What You Should Know Before Studying In Australia

Photo by Liam Pozz

Over half a million foreign students from more than 190 countries made their way to Australia in 2018, SBS News reports. Australia is popular with foreign students for its robust education, stunning and varied landscape, cultural landmarks, and hospitality. Learning about the various different aspects of studying in Australia will leave you much better prepared for the application process and eventual move. 

You’ll need health insurance

International students in Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The services covered by OSHC vary depending on the insurer and type of plan. A basic plan covers doctor visits, ambulance costs, and select hospital treatments and medications. You may also want to purchase private health insurance, which lets you access public and private treatment, choose doctors and hospitals, and avoid long wait times. To find a good deal, it’s worth getting a health insurance quote from Qantas. Qantas insurance covers private healthcare, while letting you collect points to purchase flight tickets, upgrades, and more. This’ll come in handy on vacations and flights home.

You’ll be able to work

If you want to earn some extra cash to help fund your stay in Australia, you’re in luck. International students with a valid student visa are permitted to work twenty hours a week during the school semester. You’re free to work as much as you want during vacation. However, even though you can arrive in the country ninety days before your course starts, you won’t be able to work until after your course begins. Work required as part of your course isn’t included in the 20-hours-per-week limit. Retail, hospitality, and administration are popular jobs for international students and the Australian minimum wage is very generous — $18.93 an hour. 

You’ll have access to scholarships 

The Australian government spends over $200 million each year on international scholarships. That means you’ll have access to a number of funds which can help make your international experience as affordable as possible. For example, the Destination Australia Program offers over 1000 scholarships of upto $15,000 per student each year to both international and domestic students. You should contact your university to find out what funding options are available to you and how to apply. 

Understandably, moving to Australia seems a daunting feat. However, it’s absolutely worth the challenge. After completing all the applications and arriving in Australia, you’ll be so glad you made the move.

Tips on Finding What Type of Study Abroad Program is Right for You

Types of Study Abroad Programs

Tips on finding what type of Study Abroad Program is right for you.

For American college students the term “study abroad” is a general term that has multiple meanings, the most common being an academic program with ties to the student’s college or university. Study abroad allows a student to live in a foreign country in an apartment, homestay or even on the campus of a foreign university. There are also study abroad programs for high school students and college graduates, some offer resume building work or volunteer experience. Before you make any commitments, you’ll want to understand the definitions of study abroad and consider costs versus benefits of each option.

Study abroad viewed by many incoming Freshman is an essential component to a full college experience. Study abroad seems simple enough: just pick a place to go, find a program to take you there, apply, send your money and you’re all set. When you get into the details it is a lot more complex, because for most students study abroad is not part of the standard curriculum at a college, it is an option. If you take a program through an outside entity, the rules state that credit hours earned outside the student’s home university aren’t treated the same as normal credit hours, so those credits need to be transferred to your academic record. The process is filled with technicalities that will seem a little daunting at first but it is completely worthwhile. When you read the study abroad reviews https://www.studyabroad101.com/programs and hear about all the amazing discoveries and experiences, you’ll understand why so many students say study abroad was the “greatest four months of my life.”  Later in life, many students will tell you that their education abroad experience had the greatest impact on them during their entire time at college.

Education Abroad during Semester Breaks

Some degree programs sequence their courses tightly making a semester away very difficult. For those students universities and program providers continue to introduce creative ways to work education abroad into the college experience. One way is to study abroad when students are normally on a break where the student doesn’t have to disrupt their progress toward their degree and can graduate on time. These off-season programs include:

  • January Sessions or J-Term are 3 or 4 week mini-semesters at the start of the year designed to squeeze a single course into the end of your Christmas break
  • May or Maymester is a single course over a 3 or 4 week mini-semester that follows Spring finals and finished before the usual summer sessions
  • Summer Sessions – 4 to 10 week programs that can offer one to three academic courses, sometimes broken into two sessions (Summer 1 and Summer 2)
  • International Summer Schools https://www.studyabroad101.com/countries/international-summer-schools – Programs at foreign universities, in English for students from all over the world

Semester Exchange Programs versus Education Abroad Providers

If you can study abroad during a normal academic term, many college/universities have recommended alternatives that are exchange partnerships or ties with study abroad provider companies. An endorsed exchange program provides pre-selected courses at a foreign university designed to provide academic credit hours at the student’s home university through transfer credit. Exchange programs allow to stay on your current funding plan, pay to your home university and you pay only for airfare and expenses. Scholarships may be available to help cover these added costs, or they can be packaged into that semester’s financial aid. Check with your study abroad advisor or Financial Aid Office for details.

