn new things, I am much more engaged at work. I inquire about things I don’t understand and I genuinely want to learn about and understand the world of marketing much more than I did before.

7. You’ll Gain More Self-Confidence
At the end of my four months in Europe I was no longer nervous and afraid of everything that made me almost bolt off of the plane back in January. I learned that I am capable of so much more than I had originally thought. My new self-confidence has translated into my professional life in a number of ways. I am able to interview better because I am confident in my skills and abilities. I am also not afraid to speak up about my ideas at work. Most importantly, I’m not afraid of failure. I treat my setbacks as learning experiences and I choose to grow from them. After moving 6,074 miles away from home, nothing else seems quite as intimidating anymore.

Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that can benefit you for a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start learning!

This article was contributed by guest author Alissa Young.