Starting college is an experience that so many people dream of as teenagers. College is meant to be the quintessential young adult experience – the place where you make friends for life, create memories that you’ll cherish forever, and build your academic credentials so you can emerge into the working world with some kudos.
When you choose to study abroad, however, it can be quite a different experience to what your friends might be having. This isn’t to say that your college experience will be worse than that of your local peers – in fact, some would say yours will be more enriching and fulfilling – but it will be different, especially in the beginning.
Let’s take a look at some things you should expect when attending a university outside of your home country.
Your fees and work situation may be different from domestic universities.
When you study abroad, your fees will likely be higher than the students who are native to that country. Universities do this in order to give advantage to domestic students, as it encourages local people to apply.
As an international student, you can still find student loans, but these might be sourced differently from a regular student loan. DACA student loans, for example, allow overseas students to study at US universities with certain criteria. These loans can be instrumental in helping families to support their international student kids while they study, seeing as student loans can be extremely pricey, especially for foreign students.
You’ll be bringing a new set of life experiences to the table.
As a student from a faraway land, you will be bringing a new set of life experiences to your social and educational groups. University is all about broadening your horizons, and meeting new people from all over the world is a big part of what makes the university experience amazing. By meeting people from the country to which you are moving, as well as other international experiences, you will find yourself becoming more knowledgeable and worldly by the day.
Similarly, others will find you interesting, simply because you come from a different background and culture to most of your peers. You will be able to offer insights into certain subjects, helping to educate others and bring your own unique set of values to the table.
Studying abroad isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
Expecting studying abroad to be easy would be a naive thing to do. Studying abroad comes with a unique set of challenges; you might miss home, become lonely at times, and feel like you’re out of your depth more than once! Studying abroad isn’t just about enjoying yourself, it’s also about pushing yourself to be brave and take risks. Try to embrace the hard days as much as the good days, and you will find yourself becoming more resilient and adventurous as time goes on.
If you are about to start studying abroad or are thinking of applying to an overseas university, make sure you take this advice about what to expect from the study abroad experience.