College is one of the best times to explore your horizons. It is the time to try out different classes that suit your interest, attend events to meet new people, and live on your own near the campus. An excellent way to expand your horizons is embarking on an overseas academic pursuit.
Why Do People Choose to Study Abroad?
Every person has a set of personal reasons to study abroad. Here are some reasons why you should consider studying abroad:
You will experience a different education system.
There seems a therapeutic value with taking a break from what you are used to, no matter how good your current situation. Experiencing a different education style may give you new insights and a new perspective on different topics. This experience will also help you understand the traditions and culture over the years.
You get to explore the world.
This opportunity gives you a brand-new set of eyes and a more comprehensive view of the world. You can explore different wonders, museums, and landmarks. You will meet various people whom you can learn from.
You can learn a new language or improve their skills in a second language.
Studying overseas will put you in situations that need your adapting skills. One of these skills is speaking a different language. By studying abroad, you are constantly exposed to a new language. Your daily interactions will help in honing your language skills.
You will get a boost in career opportunities.
Embarking on an overseas academic pursuit reflects well in your curriculum vitae. Employers look at this step as your willingness to learn and increased knowledge of education, culture, and language skills. You may also find careers abroad while you are there studying.
It is a good way for personal growth.
Placing yourself in an unfamiliar set-up will bring upon different situations that will test your character and personality. You may feel uncomfortable and anxious at times. These moments will help you gain better insight, and these will train you to adapt better in difficult situations.
You can discover and make lifelong friends.
With the promised cultural diversity, you are bound to meet people with different backgrounds and experiences as yours. It is vital that you keep your mind open for the possibility of meeting new people. You should also open your heart to let people in your life.
Factors to Consider
Once you decide on an appropriate reason to study abroad, you should know when to execute your plan. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Campus traditions
- Financial capacity
- Holidays in your destination
- Fall or spring semester
- Opportunities for a summer internship
- Future travel plans
- Overall climate
Top Places to Study Abroad
You have a wide array of selection for studying abroad. Here is a list that provides you with an overview of the top places for overseas education:
Japan is the home of sushi, animations, and Nintendo. This country has been a great contributor to pop culture. You will experience a lot of experiences related to literature, art, music, and science and technology. Japan has an abundance of wonderful landscapes as well. You can visit shrines, temples, traditional villages, and mountains.
Italy is the home of delicious cuisine and precious legendary history. You can experience rich culture and appreciation of the liberal arts. You can also learn the Italian language. The popular cities in this country are Florence and Rome.
France is the place for history, food, and romance. The atmosphere of the picturesque country attracts many students worldwide. The smaller cities around the capital have great things to offer with less budget needed.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand boasts of its geographic diversity and breathtaking sights featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are many quality study abroad programs available in this country. Among its cities, the capital city Wellington is among the favorite ones for students. You get to play on the lovely beaches and enjoy hiking and biking.
Australia is an English-speaking country that offers less worry for fellow English speakers. Australians are known to be friendly and fun-loving. There are thriving and vibrant nightlife and cultural activities. You get to enjoy treks and watching the wildlife around the country.
Germany is one of the history-rich countries of the world. You will also see the amazing architecture in the country. It is popular among political science and business students because of the country's economic status. Another advantage for students here is the reduced or free transit passes.
China has a large land area that entails extreme diversity in culture and people. It is one of the oldest civilizations worldwide. There are a lot of interesting places and things to study here. Language education is one of the most popular reasons why people study here. Another one is the business aspect of Chinese education.
8. South Korea
South Korea is another Asian country that contributes to the pop culture exports. Recently, there is a rise in the popularity of K-pop with the lead of the South Korean artists BTS. Also, Korean dramas are popular among English-speakers. The popularity of these aspects of culture encourages English speakers and other Asian neighbors to study their language, Hangul. Aside from the pop culture contribution of South Korea, students become attracted to the country's cuisine and tourist spots.
Ireland is an island nation with increasing popularity among international students. The country is the home of a fantastic music scene and arts. There are also outdoor activities like cycling, surfing, and hiking for people who are inclined to those activities. There is a wide array of pubs and museums, particularly in Dublin.
Spain is famous for its siesta and sunny environment. It is the home for excellent cuisine and rich history. You can learn Spanish when you study here. One favorite city is Madrid, located at the heart of Spain. Aside from this city, other cities in Spain have their characteristic flairs that you can explore and live.
20 Essential Items to Bring
Packing your things is one of the crucial steps before studying abroad. You should have a mental picture of the necessary things to bring in a foreign country. Here is a list to help you prepare for living away from home for a while:
1. Never forget your passport.
Your passport is one of the most important documents you need to carry with you on this trip. It contains your proof of identity, which authorities often question when you are in a different country. You should have a valid and updated passport when you fly out to your chosen destination. When you forget this important thing, it may cause delays in your schedule, problems with the embassies, and settling in a foreign country.
2. Student visa is crucial too.
A student visa is a government-issued endorsement and document that certifies your qualification in an educational institution. You will need this to get around certain borders and to confirm your purpose of visit in the foreign country. There are various ways on how to procure this, depending on the country. Make sure you do thorough research. You may also opt to avail counseling services by international agencies.
3. Be ready with adapters for electricity.
Different countries have different electrical outlets as well. For example, in South Korea, their electrical outlets have a circular configuration. You will need to have an adapter to charge your gadgets. There are also shops where you can buy a certain kind of adapter.
