Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences college experiences can have, and one that has become increasingly popular in the last few years. It is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons, gain valuable life experience, and learn about new cultures and communities while getting a college degree.
However, heading off to spend a semester (or longer) at a university in a foreign country is a big commitment. It isn’t just like spending an internship on a cruise ship during your vacation – it involves relocating to a new home, dealing with potential language issues, and acclimatizing to a new culture.
There are advantages and disadvantages to exploring the joys of higher education in a foreign country, and taking the plunge is a deeply personal choice. If you are considering studying overseas, keep reading and find out if it is the right experience for you!
Immersing yourself in a different culture is one of the best ways to find out about a new country, and this is exactly what studying abroad offers. By living overseas and becoming involved with life in your new home you will get a far deeper and more rewarding understanding of the traditions, customs, and ways of life of your new home. This is a wonderful experience for young people and a great way to get a better appreciation of diverse perspectives.
Learning a new language isn’t just useful because it means you can speak a new language. It offers a range of other skills like comprehension, mental agility and flexibility, and a greater understanding of cultural differences. As a result, studying in a non-English speaking country is a wonderful opportunity to improve your language skills and develop a set of abilities and ways of thinking beyond just your college major.
Studying abroad takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to be more independent and self-sufficient. It is a great way to foster personal growth and can be transformative, challenging you to become more adaptable and deal with unfamiliar experiences and problems without a safety net.
Studying abroad can be expensive. Universities and colleges tend to charge higher tuition fees to foreign students, and when you are living in a new city you will inevitably spend more on living expenses, accommodation, and travel costs. There are, of course, a number of ways to cover the increased costs, from scholarships to financial aid, but it is worth considering the financial implications carefully before making your decision. Check the cost of living in a big city like Panama or Rome before deciding where to study and plan your finances carefully.
Taking the leap into a new country without a network of friends and family can be a difficult thing to do and most people will feel lonely and homesick at some point during their overseas experience. Dealing with a new culture, a new language, and unfamiliar surroundings, as well as the challenges of making new friends, can be difficult during the early stages of your overseas college experience.
While the opportunity to learn a new language through immersion is one of the biggest benefits of studying abroad, it also makes things difficult when it comes to communication, understanding, and making new friends. Forming relationships, navigating daily life, and even attending classes may require more effort and plenty of patience, particularly during your first few weeks abroad.
Studying abroad is a transformative experience that provides a wealth of opportunities and benefits. However, it can be a challenging thing to do, and anyone planning to give higher education overseas a go should understand exactly what they are undertaking before taking the plunge.