Having chosen a program, you commit yourself to an international location for at least a few months. No doubts, the question concerning the courses, credits, and grants is burning. However, you shouldn’t forget about routines that deal with housing, meals, communication, etc.
The following guide will come in handy for those who seek answers to how to lead a life in a foreign country where everything is new.
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If you don’t feel comfortable living in a place where English isn’t an official language, don’t go there. So, if you are among those students, who are not interested in learning and speaking a foreign language, consider these places.
Each program has different accommodation options. Therefore, before making your choice, make sure you know about them so that you don’t encounter any troubles with housing afterwards. It is important to know your preferences and provided options. Otherwise, you won’t get expected, and your experience will start on a negative note. What are the possible accommodation options you might be offered?
- Host family. This type of accommodation means living with a host family in their home during your stay in a foreign country. The family may or may not know English. Therefore, you have a great opportunity to fully immerse in their culture and customs. This experience is absolutely valuable since you develop lifelong friendly relationships with family members.
- Campus housing. Living in a hall of residence is another option. The advantage of such type of housing is having a chance to establish a channel of communication with peers. Moreover, who would reject dormitory experience in another country?
Sometimes, you are placed exclusively with international students, and you may feel a bit isolated from local cultural experience. Don’t get upset since it’s up to you how to spend your free time and where to go. You can always make friends with natives.
- Apartment. The most independent option among others is renting an apartment. It suits those who are willing to create their own experience during their stay abroad. However, renting an apartment is an expensive option that not everyone can afford.
Consider all your preferences when you opt for the location to study abroad. Don’t try to find a similar one to your home since it is rather limiting. Meanwhile, don’t go to a completely different place as it may be too challenging. In this case, you need to find a balance.
Take into account the advantages and disadvantages of each destination that you are interested in with respect to cultural considerations.
- Rural vs. City
If you study in an urban area in your country, consider a rural one when you pick a study abroad program and vice versa. Each type offers its opportunities. Decide what suits you the best and pack your suitcases.
- Large vs. Small
The same goes with schools. Large ones offer a wider range of support services while smaller ones often provide more personalized approach.
- Conservative vs. Liberal
As the saying goes, there are different views in the world concerning the economy, politics, religion, and social issues. Be prepared to experience vast differences between the ones at home and abroad.
- Political Climate
Check out whether the location is safe before going anywhere. This is perhaps the most concerning issue when choosing a study abroad program. Research each location taking into consideration issues related to potential violence, political unrest, and health.
To sum it up, it is highly recommended to be careful and wise when making a final decision. Consider all the above-mentioned points in order to get the most out of your study abroad experience.