Education


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (5/5)

06 May, 2009 18:14  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the last article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

StarThird article: Language Problems and Programs

StarFourth article: How to Pay for It

Practical Matters

After you've made the difficult decisions concerning where to conduct your study abroad program, when you want to go and have arranged to pay for it, it's time to get down to nuts and bolts of making the final arrangements to go. It's a good idea to keep a checklist and mark each task when it is completed.

If the program you have chosen provides accommodations for its students, either on campus or in the area, it's wise to take advantage of it. The accommodations will almost always be safe, clean and accessible to campus or to transportation, even if they are not always luxurious. If you are very familiar with the area (through prior visits or friends and family in the region), you may be able to obtain cheaper accommodations on your own, but again, allow sufficient lead time. If the program does not provide accommodations and you don't have insider information, ask about recommendations from the program staff or administrators. This is one area where it is unwise to rely on Internet searches alone. Never take a room or a flat sight unseen unless it is issued or recommended by someone you know or your study abroad program.  If all else fails, make arrangements to arrive early and stay at a hostel while you search for accommodations.  (More)

   


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (4/5)

29 April, 2009 18:02  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the fourth article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

StarThird article: Language Problems and Programs

How to Pay for It

The main obstacle to study abroad for many people is the cost. However, there are ways of getting around this. For instance, if you are an American college or graduate student and receive financial aid, you can almost always apply your financial aid from your present institution to the study abroad program you choose.  European students should investigate the Erasmus program. In any case, you will need to contact the financial aid office at your school and make the necessary arrangements. This may require a few extra steps and a somewhat longer period of time, so don't put this task off until the last minute.

It is less likely that you will be able to arrange financial aid directly with the host institution, but not impossible. Some programs do offer scholarships; however, these scholarships are almost always very competitive. The best advice is to prepare as good an application as possible, but don't count on scholarships from the host institution for all or even most of your funding. Volunteer programs may provide a small stipend or free room and board in exchange for your participation.  If you are studying at the graduate school level, you might also consider grants or fellowships such as the Fulbright, although the competition for these grants is also very competitive. In addition, deadlines for grants and scholarships often fall a year in advance, and two years in advance is not out of the question. (More)

   


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (3/5)

22 April, 2009 18:09  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the third article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

Language Problems and Programs

Even if you are attending a study abroad program conducted in your native language or in a language you speak fluently, you will undoubtedly have to navigate your way around unfamiliar surroundings, if only to get back and forth to class. Also, unless you are fluent in the language of your host country (which may or may not be the same language as your program), even familiar tasks such as mailing a letter can become challenging. This is especially true if you stay for a longer period of time and live "off campus."

Most study abroad programs will have multilingual staff and instructors. Don't be afraid to ask them how to negotiate such practicalities as train schedules, mobile phone refill cards and grocery shopping, either before you leave or on site. Once you arrive, depending on where you travel, it may even be safe to obtain assistance, especially directions, from people on the street, although it is always wise to keep your wits about you whenever you are in unfamiliar territory. If you speak English, again, you will find yourself at a definite advantage. Many people worldwide speak at least some English. (More)

   


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (2/5)

15 April, 2009 18:16  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the second article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

Determine When to Go

If you are arranging your own study abroad program, scheduling is an important consideration. Especially if you are working, your work schedule will be a major factor in deciding when you can go and how long you can stay. While workers in many countries enjoy holidays of several weeks or longer, the standard vacation in America is no more than two weeks and often as short as one week. While it is possible to plan a study abroad program for such a brief period of time, it will require even more planning than a longer program. (More)

   


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (1/5)

08 April, 2009 18:18  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the first article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

Decide Where to Go

Study abroad is a valuable experience for a number of reasons. International experience is almost universally expected for anyone pursuing a career in international affairs, either before leaving school, or soon afterward. Even if you plan to stay put in your own country, international experience such as study abroad can demonstrate that you can work well in a multicultural environment, which is increasingly important as globalization becomes the norm.

Of course, many colleges and universities, and even some secondary schools sponsor study abroad programs, which often take care of all the practical aspects, such as accommodations, visas, etc for students. They also usually arrange financial aid. That's very handy. But if you can't or don't want to work through the program at a school or university, you can arrange your own study abroad program, including financing. All you need is sufficient lead time to plan (and perhaps save money) and the determination to go. And a computer with Internet access. (More)

   


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