The education abroad field has a number of third-party study abroad providers who run study abroad programs as their business. They understand what is involved in a successful study away experience and provide overseas staff, amenities and support. Some programs have the classroom component at pre-selected foreign universities where exchange students and provider students may sit side by side. Those provider companies offer a host of extra services and support services and can really help students navigate the complexities of an education abroad experience. For students willing the take the challenge, exchange programs may provide a more affordable option. In Exchange Programs, the study abroad student will be treated like an international student and will likely find themselves in a mix of students from other countries as well as those from the host country. Here is a list of foreign universities that host American students.  Click to view and you’ll see a tab for direct enroll and exchange next to a tab for provider programs. Click and read the reviews to learn more about the pros and cons of each option.

Boost your GPA, Stay on Track with Faculty-Led Programs

Transfer credits are pass/fail. If you want to impact your GPA or earn credit for required courses, you might want to explore programs run by your university. Often these are called faculty-led programs because as the title suggests, faculty-led programs are led by a professor from the home university who is an expert in the course topic and the program immerses students into a deep, hand-on study of the subject. Faculty-led programs are generally groups of students from the home university and the programs often include organized travel, multiple destinations and tours often overseen by the same third-party providers who run semester programs. Faculty-led programs will offer home university credit and are often offered off-season on semester breaks.

Study Abroad Doesn’t Have to be Expensive:

“The cost varies depending on the type and location of the program, the length of the stay, and whether the program is administered through a university or an outside organization. A program can be significantly less expensive, more, or about the same. Study abroad can be affordable. Many colleges and universities are committed to maintaining cost parity; a semester abroad should cost exactly the same as one on the home campus, at least as far as tuition and board.” From – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/busting-the-top-10-study-abroad_b_4175861

Get Approval Before You Go

Before you (the student) commit to any study abroad program, we suggest you speak with your academic advisor, the education abroad office and your Financial Aid office on campus. Know before you go and get all the necessary pre-approvals and forms filed. Study Abroad is filled with red-tape, forms to complete and permissions to get. Consider your transfer credit options, financial aid and degree progression considerations. Ask lots of questions so that you fully understand your options. There’s a program for everyone, once you understand what type of program interests you and how that affect you, we suggest you use the read the reviews to better compare and understand the possibilities.

 

 

 

How Important Is Transcription In The Healthcare Industry?

In the healthcare industry, accuracy is always important, regardless of whether something is being completed by a human or by a computer. So, what has transcription got to do with the healthcare industry? You’ll find that transcription is actually a very important part of this industry and it is what many professionals rely on to make sure records are accurate.

Here, we are going to look at the importance of accuracy in the healthcare industry. Keep reading to find out more about this.

How Is It Used?

You might be wondering who in the healthcare industry relies on this kind of technology. The answer to this question is actually many of the professionals within this industry as transcription is used to create medical files based on conversations with patients.

There are a few ways that this can occur, with one of these involving having someone sit and physically transcribe these meetings on a regular basis. Of course, this does make some room for human error and so AI is starting to become the more popular choice for transcribing in the healthcare industry. The transcription services by Verbit are just one example of special technology that can come in handy for these professionals.

Updating Medical Records

When you visit the doctor, you expect your medical records to be updated to reflect any new or ongoing illnesses that you might have. Transcription in the healthcare industry allows for these records to be updated with ease and this is what makes this element of this industry so important. Doctors can refer back to the records and analyse them thanks to transcription services.

Allowing For Multiple Doctors

Another reason why transcription is important in the healthcare industry is that it can allow for many different professionals to treat the same patient. While you might have a specialist for one thing, you could need to have a nurse look at your records for another. Transcription can ensure that records are up to date and that mistakes are minimised.

Laws On Transcription

Finally, you will find that there are actually laws that state that medical records need to be kept. Should there be any kind of legal conflict further down the line, transcription can come to the rescue of doctors or patients that need to refer back to these records. The law requires medical records and so the healthcare industry puts a lot of importance on transcription services in this case.

