One of the fun things about studying abroad is the going abroad part. You get a unique cultural experience that not many people get to have. And you get to have it behind the safe and highly expensive walls of a university.
But, to get there, a lot of hurdles have to be jumped. First, there’s the application for it which is super long and very redundant and you’ll find yourself repeating answers a lot. You’ll just have to pray that the university you’re applying to likes your repeated words enough to actually accept you into the school. During this process, you’ll have a lot of meetings with different advisors. You’ll have to propose a schedule for classes and make sure they’ll fit into your major. If you’re like me, the essay portions will be put on hold until you can find someone to edit them for you. As a result these portions will be submitted closest to the deadline (hopefully not within the last 24 hours of it) and then you’ll be on to your next step, raising money.
Money might be one of the most important things to have while studying abroad and it might also be one of the hardest to come by. Whether it be through scholarships, grants, aunts, uncles, summer jobs, parents, friends or whatever, you need to get your hands on some. You’re going to have to pay for flights and the cost of living over there, not to mention textbooks, notebooks, and emergency chocolate. Which I why I recommend saving up long before you plan on going.
Once you’re accepted, you’ll apply for housing, then you’ll get a list of your classes, you’ll get a plane ticket. This plane ticket, hopefully isn’t for a cemented date. At ASU, if you study abroad without a group, you get to choose when you go. They recommend going well before classes start so you have time to get to know the area. And once you get your ticket, you’ll likely board a plane, get to your chosen place of study, and then study there for a few weeks, a semester, or an entire year.
I’m still in the application stage and I’m stressing out about the deadline in two weeks. Fingers crossed it all works out and I’ll keep you updated if it does, but for now, I’ve got to go write a personal statement. If you’re in a similar situation, good luck and have fun abroad!
photo credit: Online Education Study