5 best places to study abroad in 2020

In the United States, there are enough higher education institutions that can provide the highest quality education. At the same time, many young people are interested in receiving education abroad. This will allow them to get acquainted with another culture, see the world and break away from their parents, completely plunging into an independent life.

Therefore, often, before choosing a specific place, it is worth taking care to choose for yourself best credit cards for students, which will support the development of financial independence far from home. Also discover card for college students when you decide exactly what you want and will study abroad so that you can understand how you will meet your needs if you do not have enough cash.

Among many options, Europe remains one of the most popular study regions abroad among young Americans and students from around the world. However, Europe is a rather large and diverse region of the world, where each country has its own advantages and features, so it is often difficult to decide exactly where to go to study. If you are worried that you have never used credit cards and have never taken a loan before, then credit cards for college students with no credit history will be your answer that will reduce your anxiety. Here we have selected 5 best places to study abroad in 2020, the most interesting and popular options among American students.

  1. Paris, France

Paris is one of the most attractive and popular cities in the world. It is so diverse that it can sometimes be overwhelming with its contrasts. It is beautiful and it would seem well-known, in Greater Paris there are many foreigners of various affluence, as well as thousands of students and tourists from all over the world. You can also learn French, which many find very romantic.

It has beautiful architecture, many legendary places, people of art and more. Here you will always find what to do and what to see in your free time. Here you will also need one of the best credit cards for students with no credit, if you have never used loans before.

  1. London, UK

For American students, as well as for students from other English-speaking countries, London becomes the choice of the month of study abroad in half of all cases. However, Great Britain in general, and London in particular, is not limited to English-speaking tourists and students, it is a modern Babylon, where you can meet people of any nationality and culture.

It is also attractive to wealthy people and students from all over the world.

Here you will find some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, capable of providing training in many specialties, as well as plenty of entertainment for every taste. Here you have to try very hard to get bored.

At the same time, London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so good credit cards for college students will be more relevant than ever.

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is known for its canals, bicycles and free views on different manifestations of life and different people. Here everyone can feel comfortable, regardless of their appearance, tastes and preferences. This city attracts students and tourists from all over the world due to its liberalism, club nightlife, coffee shops and the red light district. Credit cards for college students here will be necessary in order to be able to try different entertainments presented in the capital of the Netherlands and attend many events.

However, in addition to noisy entertainment, there are plenty of cozy parks, cafes and promenades that are conducive to a quiet pastime and leisurely walks. Here you can feel at ease in any setting, especially if you have one of the best chase credit card for students with you. Many education courses are often taught in English, which in Amsterdam is second only to Dutch in terms of distribution.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in the historical center looks almost like a fabulous city. Medieval tiled roofs with spiers fascinate and attract millions of tourists every year, as well as thousands of students to study. Best credit cards for college students with no credit will not let you stay away from Prague’s entertainment and tourist destinations.

One of the oldest universities in Europe – Charles University is able to provide a high level of quality education received here. There are no problems with the English language in Prague, many people speak it here.

In addition to studying, there is always something to do. Many cultural events and festivals are chilled here every year. Nightclubs are fully operational and are a very popular pastime. The prices here are lower than for example in London or Amsterdam, so even credit cards for college students with no income will be sufficient financial support for a full student life.

  1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is not only the largest city in Germany and its capital. This city is rich not only economically and historically. It is very diverse and can sometimes seem a little crazy. There are many bright unusual people, many different unusual cultural events and flash mobs. Take one of the best credit cards for college students with no credit history with you if you do not already have a loan, but be sure to take a walk in Berlin. It is a very diverse city, both architecturally and culturally.

Here, students from different countries will see various manifestations of life on the positive side and will be able to choose for themselves something close and suitable. There are many high-ranking universities that provide education in many specialties. In addition, the famous German craving for order is an additional guarantee of quality education.

Choose best cards for college students to study abroad today

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Oceania Study Abroad Programs

Oceania is an area of the world that spans the South Pacific Ocean and includes several countries and territories. This includes Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia Islands.