4. A portable charger is a must.
You will need to charge your phone to use it to its maximum potential. You should aim to document and enjoy all the moments as much as possible. You can take more photos and videos by having a portable charger or power bank with you on this journey. For traveling, the ideal portable charger is a slim type. One example of this kind of charger is the Flux Lite. You can fit this charger in a little bag or purse. Another advantage of this charger is its built-in Android and iPhone charging cords. This feature enables you to share the charger with your new-found friends. Unlike other chargers that are exclusive for phones, you can also charge a portable fan, GoPro, or a laptop using the Flux Charger.
5. Bring and apply sunscreen to your skin.
A sunburn brings more discomfort than necessary, particularly during the summer season. You should keep in mind that sunscreen will help protect your skin against the raging sun. You can enjoy daytime activities with fewer worries when you have sunscreen. Sunscreens have an SPF rating that estimates the amount of sun rays that may get through your skin. SPF-100 may protect your skin against 99% of the sun rays. There is also a certain amount of time that the sunscreen is effective. Beyond that time, you should apply your sunscreen.
6. Bring along your headphones.
Everything can be better with music. Certain sceneries are better viewed when you have music playing in the background. In times when you get anxious and worried in an unfamiliar territory, you may turn to music and feel that you are not alone.
7. Pack your facial skincare products.
Aside from protecting your skin using sunscreen, it is important to take care of your face. Your face is one of the first things that will determine people’s first impression of you. The changes in temperature may make your skin susceptible to cracking, infection, and oil generation. A proper skincare may ward off these bad symptoms. You should also take care of your lips by applying lip balm as often as needed.
8. Have nail clippers.
The nails are minute details of your body, but they can cause injuries and irritation. Bringing a nail clipper will help keep your nails clean and trimmed. You won't have to worry about getting cut by your long nails or showing up with dirty fingernails. A small nail clipper is a better study abroad essential than a hair straightener. It is uncertain if your hair tools will survive the journey. You could end up wasting money if you lose the hair straightener or if it malfunctions in the middle of your studies abroad.
9. Get ready with your comfortable shoes (flip flops, flats).
You’re going to be on your feet all day. A way to prevent foot injuries and muscle soreness is wearing comfortable shoes. You can reach many places when you don’t have injuries and soreness. Heels or stilettos could be an inconvenience in your trip, particularly in places with cobblestones or rough roads. For countries with warm weather, flip flops and flats are better footwear than heels and stilettos.
10. Pack a durable coat.
This should be imperative for countries with winter seasons. In countries with deserts nearby, it is recommended to wear coats at night as the air gets chillier. Winter would be unbearable if you do not have a durable coat with you.
11. Bring your allergy, cold, flu, and pain medicine.
With the changing weather, you need to be prepared to face unexpected illnesses and unfortunate attacks. You should research if there are prohibited medicine in your chosen destination before flying.
12. Have an umbrella.
An umbrella would be useful for the sunny and rainy weathers. You never know when you’ll need to assist someone and share your umbrella with them. You could gain friends by offering help to the locals.
13. Bring along a reliable language dictionary.
Studying abroad will help improve your language skills. It would be a great experience if you can have meaningful and sincere conversations with the locals too. A language dictionary would be an indispensable tool for your education and interactions.
14. Pack your underwear and socks.
These essentials are often forgotten by international students. Bring enough of these will lessen your efforts in doing the laundry. You will have fewer worries on running out of these essential things.
15. Bring a formal wear for possible social and formal occasions.
A school is a social institution as well. There could be formal events that will enjoin the student body or the students in your classes. You will be prepared for such events if your bring a piece of formal wear in your suitcase.
16. Have an extra pillow.
This item may take some significant amount of space in your suitcase, but you will need it there. An extra pillow is a piece of home and a necessity when you want to take naps somewhere. As a good company for naps, taking naps will help boost your memory consolidation.
17. Bring along a softbound book or an electronic reader.
A softbound book or an electronic reader will prevent you from getting bored. You may also opt to read leisurely in the coffee shops nearby. This is a great way to pass time while being immersed in a world of culture and fun.
18. Have your journal with you.
Journaling is another way to capture the moments. Compared to the instant shots from your phone, a journal will help you reflect on your day and the day’s events. You can have a sort of time travel while writing about your day. It is also a healthy way to deal with your emotions. Journals come in various shapes and sizes. Bullet journals are becoming popular these days. It is a faster way of journaling. It can be personalized based on your preferences. It involves using bulleted lists and short-form sentences. The categories could be events, tasks, or notes. There are widely available bullet journals and journal tutorials on the Internet.
19. Have a small bag for day trips.
You will get tired easily if you bring a large bag with you. During the day trips with lots of walking and hiking, it is best to have a small backpack or purse that contains all your necessities like your phone, portable charger, and pocket money.
20. Bring a plastic bottle and metal straws.
Avoiding plastic use is the best to help the environment. You can practice this advocacy abroad by bring your own plastic bottle and metal straws. This will also cause you less inconvenience because you will only need to refill the bottle when your drinking water runs out.
College time could be the best time to think about getting an education overseas. Studying abroad will allow you to experience a different education system, explore the world, learn or improve your language skills, boost your career options, and helps your personal growth. Some of the factors you need to consider are financial capacity, campus traditions, future travel plans, and overall climate in the prospect country. One of the study abroad essentials is a portable charger that lets you record and capture the moments as they happen. Other study abroad essentials are your passport and student visa, skincare products, nail clippers, underwear, plastic bottles, and electrical adapters.