Why are there so many students who would like to study abroad but so few that actually go? The answer could be as simple as not knowing where to start. GoAbroad lists over 18,000 programs along with tools to help you find the perfect one. Just follow the steps to get you there.
Programs can be searched by specific location, area of study, length of stay, and region. GoAbroad offers access to expert advisors through the Online Advisor. Take less than two minutes to fill out a form about your interests and the team will respond within 48 hours with more information and specific programs that match your needs.
Who To Talk To:
- Resources. GoAbroad Online Advisor, Study Abroad Office, Financial Aid Office, Registrars, your parents, and program alumni. Program alumni will give you the scoop.
- Research. Read reviews of programs and countries. Read interviews with program alumni and staff. Request alumni contacts from the program so you can speak directly to a past participant.
What To Think About:
- Locations. If you have several places you are interested in, browse some articles about them. GoAbroad lists comprehensive country guides along with articles that cover topics like: Top 10 Places To See, Etiquette, Culture, Interesting Programs, and many more.
- Educational Benefits. This is a great chance to fill in any holes in your program. Maybe you’re studying oceanography in a landlocked state or art in a less than artistic place. SCUBA dive in Borneo while taking marine biology or visit the Louvre after art history class in Paris.
An international education does not have to be expensive. Something can be found for every budget. Some providers offer discounts and scholarships for things like early enrollment or volunteering during your stay.
This will likely be an important issue with your parents if they are involved in your finances so be sure to share these tools with them (Check out these articles if you want tips on how to convince your parents or on how to talk to them about studying abroad).
Financial aid may apply! If you are currently receiving a grant or scholarship, especially if supplied by the government, chances are it can be used for studying abroad. Contact your financial aid office. Choosing an approved study abroad program through an accredited U.S. school is the simplest and surest way to know aid will apply.
$cholarships and Loans. Check out these tools for advice on finding funding and applying.
- GoAbroad Scholarship Directory. Find any type of aid, from Fellowships, to Grants, to Scholarships
- Application Advice. How to Apply for International and Study Abroad Loans
- Study Abroad Loans. Get the scoop on comparing and applying
Crowdfunding. This is an organized way to receive financial support from friends, family, and anyone else who thinks you have a good idea. Online platforms allow aspiring travelers to create a personalized campaign about the international adventure they hope to undertake. Campaigns can be as interactive as a participant’s motivation allows and successful campaigns have raised thousands of dollars to send people across borders. Visit FundMyTravel to start a campaign and read about the success of others.
Federal Student Aid is a priceless tool. This site actually has a list of the hundreds of schools currently participating in federal student aid programs. It is updated quarterly and organized alphabetically and by country so it is reliable and easy to search.
The organization you apply through will provide extensive help in your application process. Typical programs include assistance with your application, the Visa process if needed, signing up for courses, finding housing, airport pick-up, international health insurance, and even events and excursions.
General Travel Recommendations.
- Learn some useful phrases before departure if studying in a country that speaks another language
- Have contact information for your host family, on-site coordinator, and Country-specific Embassy information on you while traveling to your program location.
- Don’t expect it to be like home. Things will be different and no matter how much you prepare there will be an adjustment period.
Arrange Before you go. Each location and experience will call for different things but here a few things that everyone needs to arrange.
- Passport. You will need to submit an extensive application most likely, so plan ahead because it takes several weeks!
- Vaccines & Health. Look up your location to see which vaccinations and medications (if any) you need to have before you leave. Check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Travelers’ Health section.
Packing. Many providers and study abroad offices will have recommended lists but consider these factors:
- Weather. Think beyond your home location. You may live by the beach but travel to the mountains. Will there be a season change while you’re there?
- Luggage Restrictions. These seem to be getting more and more strict so check with your airline and weigh your bags. If your travel includes multiple airlines, the itinerary will say which airline’s baggage rules apply. Put an extra set of clothes in your carry-on.
- Recreation. What do you hope to do? Hiking, camping, surfing, dancing all night? Many campuses have gear rental options or some equipment can be purchased very cheaply after arrival.
- Pack for two weeks. The items you would need for two weeks can get you through a semester. It’s a good standard of time to use.
- Toiletries. Bring a few necessities to get you through the initial days but then buy at location if possible.
- Gifts. Many cultures have strong traditions regarding arriving empty handed. Bring your host family or roommate a gift from home.
- Go Light. Take only what you need then take half of it out and leave it behind.
Sorry, you typically have to come back. Although many students choose to prolong their stay by adding another semester or finding internships. Either way, the return can be bittersweet. You will bring many things back home but also leave much behind.