Final Verdict

As you can see transcription is actually very important in the healthcare industry due to the vast number of medical records that are created and are updated on a regular basis. The healthcare industry is moving forward with technology and automating this process, but they are always ensuring that they are using the best technology to reduce the risk of error. Without transcription services, the healthcare industry would struggle to stay on top of all of the information that needs to be processed worldwide.

Life After Study Abroad? Consider a career in online marketing

You’ve studied abroad, and if you are like most students you’ve spent a lot of time telling the world about it through social media and review outlets like Abroad101.   Maybe you should consider a career in online marketing.  Not all online marketers work in fashion, travel, finance or retail. Here’s why….

When people think about working in online marketing they automatically assume that they will be working for a large company. All of the large fashion designers, travel firms, finance companies and retailers reach out online to sell their products. But, these days, so does everyone else.

Firms selling signs for example need to be effectively marketed online just as much as a fashion house, hotel chain or retailer does. In the USA, 71% of small businesses already have a website and that number is growing.

Currently, there are around 28 million registered companies in the USA. Of those 22 million are classified as small businesses. That includes local plumbers, mom and pop retailers and crafters selling their wares.

The list of different types of business is an endless one. The travel, fashion and finance and retail industries are huge. But, the number of firms involved in those sectors is dwarfed by the number of companies providing other products and services. As a result, as an online marketer, you are just as likely to end up working for a firm that sells central heating as you are to land a job with a fashion retailer. Therefore, if you are considering a career in marketing it is wise to broaden your horizons a little.

So, many marketing students focus on what they perceive to be the biggest, most lucrative or glamorous industries, when studying for their degree. They spend time working as an intern in those sectors expecting to land a job in those industries when they graduate. Unfortunately, all too often, they are disappointed. The big retailers, fashion and travel industries have plenty of interns to call on and hundreds of applicants for every marketing job they advertise.

So, rather than focusing all of your efforts on securing work in those sectors, it is wise to diversify a little. If you do that, finding work or setting up your own online marketing firm becomes a lot easier.

However, you need niche down a little. For example, you could set your sights on working for health professionals. To be a successful marketer, you need to understand the business you are marketing.

It is essential to be familiar with their customer base. If you do not know how their potential clients think and feel your marketing campaigns will be ineffective. You also need to understand which social platforms they use when looking for products and services. If you focus on a specific niche you can grow your knowledge and be an effective marketer for firms that work in that sector.

Do not worry about not being able to find enough customers. As an online marketer, you can potentially work for any firm on the earth. For example, if you choose to provide online marketing services to dentists you will never be short of work. India has 197,000+ dentists, and the USA has 195,000.

If you are not sure what sector to get involved with, this list will help you to narrow down your options. It covers the USA, but it will still help you to identify what the biggest industries in your part of the world are likely to be.

Abroad101 Providers Update for May 2019

It was thirteen years ago when a motivated, idealistic study abroad student returning to Boston from a semester in Australia came up with the idea that his experience should not be just etched in his mind, it should be shared with the world. 

With some help from some entrepreneurial friends, they started a business with the goal to be the “Trip Advisor for Study Abroad.”  Soon there was a website, some technology, staff and the business known as Abroad101 got started.  You can still see “Review One

Recently we published Review 44554 and are on a pace to publish 6,000 reviews this year.  The business had its ups and downs, having succeeded by keeping its focus on providing students a forum to tell their story and helping universities and providers manage that process in a responsible way. 

Meet Phil, our new General Manager

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Philippos Kollitsis as the new General Manager for Abroad101. 

“Phil” is an experienced, professional businessperson who will be working from the Ledra Capital offices in Nicosia (Cyprus) and New York.  Ledra is the majority shareholder in Abroad101 and remains committed to the future of Abroad101.  Phil has served as CEO and as a Board Member of several companies over the last twenty years and has been an advisor to Ledra.  He too was an international student, earning two degrees from Lancaster University in the UK.   We are excited to welcome Phil on board to our team.

Phil will be at NAFSA and will be stopping by booths.  You can also arrange to meet him at the University of Nicosia’s booth #1131.  We invite you to stop by early in the week to pick up an invitation to UNIC’s 10th Annual Med Party (Wednesday, May 29 – 6:30pm – 9:00pm) and to attend the A101 Happy Hour immediately prior, at 5:30PM, both at City Tap House Penn Quarter on 901 9th Street NW. Register to attend by clicking here.

