Studying abroad is a popular choice for US college students, but many international students forget that they have this option, too.
That’s right; just because you’ve already traveled overseas to study in the US doesn’t mean you can’t check out another country for a semester or even a year while in college.
Here’s what you need to know before studying abroad as an international student.
The Benefits of Studying Abroad
If you study abroad as an international student, you can reap the same rewards as students from the US — and then some!
For example, for US students, studying abroad means a chance to travel, to see more of the world and experience another culture. As an international student studying in the US you’ve already exposed yourself to another culture and way of life. By studying abroad for a semester or even a year, you can continue to push yourself outside your comfort zone as you explore yet another foreign country.
Whether you choose to study abroad in China, South Korea, France, or anywhere else you’ll get the opportunity to learn even more about the world we live in, allowing you the chance to further your growth as a global citizen.
Depending on where you travel, studying abroad can also help you improve your skills in a different language. You might already be bilingual if you can speak both English and your native language, but think about the doors that will open when you become trilingual!
And did we mention how much emphasis today’s employers place on international experience? By demonstrating that you’ve spent time living and learning in not one, but two countries other than your own you’ll become even more appealing, which means studying abroad might net you a job after college.
Still not convinced? Check out these 6 reasons why you should study abroad in college.
Where to Get Advice and Help
So you know the benefits of studying abroad as an international student and you’re interested in exploring your options. Now what? Well, now it’s time to use campus resources to help get the process started.
Your best bet is to go to the international student services office at your school. That’s where you can get help if you need advice on choosing which country to study in, when to go and how to apply.
In particular, as an international student you’ll need help figuring out what your student visa will allow you to do. There may be restrictions on it that require you to fill out additional paperwork before you get a visa that will let you go to another country during college.
You might also find the help you need at your school’s study abroad department. They’ll have tons of info about all sorts of study abroad options available to students and can help you find the one that best fits your academic, career and personal goals.
The Importance of Planning Ahead
Above all, you will need to allow yourself plenty of time to complete the study abroad application process. So if you plan to travel next year, you should let the international student services department know now.
This way, you’ll have months to decide on just the right program, ensuring that you are able to transfer credits and meet all the requirements necessary for graduation.
And don’t forget, if you’re taking a particularly strict degree course that has a lot of requirements, you can always look into summer study abroad options.