Students have written so many positive comments in their reviews, which explains why this destination is a very popular study abroad choice.

An unforgettable semester in Suva” – A 4 1/2 star Fiji review which includes comments such as: “So much personal growth! Go with an open mind and absorb the world around you. I learned much more about culture, the world, and myself in the last 5 months than I have in my entire life. Be willing to listen and ask questions.” or “I was able to make friends with some Fijians as well as Indo-Fijians. I would highly recommend integrating yourself as much as possible and talking with locals in class. They can be a bit shy but don’t be discouraged by that. Whenever you’re out and about in Fiji, people will make you feel like family. Also, this program includes a village stay, which was one of my favorite parts. I felt so at home and like I was experiencing the real Fiji- not just the beaches like everyone thinks!”

Students also have helpful tips about their stay. This review of a program in New Zealand had these words of advice for incoming scholars.

“New Zealand has a very different set up for gradings as there are only a few assignments which are weighted heavily, but the professors are incredibly accommodating.” Also, “We get more for our US dollar in NZ so that was always a relief when looking at the bank account.”

Abroad101.com has nearly 500 programs listed in just this part of the world. Learn more about the study abroad options available to you, read student reviews, and submit an inquiry all from our main site. There are so many options available you are sure to find the perfect program for you.

Pursuing a Postgraduate Degree Online Can be Fun

You don’t usually associate a postgraduate degree with something fun. In your mind, it entails sacrifices and changes in your schedule. You also start to think about what you need to study, and you already feel like giving up.

Before you become too pessimistic about the idea of studying online, you need to understand that it’s not the same as your experience back when you were in college. You won’t learn in a traditional classroom setting. You won’t have an angry teacher in front of you all the time. The experience is way different than what you used to have. You might even have fun while studying.

You will learn a lot of new things

When you’ve been working in your field for a long time, it feels like you already forgot what you learned back then. It also feels like you don’t get new knowledge even if you practice your profession. When you pursue an online degree, you will feel surprised with every information you get. The courses are relevant and understandable. Even when you decide to pursue an online healthcare data analytics certificate while working in the medical field, there are lots of new ideas that you can get.

You’re doing homework again

You can’t believe that after several years, you’re back to doing homework. It brings back a lot of memories when you were in college. You also have to study for tests. If your life seems to be the same each day given your work schedule, it might change this time. The break in your regular routine makes things a lot more exciting.

You feel smarter

Some professionals feel like after working with the same job description for several years, they become stagnated. They don’t learn anything new. Once you begin your online studies, you feel smart again. you learn things that you don’t get at work, but can be applicable to your job. When your colleagues ask for help, you can respond to them based on the information obtained while studying online.

You interact with more people

Even if you’re only studying online and not in an actual classroom, it feels the same in a way. You get to talk to your teacher through chats, emails and other platforms. There are instances when you have a discussion board with your classmates around. There’s always a chance to interact with many people outside work, and it expands your network. You will like you’re hanging out with the smart kids at school, and you belong to the group.

You can learn when you’re ready

The best part about online studies is that you can learn whenever you’re ready. It’s not like in a traditional classroom where you have to be present even when you’re not in the mood to study. It’s the reason why you feel like sleeping in class. You also don’t see the value of what you’re doing. When you can choose your time to study, you can absorb the lesson even more and you feel excited to learn.

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Spanish dialects around the world while Studying Abroad

So you want to study abroad to grow your Spanish skillset? Learning the second most spoken language in the world will be great for your future career, building deeper relationships, and is an extremely marketable skill. There are at least twenty countries in the world where Spanish is an official language. If you can’t visit them all, how do you choose just one? Hopefully, this blog will help you decide which one is best for you! I have studied abroad as a student, and have participated in site visits as an employee of a Spanish immersion-focused study abroad program Sol Education Abroad (SOL). At SOL, a question I often get asked is how the Spanish accents vary. In this blog I will focus on dialect and the main reasons why I have loved my time in each of the Spanish-speaking locations I have been to.

