Where should I study abroad? How to choose where I want to study? So you like the idea of studying abroad? Living independently, having international friends and experiencing a new culture sounds so awesome to you. One minor thing though: WHERE would that be?
Let’s go over some suggestions about how and where you can find information regarding the countries you fancy.
People you know who went abroad Think about your high school peers from the upper years, or generally friends and acquaintances of yours that are older than you. Surely at least a few of them are now studying somewhere other than your home country. Or maybe they did their Erasmus (exchange) somewhere that might interest you. Whatever the case is and no matter how well you know them – don’t be shy to bother them with your questions about the country they live(d) in. Ask like your future depends on it!
Your parents I’m talking about your parents’ network, their friends, colleagues, acquaintances, anyone who might have children that study abroad. Let them do their parent-to-parent investigation. Or even better – get in touch with the student and do it yourself, that’s how you get the legit night life information.
Study-abroad fairs This is probably the place where you will get the most information, at least that was my experience. The bigger study fairs I’ve been to had representatives from universities in many countries, though that might depend on your country or on the company that’s organizing the event. However, if that’s the case you’ll most likely meet teachers and students from numerous places in the world. This is your chance to go to different stands and do your research on each country that appeals to you. Besides, you get lots of promotional brochures to flip through at home and compare the possibilities in peace.
Consulting agencies The consulting agencies are usually the agencies that organize the study fairs. If you missed out on those, you can pass by their office to get some (sometimes paid) guidance. A possible downside is that you get to talk to someone who doesn’t currently live and study in the countries of question and maybe never did, so their information could be a bit too generalized. However, those agencies usually offer to deal with the application procedure for you, so if you’re worried you may not get it all right you can count on them to forward your documents.
The Internet This one definitely does not come as a surprise, but let me remind you in case you still haven’t tried the most effortless option of all – the Internet. You’ll find forums, Facebook groups and websites to answer some of your questions. You just might want to check the year of publication and look for more recent sources, as many things do change in a matter of a couple of years, like tuition fees and rent prices.
Be prepared Before you go looking everywhere for information. Make a list of things that are important to you and questions you want the answers to. Here is a list of some basic questions to get you started:
How high are the student fees?
What documents are required for application?
What are the general prices of food and accommodation?
How much money per month would suffice?
How easy is it to find accommodation/a job?
How convenient is the transportation to and in the country?
Do I need to know the local language to get around?
Anything else that is important to you: culture, meeting your fellow students, etc.
Go get that information and you’ll find your winner country. Good luck!