To study abroad or not to study abroad… that is the question. When deciding whether or not to study abroad, there are so many different aspects to take into consideration. Do you want to go somewhere without knowing anyone? Do you want a language barrier? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want somewhere warm? Do you want somewhere cold? Do you want a large program or a small program? Do you have the money? The list goes on and on. Studying abroad is not something that can be decided over night and all your options should be thoroughly weighed.
The process is lengthy, as the visa and passport application process can take up to 90 days to be approved, as well as actually being accepted into the program of your choice. Many students don’t realize the length of time that is required when making the decision to study abroad. If you are considering studying abroad you should start thinking about it at least 2 semesters before you actually plan on leaving, that way you can take any required courses you may have to and start saving as much money as possible. Studying abroad is very expensive, especially with the US dollar not being worth very much right now. There are scholarships available to students who want to study abroad so make sure you do your research. Many colleges have study abroad offices that offer a wealth of information to students, offering first hand experiences on different programs and brochures on a ton of different places to visit while abroad.
Studying abroad is such an eye opening, amazing experience. If you study in Europe you have the ease of travel at your fingertips (check out these travel deals). From firsthand experience I know, traveling to 6 different countries when I lived in Florence, Italy in 5 short months. The people you meet and the places you see are life changing. You will make some of the best friends of your life when you study abroad because no one will be able to understand the experience that you had when you lived in a different country.