College and high school students are more eager to study abroad than ever before, thanks to a wealth of information available on the Internet and social media’s propensity for inspiring #travel goals. However, with an abundance of resources comes information overload. Fortunately for you, there is more than one way to study abroad.
Your school may be well-known for its excellent exchange programme. Maybe you met someone who had a great time with an immersive experience company. Maybe someone you follow on Instagram shared a motivating account of their study abroad experience, and you just know you have to try it out for yourself.
We, at Leverage Edu, sifted through the digital clutter to review some of the most popular ways to study abroad – and how to get started. You’ll be less concerned with the “How?” and more excited about the “When!” now. So, let’s get started!
This Blog Includes:
- 10 Ways to Study Abroad
- 1. Register for a Study Abroad Program at Your University
- 2. Discover Study Abroad Opportunities Through a Third-Party Provider
- 3. Enroll in an International University Directly.
- 4. Consider Conducting a Global Independent Study
- 5. Extend Your Knowledge by Conducting Field Research Abroad
- 6. Internship for Academic Credit
- 7. Participate in a Student Exchange Program to Study Abroad
- 8. Begin with a High School Study Abroad Program
- 9. Get Federal Government Funding to Study Abroad
- 10. Enroll in a Language School in Another Country
- Bonus: You Can Study Abroad Virtually
10 Ways to Study Abroad
Here are 10 unique ways to study abroad and travel to new places.
1. Register for a Study Abroad Program at Your University
Traditionally, students study abroad through their college or university. Study abroad credits are almost always guaranteed to meet your academic requirements, and primary fees are frequently linked directly to your tuition payments.
Your university’s study abroad programme may handle visas and housing in addition to easily transferable courses. In terms of housing, did you know that many students report that studying abroad is less expensive than living on campus?
Inquire about study abroad opportunities at your school by contacting your on-campus programme counselor or visiting your school’s study abroad online portal.
2. Discover Study Abroad Opportunities Through a Third-Party Provider
Just as not all schools are created equal, not all university-based study abroad programmes are either. If your university does not have a programme with the focus, location, or dates you require, don’t give up and assume you will not be able to study abroad.
Regardless of your major or school, many companies work in the education sector to help students spend a semester, year, or summer abroad. These firms are known as “third-party providers,” and they specialize in connecting students with study abroad programmes all over the world. One thing to keep in mind is that there is almost always a programme fee for their services.
Universities with few study abroad options may already have relationships with a few programme providers (meaning your credits will transfer easily), so check with your academic counselor or study abroad office for recommendations.
Also Read: 6 Tips to Stay Safe When Traveling Alone to Study Abroad.
3. Enroll in an International University Directly.
Another option for studying abroad that few students consider is directly enrolling in a university abroad. Rather than participating in an organized programme through your home school or a third party, you can enroll directly in a semester, year, or full degree programme at a university abroad.
Are you surprised to learn that you can attend school in another country even if you are not a citizen of that country? Yes, many colleges and universities around the world welcome international students! That is just one of the numerous advantages of direct enrollment.
However, keep in mind that if you’re applying to a university that doesn’t offer courses in English, you’ll need to be fluent in the local language. Just make sure the credits from the international university are transferable if you want to finish your degree at your home university.
4. Consider Conducting a Global Independent Study
Are you working on a major project or academic paper and the study abroad programmes you’ve researched seem too generic? This project could even be crucial to the next stage of your academic and professional career. If this describes you, a global independent study abroad may be exactly what you need.
Independent studies are typically in-depth courses designed and completed by a student under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Brown University, for example, has a fantastic system in place on its website to assist students in completing the requirements for independent study.
While these study abroad opportunities are similar to booking a programme through your school (you’ll need to contact a professor, academic counselor, and your study abroad office), they differ in requirements and niche focus.
5. Extend Your Knowledge by Conducting Field Research Abroad
Do you thrive in hands-on learning environments and can’t imagine sitting in another classroom (even if it’s in another country)? You qualify for a specific type of study abroad.
