A Student’s Guide to Studying Abroad
Studying abroad is a fantasy for many students. When you think about the top business people in any country, chances are they studied in the UK, USA or Australia. Everyone would love to be associated with schools like Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Stanford. Not only will studying in ivy leagues universities make employers fight over you, but you will also have the experience to blow their minds away.
Studying abroad will also expose you to a new culture and change your perspective about many things. You will also improve your written and spoken English and gain international experience. If going abroad for further studies is your dream, here is a comprehensive guide to getting you there.
1. Start early
Unless you have a couple of millions stashed away somewhere, going abroad is a process. You have to start preparing early to increase your chances of getting accepted in schools abroad. For instance, US universities prefer kids that have continued to improve and challenge themselves to do better. If you started your first year in high school with a C, you should work your way up and finish with an A.
On the other hand, for UK universities, strive to focus on field-specific subjects and excel in them. That is not to mean that you fail in calculus and English because you want to pass economics, but focus more on the field you want.
Aside from increasing your chances of getting into some of the best universities and colleges abroad, starting early can also help you ward off stress. When you start early, you will have the time to inquire from different educational institutions about their academic requirements and what courses they cover. Having time on your hands will also make it very easy for you to budget and prepare enough money for your plans in studying abroad.
2. Take the right exams
When you target universities abroad, you have to take and pass the necessary exams to get accepted. For instance, USA universities require you to sit for ACT or SAT while in the UK, you also need AP, IB, and VCE exams depending on the course you want to pursue. Aim for distinction in your current school and pass the necessary international exams to get a chance in global universities. Going Ivy professionals advise you should also excel in one extra curriculum activity. Students who excel in soccer, basketball, swimming, and arts will have an edge over those who are just book-warm.
Different colleges and universities will have different exams from freshmen like you, which is why you should do some research on the coverage of these exams. You can do this by doing a search online or asking individuals who are attending the college or university that you’re eyeing to enter in the near future. The information you can gain from these sources will help you set your expectations and assess which materials you will need to review for these exams.
The score you can earn from these exams can make or break your chances of studying abroad. Some colleges and universities are strict with the students they accept and will only allow individuals who reached a certain score in these exams. Make sure that you can start your journey abroad by studying for these exams as early as possible.
3. Prepare financially
Saying that going abroad is expensive is an understatement. It will cost your parents an arm and a leg to cater for your flight, student accommodation, tuition, and other necessities. It’s essential to start saving early so you will have enough money to cater for some of the costs. However, there are plenty of scholarships and grants available for international students. If you are determined, you will find a scholarship that will take care of your tuition so you can focus on other things.
4. Learn about your destination
Whichever country you are going to, you can be sure their culture is different from yours. For instance, getting into a blow fight in the USA or UK will land you in jail. Learn the language, the culture, various modes of transport, and where to get affordable products and services. A simple internet search and talking to people in that country will get you started.
Studying abroad doesn’t have to be a fantasy even if you don’t qualify to join Ivy League schools. You can still improve your CV with programs that run for a semester, summer courses, and a yearlong course.
Learning about your destination can also help you adapt to your new environment easier. If you know what are the culturally accepted gestures and languages in another country, you will know how to behave in public better. Having this knowledge can help you gain more friends when you start to study abroad and ward off the stress that comes when starting a new life in a new place.
Key Takeaway Points
Studying abroad doesn’t have to be a fantasy even if you don’t qualify to join Ivy League schools. You can still improve your CV with programs that run for a semester, summer courses, and a yearlong course. Just remember to start your efforts early so you can prepare physically, mentally, and financially!
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