Studying Abroad

One of the most unique experiences available to college students is the opportunity to study abroad in a foreign country. For most students, this will be their only chance to ever up and leave for four months and just live in another part of the world. When you graduate and enter the workforce, this will most likely not be an option. You will have bills to pay, jobs to worry about, and, in general, you will have to focus on getting your life started. However, many colleges in the U.S. offer programs in conjunction with foreign universities to allow their students to go and study abroad for a semester or even a full year. Look into whether your school has a program like this and figure out if this is a viable option for you. If you are interested in seeing other parts of the world, then this is an opportunity you should jump all over.

Most colleges require that you have a minimum grade point average (GPA) in order to qualify for a chance to study abroad. Typically, the GPA needed is a 3.0, but many schools will work with you to ensure you can still go. Talk with your academic advisor to make sure that your schedule allows you to go. A good time to go is at the end of your sophomore year or the beginning of your junior year. This way you still have time to complete requirements for your major that you may not be able to meet at the university where you are studying abroad. Check with your advisor to make sure that you will not be putting yourself in a difficult situation when you return to your school as far as being behind.

Figure out if you have the financial means to make this a possibility. While your tuition will most likely remain the same as you currently pay at your school, there will undoubtedly be extra fees. The foreign college may charge you extra fees. You will have to pay for your airfare. You will have to pay for room and board, which may be much more expensive than what you normally pay. If you go to school away from a major U.S. city and then go to a school in a European city, you will be shocked to see the difference in the costs of living.

Pick the location that most interests you. If you feel like going to a city that does not speak English will be an issue, then make sure you choose a school where this will not be a problem. Choose a school where you will feel safe. Even the most seasoned world traveler has to be sure that his or her safety is always secure. Research the different schools and their regions that are available to you to help make the right choice for you.