I always wanted to spend a semester studying abroad. Paris. Tokyo. Mexico City. Instead, I wound up taking advantage of a $50 meal card and free room and board to become a resident advisor in my school’s dorms. While I don’t regret that decision (it was a lot of fun!) I also sometimes wish I had the experience of living in and really basking in a new culture. It’s something I always recommend students try to do if they can afford it. Hell, even if they can’t. Travel and being outside your comfort zone can really show you new sides of your own personality, as well as broaden your perspective of the world. If you or your child is thinking of studying abroad PR News has provided a great checklist to consider:
Check out available programs
As you think about studying abroad, you’ll want to research the options for the degree or program you want to study. Look into what schools are offering the major you wish to pursue and think about the future plans you may have.
Freshen up on the required language
You may be required to have proficiency in the language of the country you’ll be studying in. If this is the case, make sure to look into language classes to ensure you’ll be accepted into the program you want in the location you’re hoping to study.
Make sure your passport has time left on it
The last thing you want to do is go through the visa application process and get denied because your passport will expire too soon. When considering a study abroad program, the first thing you should do is make sure you have years left on your passport. If not, apply for a new one as soon as possible.
Check out necessary visa options
There are various visa options for students, depending on the country that you’re visiting. For example, the U.S. has a few options, depending on what the student hopes to study or achieve while studying in the country.
Wherever you may be traveling, look into what may be required of you during your time as an international student there, especially if you hope to eventually intern in the country. An immigration lawyer may be convenient if you have a unique situation, but it’s not always necessary. Before filling out the application, make sure you have all of the required documents ready to be submitted.
Get health and travel insurance
The unexpected comes without warning, so it’s best to be prepared. With travel medical insurance and other forms of coverage, you can be ready should the unexpected occur while you’re studying in a country far from home.
Insurance can help you get quality medical care if you have a health emergency, while travel insurance can ensure you get money back from any travel disruptions. While you’ll hopefully never need it during your time studying abroad, it’s something that’s great to have just in case.