Do Reviews Matter?

Please take a moment to remember the last time you booked a hotel, chose a movie or show in a theater, picked a restaurant, or bought a product online.  Did a review guide your decision?  If these small decisions were influenced by reviews, then we’re sure you’ll understand how something as complex as an education abroad experience needs reviews. 

Also consider how reviews actually better serve the parents of students.  From our traffic analytics, we see that 20-25% of our web traffic comes from visitors who are 40-50 years old (parents).  We know parents are key in the decision-making process and the feedback we get from parents shows a hunger for candor and interest in using reviews to endorse or approve their student’s program choice.  While you may have testimonials on your website, independent, third-party reviews can be powerful additions to your marketing.

Candor is Key

People come to review sites looking for balance to the always-positive websites, brochures and in-person presentations.  They know things aren’t perfect and want to understand what may be imperfect about a given location, program or host.  Quite often the visitors to Abroad101 are coming to validate their earlier discoveries and because of this, we see a significant portion of our traffic from parents and other adults who support students.  Students may be drawn to the ratings and comments about food and social aspects of a program, while parents see value in ratings and comments about safety and cost.  The 38 questions in the Abroad101 review give everyone something to discuss with plenty of examples to engage in a meaningful dialog and hopefully break some stereotypes about other people and other parts of the world. 

The vast majority of students who study abroad have an overwhelmingly positive experience, which is reflected in the reviews.  Those that struggle and report negative things will actually help future students prepare and set their expectations.  We hope you’ll bring these reviews to the attention of future students so that they can put things in perspective.  Costs in London are high, academics at Oxford are hard, petty crime is rampant in Paris and the food in Ghana is, well, … different.  Knowing these things before a student goes away may make a big difference in how they prepare. 

For Parents, knowing what the risks are is actually reassuring as they can then help their child prepare. When parents inquire to you about programs and ask for referrals, direct them to Abroad101.

Advisors discuss issues over and over, but with reviews the students are learning from their peers and for the schools that require reviews of their students, the  indirect peer advising seems to really help.

Please encourage your students to read the reviews as part of their pre-departure preparation and push them to be candid in their reviews when they return.  Students can start their review at http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new

Reminder About the Display Algorithm:

Most visitors to Abroad101 will end up in a directory of programs.  We list programs by city, country, academic program as well as by provider and host university.  For those university partners who select the “approved programs” option, we create a directory as well.  Anytime there is a list, it is ordered based on our proprietary display algorithm which is designed to recognize recent review volume and quality of reviews.  

The algorithm has an impact factor that lessens the impact of older reviews and formulas that reward reviews that contain photos, complete descriptions and a range of review scores.  We do this because Abroad101 is first and foremost a review website.  People come looking for reviews and we want to highlight recent and well written reviews.

Student Inquiries:

Recently we have seen a rise of bots sending Spam email through our inquiry form.  We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to solve this problem; we hope to have it fixed soon.

It’s Free for Schools

We offer Abroad101 to American colleges and universities as free study abroad program evaluation software.  It is fully functional SaaS that manages inviting students to submit reviews, an approval process, approved program lists, graphs and benchmarking reports and the ability to export reviews for further analysis.  Using our unique serial number, schools can also link reviews to their student information systems or TerraDotta.  University partners can also add unique questions to the 38-question base review and also choose not to publish some of them. 

Our business model gives program providers and foreign host universities the option to pay to promote their programs through advertising.  A large portion of that revenue goes to support software services allowing colleges and universities to use Abroad101 without subscription fees.   We ask that our partner schools look favorably upon the organizations who appear in the “Featured Program” positions as a thank you for the free software. 

Added Benefits of Advertising:

If goodwill is not compelling enough for you to support Abroad101, we have designed the site so that advertising on Abroad101 will bring you more inquiries, improve your conversions and raise the brand and visibility of your programs.  Featured Listings start at $500/year and we offer generous volume discounts for multiple programs and display advertising. 

We also give extra emphasis to reviews from advertised programs in Abroad101 ‘s Social Media channels.  We post excerpts of reviews in our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels and are open to extra boosts for program news and highlights as part of an advertising package.