Field research is another type of immersive learning experience for prospective study abroad students that are ideal for students who find global independent studies to be too demanding. Even if it does not provide as much academic credit as class-based studies, the field experience will be valuable.
Consider programmes that will get you dirty in archaeological digs or that will teach you how to dive off the coast of Malaysia to study marine life. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s probably a field research programme for it.
6. Internship for Academic Credit
Though interning abroad is typically considered the next step after college in order to obtain a job, you can still intern abroad for school credit prior to graduation.
Many companies around the world only hire interns who can get academic credit, and many universities around the world may require a certain number of internship credits (also known as hours of experience) in order to graduate.
These unpaid pre-entry-level job opportunities provide a wealth of learning opportunities while meeting academic requirements. Remember to get your internship programme pre-approved to ensure that the hours and type of internship meet your home school’s credit requirements.
7. Participate in a Student Exchange Program to Study Abroad
Have you ever considered swapping places with an international student to experience a semester or year in their shoes? You’re in luck because that is a real thing!
Student exchange programmes for study abroad are typically facilitated by “sister schools,” or schools with established relationships across the seas. These schools accept foreign exchange students on the condition that the international school accepts you into their school. When you’ve finished your semesters, you switch back!
Student exchange programmes are most common in universities, but they can also be found in high school students. High school exchange programmes, which are usually for a shorter period of time, include language learning and cultural immersion.
Also Read: How to Study Abroad Virtually
8. Begin with a High School Study Abroad Program
Going abroad in high school is still a popular and viable option if you want to get a head start on your study abroad experiences and an exchange programme is not an option.
High school study abroad programmes, which are most popular among graduating seniors, are gaining traction as a viable alternative to college study. You can begin your international education in high school, make connections that will help you in college or your career, and gain a perspective on the world that will change the way you value your own life experiences. High school study abroad programmes can take place over the summer, during school breaks, or throughout the school year!
9. Get Federal Government Funding to Study Abroad
Did you know that the Department of State and other federal agencies fund study-abroad programmes for students of all ages? Whether you’re in grades K-12 or a college or university, applying to their partnered programmes can help you improve your education and project research.
Yearlong and summer merit-based scholarships and language programmes, such as the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange and the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, are available to high school students. Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for need-based and merit-based scholarships, teaching assistant positions, language studies, field research support, and other opportunities.
10. Enroll in a Language School in Another Country
Whether you’re still in college, haven’t started yet, or graduated a long time ago, another way to study abroad is to enroll in a language school abroad.
This is distinct from studying abroad through a third-party provider, as many of those will include extras such as non-language courses, excursions, or connecting you with a local university. Studying abroad with a language school entails doing exactly that: taking language classes, possibly living with a host family or renting an apartment, and embarking on a new linguistic adventure.
Language schools are a popular option because they are often less expensive, more enjoyable, and do not require as much paperwork and application as a traditional study abroad programme.
Bonus: You Can Study Abroad Virtually
Going abroad isn’t always an option, whether it’s due to a packed academic schedule, a tight budget, or a global pandemic that has rendered international travel impossible (we see you, Coronavirus). However, “studying abroad” is not out of the question.
Virtual study abroad is a new trend that is taking off at breakneck speed thanks to a slew of new distance learning technologies. Enrolling in a virtual study abroad programme allows you to broaden your horizons, make international connections, expand your global network, and immerse yourself in a new culture and language all from the comfort of your own couch.
Sure, you’ll miss exploring the streets of a new city, but if traditional study abroad isn’t for you, virtual study abroad is a great option. Plus, it’s frequently a fraction of the price!
There is no such thing as the “best” way to study abroad. Everyone’s situation is unique, and what works for one student might not work for another. Reviewing your options, evaluating your budget and financial aid availability, and selecting the programme that best fits your goals is the best way to determine the right study abroad programme for you.
If you need any assistance in your study abroad journey, contact our experts at Leverage Edu and book a 30-minute free counseling session.