”Buenos Aires is full of public parks with art installations everywhere, like this giant bench!”

My study abroad experience took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the summer of 2015. When deciding which country to study abroad in, my study abroad advisor told me that Buenos Aires would be a perfect fit to build my Spanish skills. “If you can understand the Argentinian accent, you can understand any Spanish accent!”

I quickly found out she was right! Porteños, or people from Buenos Aires, have a unique accent that took some getting used to. I learned about three main differences that set porteños apart. The first difference was that instead of pronouncing double l’s like in “calle” (street) with a “ya” sound, they pronounce it with a “sh” sound. Secondly, I noticed that “vos” is used instead of “tu.” Along with this, “vos” has its own unique conjugation that I had to learn. Instead of “tu entiendes,” porteños would say “vos entendés.”

“A lovely sunset off the coast”

It was a challenge at first to adapt to these new rules, but it forced me to work harder at my comprehension skills. Interestingly, the pronunciation particularities are really only prevalent in Buenos Aires. If you travel to other parts of Argentina, you will hear a more neutral Spanish spoken. My time in Buenos Aires will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first time I traveled by myself, and my first time riding in a subway!

For my next trip, I traveled to Costa Rica for two weeks in the summer of 2017. Luckily, the Spanish spoken in Costa Rica is extremely neutral. Some people even describe it as not having an accent at all. This makes it very easy to understand, and because of that, it is an excellent destination for first-time travelers or students who are starting to learn Spanish. I also found that everyone I encountered – host families, waiters, tour guides, and store owners – were all very patient with me and were helpful if I happened to say something incorrectly.

“The view from out host family’s house, which was amazing to wake up to”

A major reason why I love Costa Rica and think it is a perfect location for students is that it is well-suited for weekend travel. Costa Rica is quite small and has such a variety of ecosystems to discover. The bus system is simple, and if you travel with a study abroad program, your directors will usually help you book your own excursion!

“My co-worker and I at Manuel Antonio National Park!”

Next on my list was Spain! I traveled to Spain in April of 2019. First, I spent a weekend in Madrid, then two weeks in Granada.

“Enjoying the sunset in the Albaicin neighborhood in Granada”

I had always been warned about the Spanish accent and the “Spanish lisp” but had no problem understanding it. I learned that the lisp is used to differentiate the pronunciation between an “s” and “c” or “z” (which are pronounced with a “th” sound). The Spaniard accent definitely has a different rhythm than the Latin American Spanish I was used to; however, I always felt like I was able to understand everyone, so don’t be steered away from this enchanting country!

One of my favorite things about Spain, and Granada specifically, is the “tapa” culture. Tapas are a small snack that is brought out with each drink order. In Granada, these were always free, unlike the rest of Spain. If you plan it right, you can have a free “dinner” while exploring some of the best restaurants and bars that Granada has to offer!

“The tapa that came with my glass of wine – caracoles! (snails).”

My most recent trip has been to Oaxaca, Mexico. I have been living in Oaxaca for the past four months and am loving my time here! I have discovered that Spanish in Mexico is relatively neutral. There are slightly different accents depending on which part of the country you are in, much like the United States, but they have not been difficult to understand.

The Santo Domingo church in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico

One tricky thing is that Mexicans are notorious for having a lot of slang terms. It can take a while to pick up on all of them, but you’ll certainly fit in once you do! Out of all of the Spanish-speaking countries that I have been to so far, Mexico has the most slang words. I’m learning that there is probably so much slang because Mexicans like to have fun, even with their language!

Enjoying a hike through Hierve El Agua, a petrified waterfall just outside of Oaxaca

You can’t go wrong with whichever Spanish-speaking country you chose to study in! Any study abroad experience will help you advance your comprehension, speaking skills, and world-view tremendously.