Meet Phil at NAFSA or Schedule a Call

If you’d like to arrange a meeting with our new general manager, please email him at philippos@abroad101.com to arrange a good time/place to meet.  

We look forward to re-connecting soon!

Tricks To Help You Master A Foreign Language Before Moving To Study Abroad

photo provided by https://www.pexels.com/@rawpixel

If you were to dedicate 3½ hours daily to learning a new language, it would take you 24 weeks to master it, according to a report by The Foreign Service Institute of The U.S Department of State. This is provided the language is categorized as easy – the likes of Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Medium level languages like Polish and Russian, and difficult ones like Japanese and Arabic take up to 44 and 88 weeks respectively to master. Learning your target language before going to study abroad is key to seamlessly adjusting to the new environment. You will, after all, need to order food, understand class lessons and converse with the people you meet. Even if you were to increase the number of hours you study your target language to 10, it would still take you 3 months to be proficient, and this may not be time you have. Luckily, here are a few tricks you can use to master a foreign language quickly.

Join A Community

Look for people in your city who speak your language of interest or who are learning it as well. The best thing about joining such a community is that you will begin to learn the language subconsciously. Just by listening to and making conversations with others, you will learn various aspects of the language, from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation and intonation, and perhaps more importantly, slang. You can encourage each other to speak the foreign language when doing the most mundane tasks like ordering food and participating in casual cafe or bar chats. You can rest assured you will learn new vocabulary during every hang out, which you should write down and practice forming sentences with later on when you are alone.

Find A Paypal

It may sound like something your elementary self would do, but the truth is, whatever your age, finding a pen pal is one of the best ways of learning a foreign language and improving your writing skills in it. At the end of the day, you will need to master not only the spoken aspect, but also the written language. By exchanging letters, you will be able to trade language expertise. Your penpal can rewrite your original letter, correcting any spelling or grammar errors, and send it back to you; you can do the same for them. Sending letters might seem like a lot of work, especially if you factor in long post service queues. However, thanks to technology, you can learn to print stamps online with OnlineStamp. This should make posting pen pal letters easier and less time-consuming. Either way, regularly writing to a pen pal is said to boost your language skills tenfold according to The Linguist.

Keep It Fun

Learning a new language shouldn’t only involve a lot of study hours and dictionaries. It should be fun and entertaining, or it will soon turn into a boring and draining task. Watching movies in your target language is one way you can learn it while still entertaining yourself. At first, you can use subtitles. However, as you progress, turn them off, listen to the language being spoken, analyze the happenings of the movie, and try to figure out what they are saying. You can then write the new words down and look them up later to see if you were right. Alternatively, you can listen to radio stations or podcasts in your target language. You can also fill up your playlist with music in the language. Music is a proven tool when it comes to learning foreign languages for three reasons: it sticks; it is portable, so you can learn from anywhere at any time; and it helps you master the language faster, as it presents vocabularies in context and still teaches you pronunciation.

Learning a new language is challenging, no doubt. Nevertheless, by taking every opportunity you get to practice, it is doable. The secret lies in letting your brain do the work of connecting vocabularies and grammar before running for translators and dictionaries. Learning a new language should be done in an organized manner. Start with basic phrases such as greetings, and then move to learning vocabularies in a particular field, before moving on to another area, like food, clothing or professional terminology. Signing up for online classes and using language applications like Duolingo can also help you master a foreign language fast.

5 Must-Haves for Exchange Students

Meta: These are some of the most useful things to have when studying abroad.

There are challenges in becoming an exchange student, but these shouldn’t hinder you
from having a great experience. Featured below are five of the best things to bring when
studying abroad. These are a mix of tangible and intangible items, excluding tips and
advice.

Fanny Pack

Don’t worry, fanny packs are no longer viewed as unfashionable accessories. They are
back and some wear them in unusually fashionable ways. These small bags, also known
as bumbags, can be a great pouch for important things including your smartphone, IDs,
passport, little notebooks, and pens. They can even be a more secure place for your
wallet.

If you prefer wearing your backpack most of the time, of course you no longer have to
bring a fanny pack. It’s just a convenient option to have when you don’t have a lot of
things to carry around.

