Studying abroad is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You must evaluate the various academic options in the destination country you choose, as well as the costs and accommodation details so that your experience is up to your expectations.
But this is also a golden opportunity to expand your academic horizons and expand your career options. The decision to leave can’t be taken overnight, at least not before considering these factors:
Academic profile. Do you want to study Medicine? Engineering? Tourism? You must define what your vocation really is, and then research about the best universities in the subject you are interested in. Ideally, you should have a list of three or four university options, check the advantages and disadvantages and choose from there the one that matches your goals. It might be tempting, but don’t settle for a single option: the university of your dreams might not offer an optimal academic program for your career.
Destination country. You would love to study in Iceland but, what if you can’t handle two words in Icelandic? It’s vital that you know the basic aspects of the country you’ll arrive, such as the economy, culture, climate and, of course, the language.
Admission requirements. To be accepted at a university abroad, it’s not enough to just want it. Contact the university in question and find out about their requirements, the level of language proficiency needed for their courses and the minimum average or GPA they request.
Costs. You must plan your budget thoroughly; consider the expenses of the program you want to take and funding for the estimated time of your career. In addition to the monetary value, you should ask yourself: What added value will these studies have in your professional career?
Many countries offer partial or full scholarships and study grants, based on academic merits or socioeconomic status. For example, in addition to scholarships, in Chile there is a student loan system, to which foreigners with permanent residence in the country can apply. Two years after graduation, you can start paying the credit.
Accommodation. It may seem a somewhat cumbersome aspect, but if you organize well, it won’t be a problem for you. You’ll find several reliable hosting sites on-line, whatever city you are in, and search for what you need or can afford. But if you want something cheaper and close to your university, find out if your institution offers the student residence service(s).
Acceptance to changes. While studying abroad, you’ll interact with many different people from other countries and different cultures. You must be ready to accept the new reality you’ll find yourself in. The teaching methods can vary from one country to another, but do not let this deviate you from your study goals.
Don’t let fear paralyze you! What remains motionless won’t advance and won’t evolve. And precisely, studying abroad means the opposite: your professional vocation will be strengthened and you will begin to build a strong academic path, nourished by the experiences in the country that awaits you.