Most students know someone who’s gone oversees to study abroad but most have never considered the option for themselves. There are many advantages to spending a semester in another country, but is this right for you or your child? First and foremost, what is study abroad? The basic premise is to travel to another country and continue normal studies while also learning about the country’s culture, history and language. Students who study abroad must normally have a certain amount of school credit hours to qualify for the opportunity; must be willing to be gone for either a semester, summer or year; and must typically pay their own way unless they’re on scholarship. Before deciding to take this journey, both students and parents are interested in hearing the advantages of this option. So what are they?
One major benefit in most people’s minds is the opportunity to experience a different culture for a short period of time. The student will have the chance to become accustomed to new foods, arts, music, history, political systems and holidays. Another plus is if you decide to travel to a country whose national language you’ve studied, you’ll be able to gain first-hand experience putting that language to use. The best way to become fluent in a language is to put it into practice; what better way to do that than to rehearse it in its natural environment? Having this kind of practice with a foreign language can look very good to a perspective college, grad school and even to future jobs.
The ultimate way to ensure you’re choosing the right plan is to be absolutely comfortable with the overall idea. If you don’t like leaving home for a couple of days, odds are high that adjusting to studying abroad would take some time. It’s critical to weigh your options. Obviously it’s natural to fear becoming homesick, but most students who’ve chosen to study abroad find that they’re so busy participating in amazing new opportunities that the time flies by and home is a faraway thought.
If you’ve weighed your options and decided the journey will benefit you, be sure to check out your options as far as programs go. Most high schools and colleges offer their own programs, but if you choose to go another route or if you’re home schooled then you’ll want to do plenty of Internet research. Terra Education is one option for those wishing to participate in a high school study abroad program. Regardless of which choice you go with, remember that you’re experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you should take full advantage of it. Put yourself out there and gain as much as you can from from the experience. Safe travels!