Translation App

Sure, you may have studied a new language as part of your preparations in going to
another country to become an exchange student. However, the little time you spent
studying a foreign language may not be enough. You could use some assistance from an
online translator.

Make sure that the translation app you choose is notable for its accuracy and
optimization. You don’t want to have an app on your phone that rarely provides the
correct and appropriate translations, and hogs your smartphone’s memory and computing resources. It has to be a reputable and well-optimized app, preferably one that comes with the option to contact a human translator. You may encounter instances when you need human translation service for indubitable accuracy like when you have to sign a contract, understand a literary work in a foreign language, or submit a paper that should be in the local language of the school you are attending.

Essential electronics

Of course, if you were to use an app, you need to bring a smartphone or computer with
you. Just make sure your phone is compatible with the cellular network in the new
location you will be staying in. Your CDMA phone may not work in the new place that
only supports 2G and 4G. Also take note of your device’s charger plug and voltage. You
may need an adapter or a mini transformer/inverter to be able to use your devices.

You may no longer need to take your camera with you as your smartphone likely has a
decent camera with it. Also, don’t bother taking your bulky external hard drive with you.
Invest in a good 128GB (or bigger) SD card if your smartphone and laptop supports it.
Consider bringing a high capacity power bank, though, or a hand crank or solar power
charger. It would be great if your power bank comes with its own flashlight, but if it does
not have one, you can buy a small USB LED light that attaches to your power bank.

First aid kit

It’s advisable to have a first aid kit to deal with non-critical problems such as wounds,
insect bites, and allergic reactions. However, don’t include non-prescription medicines in
it unless the host school asks you to bring some such as antihistamines and pain relievers. Most schools have clinics that can competently attend to your health needs. Self-medicating with non-prescription medicines can result in complications.

Body care products

Always be presentable and hygienic as you can be perceived as a representation of the
people in your country. That’s why you shouldn’t forget your deodorant, feminine care
products (for the ladies of course), oral care essentials, and toiletries. If you have a
dandruff problem, make sure you have your trusted effective dander-control shampoo
with you. You may also need a good moisturizing lotion if your skin is not accustomed to
cold weather, which can induce skin drying and flaking.

Make the most of your experience in being an exchange student with the help of the items listed above. Also, don’t forget to make friends as they are your best bet if you encounter problems, especially in situations your gadgets and kits cannot suitably address.

Author Bio:
Sean Hopwood certainly knows a lot about meeting new people and experiencing new
cultures. He is the multilingual CEO of DayInterpreting, a company that provides real
time multilingual interpreting services. Sean wants to share his passion for progress,
understanding, and positivity through his articles.

Adjusting to New Learning Environments and Style When Studying Abroad

You’ve planned your semester abroad to a tee, prepared for the worst, and hoped for the best. The minute you land, you’re busy taking in the newness around you. Suddenly, you find yourself feeling lost and out of place in your new classroom with different faces, languages, or confused by what your teacher is asking. This, brave international student, is called culture shock. But don’t panic – you’re not alone.

A recent study found there are over 765,000 international students – a year on year increase of 6.5%. Being an international student is an incredible experience with tons of benefits. However, thousands of international students find the learning environment to be different from their native country. Here’s how you can adjust to new learning environments and style when studying abroad.

Enhance Your Prep Techniques

Chinese students favor the “talk and chalk” approach to learning, while countries such as the UK, Australia, and the US look at a collaborative method of teaching. In fact, studies from Australian Catholic University show that there is no single “right” way to teach as there is to study. Just because you’re studying abroad doesn’t mean you should change the way you study. Instead, look for inspiration for the local students and see what helps them thrive. When you learn to focus on your energy and productivity, you will begin to notice the different methods of studying and use it to your advantage.

Discuss Issues with Your Teachers

Like most students, you will be eager to succeed in your newfound environment. After all, you did travel across the globe to experience a new culture. Still, there may be times where you don’t understand how your classmates are following the lessons or even find the assignments too challenging. This can be especially true for tasks that involve strong language skills.

The best thing you can do is to talk to your teachers. They are there to help you succeed, even if you don’t plan to stay there long. Make the most out of your host school’s resources and talk to your instructor if you are struggling.  If they cannot help you, they will make an effort to find you the resources you need.

While it may be difficult for some students to adjust in the beginning, it is completely understandable to ask for help when you need it. Most universities offer counseling as well as other services for their students. Make sure to utilize your resources, make new friends and most of all – make the most out of your study abroad. 