The best suggestions that I can give are to stay with a host family and speak Spanish to as many people as possible. Living with a host family is where you will get the majority of your exposure to the Spanish language and immersion in the local culture. You are able to speak Spanish without judgment and your family is always happy to help you with any doubts or questions. I also encourage you to meet as many locals as possible. Speaking with locals will do wonders for your Spanish conversation skills. Hopefully, you will have the chance to travel to numerous Spanish-speaking countries and become a master of this beautiful language!

Author:

Monica Guajardo with SOL Education Abroad

Why You’ll Never Be the Same After Studying Abroad

Students who are able to go abroad to study are fortunate because they will definitely have an experience that can change their lives forever. The advantages and benefits of studying abroad to one’s education and career are substantial. A year or more spent abroad to study is an advantage worth more than the money you’ll spend on tuition and lodging. You will be learning a new culture, immersing in a lifestyle different from your own, learning a new language, and building a global network of friends.

In the November 2018 Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE), over 330,000 students in the U.S. studied outside the country for college credits during the school year 2016 to 2017. Since the 1990s, the number of American students studying abroad has continued to grow. Over one million international college students were studying in the U.S. in 2017 to 2018.

Studying abroad is increasingly essential today. And people will notice the positive changes in you when you return. If you are thinking of spending some time abroad for college credits, here are some of the essential benefits.

  1. It will improve your language skills

You will have many chances to sharpen your language skills through your daily interaction with native speakers. It is something that you cannot duplicate in language classes. It is possible to learn the language quicker. Moreover, you’ll be picking up local jargon and learning better pronunciation by listening to how locals do it.

  1. You’ll adapt to different teaching styles

The style of teaching varies depending on the country. You can adapt to different academic settings when you study abroad. Learning how to adapt can be helpful at work because you will be more versatile.

  1. You’ll be more self-confident 

You’ll learn life skills that you might not know when you’re constantly surrounded by familiar things, such as your family and friends, and other things that you are used to seeing. You’ll learn to be independent as well.

As you overcome the challenges of living abroad on your own, your maturity will improve as you encounter unexpected conditions. Your communication skills get a boost as you converse in another language. You’ll learn to adjust and adapt to the new culture, and become more tolerant. These qualities are applicable in the workplace. You’ll become resilient and self-reliant, as you have to do everything by yourself.

You’ll be able to develop strong management, leadership and critical thinking skills. Your communication skills will likewise improve as you learn to negotiate and speak in public in another language.

  1. You’ll build international connections

You are going to meet other international students at a foreign university, so your global connections will likely increase. They can become your friends for life. Some of them could be instrumental to several career opportunities, such as job offers or internships. You might even become business partners in the future.

  1. You’ll increase your cultural awareness

Meeting other international students will broaden your knowledge of different cultures – the way they act, view things, think, learn, dress, talk, eat, and so on. You will see their traditions and cultural practices, helping you adjust to their different personality and attitude. You’ll be more accepting of people from different cultural backgrounds and share their experiences. Studying abroad broadens your mind and widens your horizon.

  1. You’ll learn to value little things

When you stay at home, you might feel annoyed by the mundane and the routine. Everything is the same, and you might wonder what is unique about your country and the way you live. While studying abroad, you will learn to manage your budget and rely on yourself. You’ll witness other students’ struggle with adapting to a new environment and way of living, not to mention, struggle with finances. You’ll realize that things are easier back home.

  1. You can travel and see more of the world 

Traveling and seeing more of the world is one of the core benefits of studying abroad. It enables you to visit another country and have the chance to see other places, within the country itself or the regions surrounding the country where you are studying. Your local friends can show you the beauty of their country and fantastic locales that other tourists either do not know or do not frequent.

Check out the study abroad program in your college or university. If you qualify, get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime chance that is too good to miss. Likewise, prepare your academic and other documents, so you’ll know if you need transcript translation services.

About the Author:

Sean Patrick Hopwood, CEO and Founder of Day Translations, a language translation services provider, that serves clients in a wide range of industries including education, finance, and government.

 

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.

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

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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.