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the ultimate guide to studying overseas

Moving overseas to study is a bold, challenging and expanding experience that's worth jumping into. It allows you to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and your studies take on a whole new meaning, when they're combined with new cultures, sights, flavours and contrasts.

what are the benefits of studying overseas?

Apart from the sheer excitement of leaping into the unknown, studying overseas gives you endless opportunities to broaden your horizons, with regard to life in general.

Studying abroad can help you to:

  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Explore new destinations.
  • Make friends around the world.
  • Get to know other cultures in a more in-depth way.
  • Challenge your perceptions.
  • Learn about yourself.
  • Foster a sense of independence and strength in your abilities.
  • Develop skills outside of those offered at home.
  • Increase your employment opportunities.
  • Enhance your enjoyment in the learning process.

where do you start?

The world really is your proverbial oyster, when it comes to choosing a country and a study provider for overseas learning. In terms of courses on offer, you can choose from anything you'd do at home, including business administration, music, performing arts, social work, fine arts, engineering and languages.

The options are flexible when it comes to the length of your study, with summer programs, internships, full degrees, gap year programs and intensive language courses that run for weeks, months or years. Firstly, lock down your field of study and the timeframe you wish to travel for.

Once you've done that, the fun part is choosing a country. Define your interests, so you can select a destination based on surrounding yourself with your top priorities for the experience. Do you want to delve into cultural diversity? Visit world-class museums and galleries? Stay near the beach to get into the great outdoors or base yourself in a European capital as a gateway for easy weekend travel?

Some of the most popular study abroad countries include England, Italy, Spain, France, Japan, China, Germany, Mexico, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA. All host excellent universities with study abroad programs and offer cultural, recreational and nature-inspired activities to enhance your journey.

Once you've chosen your course and preferred country, investigate universities that offer study abroad programs to suit your needs. Government websites are the best source of information for study abroad programs, with information about degree recognition, University affiliations and required visas, documentation and fees.

how much does it cost?

While it can be expensive to study overseas, you can apply for scholarships and fee help via the government or your University. You can also apply for student loans or aim to work while you're studying, which is an option on many student visas.

Apart from your studies, your budget needs to include accommodation and living expenses. This will differ considerably, depending on the country of your choice. Many Universities provide student accommodation at low prices, or you can take advantage of services to place you with a host family. Asian countries are the most affordable option, with regard to food and general living expenses.

what you need to know, before you go

Once you've been accepted to a learning institution and sourced accommodation, it's time to think about the details in the lead up to your trip. These include:

  • Having valid passports and visas.
  • Researching the county's safety guidelines, laws and cultural differences.
  • Getting travel insurance.
  • Familiarising yourself with general travel safety tips, if you haven't travelled before.
  • Ensuring that copies of your University, accommodation, visa, credit cards, passport and contact details are left at home with your family or friends in case of emergency.

Though it sounds like a big deal, it's easy when you follow all the steps, and you'll be on the plane and jetting off before you know it. The most important thing to remember is to stay present, safe and enjoy each and every moment of your study abroad adventure.


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