How Parents Can Solve the Study Abroad Funding Gap

College comes with a wide variety of experiences, some of which can be categorized as once-in-a-lifetime. One of the most highly prized—and highly regarded—experiences for a college student is studying abroad. With a semester spent studying overseas, a student can gain valuable skills, excellent resume points, among other benefits. For a parent, study abroad is starting to sound like a must-have for their kids in college.

There’s just one problem; a study abroad program can be astronomically expensive. Combined with college’s already exorbitant costs, the idea suddenly seems a lot more like a fantasy than an achievable goal. There are ways, however, that you can help close that funding gap, with a little creativity and effort.

The Financial Problem with Study Abroad

If you have a child in college, then you already know about the staggering cost of higher education. Even with federal financial aid, most students end up taking out student loans to bridge the gap; in fact, about three-quarters of college students have loans at graduation, trying to cover a piece of the $25,000 price tag on a four-year education.

As a parent who’s on the hook for the cost of college, you might feel that covering a semester abroad is a bit much.

Once your student has received his or her financial aid package at the beginning of the school year, it’s not easy to get that amount extended or raised, which makes it hard to turn to federal student aid to pay for a study abroad trip.

Because of semester start dates and the need to set up these trips early, the funding deadlines often end up falling inconveniently at awkward times of the year as well. January—right after the holiday season—and May, right before the summer, are typical deadlines.

The timing can be incredibly difficult for parents who want to be able to help their student get that abroad experience but also can’t necessarily come up with the money at those specific times of the year.

There is hope, however. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help fund that overseas trip.

Closing the Funding Gap

If you’re the parent of a college student, then you’re already feeling the crunch of an expensive education. There has to be a way to help your student study overseas without overtaxing your already-hurting wallet, right? Yes, there is! There are actually a number of options to consider.

Study Abroad Scholarship Funding

There are many scholarships specifically meant to fund overseas study. There are plenty of listings of such scholarships that can be found online. Some are merit-based and set aside for top academic students; others are meant for students looking to go to a particular country, or pursuing a certain course of study. Each scholarship has its own criteria, and most of them are competitive. It’s best to start pursuing them early.

With scholarships, the money doesn’t require repayment, making them ideal sources of funding. However, in some cases, your student may need to sign an employment contract with the providing organization – this is a specific drawback to keep an eye out for.

Grants from Third-Party Organizations

Much like scholarships, grants don’t need to be paid back, and they’re offered by various philanthropic organizations and non-profits. Like a scholarship, a grant award is a competitive offer. In many cases they require an essay or other submission package, and the student may be required to follow through on certain promises like reporting back to the group about the study abroad experience.  NAFSA, the Association of International Education is a good place to start.  NAFSA List of Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants.

Student Loans for Study Abroad

It’s not the best option, but taking out an additional student loan to cover the cost of a study abroad trip is possible. It can help defray the expenses while still putting the responsibility for that cost on the student instead of your own wallet. Of course, keep in mind that the student loan would need to be repaid with interest. As mentioned, it’s tough to get more federal financial aid in the middle or end of the school year, but some students and parents may be able to find funding in the private sector with banks and lenders. However, remember to weigh the risks and benefits of taking on debt. You can get a wealth of experience from study abroad, but is it worth paying interest?

Find a Job for Your Kid

The idea of “working your way through college” doesn’t really work as well as it used to; the constantly climbing costs of education make it nearly impossible to simply rely on a job to pay for school. A job can, however, help cover the cost of an overseas trip, leading to less money you’ll have to contribute as a parent. Conversely, a part-time job could help your child pay for miscellaneous expenses or even rent. This could free up money elsewhere to support a study abroad trip.

Find a Cheaper Trip

If all else fails, you could always advise your student to choose a less expensive trip. Going to a different country, for a shorter duration, or with different living arrangements can often drop the cost to a more manageable amount.  Think of the entire cost, including the cost of travel and cost of living as well as the cost of the program.  Cost is considered on some study abroad review websites, look for comments on cost.  On Abroad101, programs have a compiled star-rating for cost and tips for saving money, search for affordable study abroad programs on Abroad101

Conclusion

Sending your student abroad for study can be prohibitively expensive—but it doesn’t need to be. Take the time to do some research, and you’ll find that a semester abroad, with all of its once-in-a-lifetime experiences, is well within your student’s reach.

