Posted on August 6, 2020
#education #scholarships #studies 

Studying abroad can be a life-altering experience and have a profound influence on your life. It is one of the best ways to experience a new country and its culture, meet diverse people and make life-long friends, and have a truly unforgettable experience in your life. Studying abroad will not only be good professionally but personally, too. Students who go abroad for higher studies become self-reliant, gain a global mindset, and even find new interests. However, the entire experience, especially in the first few months, can be quite overwhelming for many students. If you are a student who comes under this category that is all set to make the journey abroad and is having butterflies in your stomach, then read ahead and know how to bring the best out of your study abroad experience. Listed below are ways in which you can enrich your study abroad experience and have the best years of your student life.

Start early

Well, finding the perfect program at your preferred college, applying to the program, arranging for finances, packing to leave home for a couple of years, completing all pre-departure formalities, etc. all take time. With time on your side, you will not end up making a hasty decision that will have a direct influence on your life. Thus, it is always recommended to start early if planning to go abroad for studies. Ideally, students should start two to three semesters ahead of the estimated joining time. This will give them the necessary time to not only research thoroughly about the program and its career implications but also make personal arrangements and get mentally prepared too.

Do in-depth research

pexels-ivan-samkov-4238524 Research, research, and research! That should be your only mantra for at least a year before you head for your study abroad mission. Research about the program, about the faculty, the college, the financial aid offered, the city, the student body, the weather, the after-school activities offered by the college, the accommodation, and anything else that you would like to know before making the final decision. This step is extremely crucial as you will spend some life-shaping formative years there and thus being satisfied and happy there is crucial to your well-being and your professional success too. You can not only check out the information given by the University’s international student’s office but also reach out to students who have studied there, etc.

Find best financial aid options

This should also be on the top of your list if you want to make the most of your study abroad experience. The price of studying abroad is quite steep and will burn a big hole in your pocket. And having a huge financial liability will not let you give your best to the program and contribute with a single-minded focus towards making the most of your study abroad experience. So, whether you plan to finance your education with your savings or plan to take an education loan, find out about the scholarships and grants that are available to students. You can get information about these through your University’s financial aid office. Students, who plan to take education loans for their study abroad plan should also check out the education loans that they can get by applying to their choice of college and program.

Prepare yourself for the cultural shock

Every country and city has a different culture, and it would be best if you are mentally prepared for a cultural shock. Embracing this new culture would be the best way to move forward. Try and explore the local market and public places, visit local eateries, and try the local cuisine, find books and movies on local culture and get inspired by them. Also, make local friends and get to know more about their culture, food habits, and other preferences. This way, you can absorb different aspects of the new culture and start enjoying the ones that you like.

Start making networks

pexels-matheus-bertelli-2608517 Networking is another important point when trying to make the most of your study abroad experience. Try and expand your network beyond students from your home country and interact with students from across the globe. You will not only find life-long friends but also your probable business partner. Try and socialize with a variety of students by joining local clubs, sports clubs, or other clubs of your interest. This will help you meet people beyond your classes and increase your social circle and make your study abroad experience more enriching. You should also attend other networking events such as workshops and seminars to interact with the alumni of your college. They will not only provide valuable academic and professional guidance but might also help you land your dream job.

Spare some time to travel

rsz pexels-archie-binamira-672358 Since you have gone abroad, it is a golden opportunity to explore your surroundings and see new places as a college student. Keeping in mind your class schedule and work and your budget, make plans to travel around with your friends. Search for budget accommodations and travel options and explore new places and cultures. Travelling as a student is quite different than travelling with family, and you will be amazed to find new things and experiences that you will certainly cherish for your life. Take in the world with the eyes of a student and who knows you might hit a novel idea that will give wings to your career. But always remember to budget first!

Neither take studies lightly nor overburden yourself

Following the middle path and taking care of your studies while not overburdening yourself is also essential in bringing out the best of your study abroad experience. While it may seem a good idea to enjoy your time abroad by skipping classes and treating your time in a foreign country as a vacation, you should always remember your primary purpose of visiting the foreign land. Work hard and keep up with the minimum credits required to acquire your degree. Also, invest time in other activities that will help improve your professional profile and land you your dream job.

Record your experiences

Record your study abroad experiences- whether through photographs, journals, or videos, blogs - to look back at later in life and reminisce about the wonderful experience that you had while studying abroad. Imagine how grim it will be if you do not have any physical records of your experience and only have to rely on your memory when reminiscing about your time studying abroad! You could even collect college souvenirs and postcards as well as small local souvenirs to remind you of the amazing and life-changing time that you had during your study.

Studying abroad can be an overwhelming experience, especially for introverts or someone going abroad for the first time. But if planned and executed well, it can turn around your life and be a life-changing experience that you will forever cherish. Just follow the above tips, and you will certainly rock your new experience! Contact GyanDhan for end-to-end free assistance in study abroad education loans, getting information about study abroad scholarships, and more.

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