Combine study and travel and explore new horizons
Overseas study can be your passport to a life of adventure, and finding the right opportunity could be easier than you think
Start by working out what you want to learn
So many students think about the destination first (“I want to go to Switzerland!”) without considering the main point of going: the course itself.
This is why it’s so important to set aside the desire to go to a particular country, and determine instead what you want to learn.
If your intentions are purely to travel and the courses in the country you want to visit don’t align with your career goals, then maybe just call it ‘travel’ and get planning.
If you do want an international institutions’ name at the top of your graduation certificate, then consider exactly what qualification you want i.e. Medical Doctor, Bachelor of Geology, Dentistry etc. In other words, start with the end in mind…
Which international institutions offer the courses you’re after?
Once you’ve got your course in mind, THEN it’s time to find one at the institution/location you’d like to study at. Start by searching for a list of institutions in the area you’d like to live in first.
If you can’t find the right course (or the cost/requirements aren’t feasible), then widen your search to other institutions in the same location/state/country until you do find one. The opportunities are boundless.
Understand the Visa requirements
Often the universities will have information on their websites about student visa requirements, so this is good first place to look. If they don’t, simply search for ‘student visa requirements + country’ on Google/Yahoo/Bing to find the rules for your chosen country.
You might also find the details on their immigration website too.
How will you pay for it?
Tuition costs, living costs and travel costs all need to be taken into account for the location you’re thinking of.
Some countries might have expensive tuition, but low living costs. Some might be expensive for health care but tuition might be cheap. Either way, you’ll have to investigate the costs for housing, transport, food, healthcare, phone & internet, insurance, travel home AND tuition.
This will help you work out how much money it will cost you to live and study there. Do you need to get a job while you’re there? Can you work part-time to make it easier? Checking the country’s immigration website will also likely tell you if you can work there under a student visa. In many countries you can, but only to a limited amount. Be sure to check first.
Can't wait? Consider Student Exchange
Even if you haven’t yet finished high school, there could be a way for you to go and live overseas while you finish your studies. There are many student exchange programs available, here’s just some of them:
Other things you need to consider
Well, you’ll be away! You’ll need to think about how this may affect your relationship with your family and whether you’ve got the skills and confidence to give overseas study a go.
You might need to learn a new language before you go. You might also need to consider talking with an overseas study counsellor or exchange student counsellor too about your plans.
Whatever you do though, don’t let a little fear or a minor thing hold you back from the experience of a lifetime. Sure, your family and friends will miss you, but that’s not a reason to put your study dreams on hold.
REMEMBER: This chance might never come up again…