 

By guest author Andrew Rombach, a Content Associate from LendEDU – a consumer education website and financial product marketplace. Andrew learned plenty about financial aid from his own experiences with student loan debt in college. Now he covers a range of personal finance topics in general.

Abroad101 Providers Newsletter – Spring 2018

Ten Years Later, It’s Still All About the Reviews:

Abroad101 got its start as the “Trip Advisor for Study Abroad” being the first website to focus on study abroad reviews.  Ten years later we host the largest collection of program reviews, in part because a number of colleges and universities use Abroad101 as their official program evaluation software.  Abroad101’s system gives university administrators a nice set of web-based tools to:

  • manage the publishing of reviews (approve/disapprove)
  • add custom evaluation questions (optional)
  • measure their students’ results against other universities (charts)
  • generate performance reports on programs and providers (ratings scores)
  • export reviews for further analysis and trends

More than 70% of the reviews on Abroad101 come at the invitation of university advisors, many who will read and discuss the reviews as part of school’s re-entry process.  In recent years, we have opened up these features to program hosts (foreign universities) and providers who use the reviews for both marketing and quality control.  Whether you invite the student or not, you can see your program reviews and can use the comparison tools by accessing your account dashboard.  If you have not done so, we encourage you to login and explore what Abroad101 has for you.  If you need your password reset or would like a web demo of the software, email: mark@abroad101.com.

Abroad101’s Directories

Any list of programs on Abroad101 is displayed based on an algorithm we have fine-tuned over the years.  Recent review volume is currently the most important factor, adjusted by the age of the review along with several additional factors including standard deviation (range of scores).  Inclusion of photos and review completeness impact positioning.  We do this because as a review website, people come to us looking for current and thorough reviews so it seems only right that the programs with the most reviews are at the top of the list.

Student Inquiries:

As a reminder, the primary mechanism for prospective students to interact with providers is through Abroad101’s inquiry form.  When you get an inquiry from Abroad101, you will notice a “lead type” in the message.  These are:

  • fav = Favorite, where a student tags your listing as one to consider later, not a formal inquiry 
  • rmi – the standard Request More Information inquiry
  • app – student states they want to apply for the program listed.
  • mp – Matching Program (a featured offered to advertisers)

Often people will visit review sites to do further research, so when you get an inquiry marked Apply there is a reasonable chance that that student is already known to you and has come to a decision to apply to the program while on Abroad101.  Please don’t view these as duplicate leads, instead think of them as conversions and prioritize your response to the student.

For those of you who advertise, our LeadMatch (mp leads) feature gives students three additional programs to consider after they have sent an inquiry to a non-advertised program.  These matching programs are drawn from our pool of advertised programs, matching on city, country and/or subject.  It’s modeled after the popular recommendation feature on sites like Amazon.com and accounts for 13% of all leads sent from Abroad101.

Search by Subject:

As a reminder, Abroad101 is using the CIP Codes from the US Department of Education for our study subject search.  We presently list a total of 423 including all of the top level subjects and the most popular of the specific disciplines.  From time to time, providers will request we add a category, such as Kinesiology and Exercise Science which we added last month.  We encourage you to take advantage of the study subject field when updating your program listings with Abroad101.  Let us know if you’d like any additional categories/directories.

Include Abroad101 in your Advertising Budgets:

Abroad101 is supported by advertising from foreign universities as well as program providers.  Advertising on Abroad101 is designed to bring you more inquiries, improve your conversions and raise the brand and visibility of your programs, all at a price that won’t blow your budget.  Featured Listings start at $500/year and we offer generous volume discounts for multiple programs and display advertising.  Advertising is mixed gently in the pages adding additional choice to students.  With 20-25% of Abroad101’s visitors being parents or university advisors, advertising has the extra impact of reaching those that influence students.  We hope you will include Abroad101 in your next year’s budget.  Prices remain unchanged since 2015, please download our Ad Guide for more information.

See you at NAFSA?

Abroad101 won’t have a booth this year or a reception, but we will be at the conference.  If you’d like to meet at your booth, or after exhibit hours, please email: mark@abroad101.com.

Thank you,