Millions of students from the United States attend college oversees each year. Some only do so for a couple of semesters and others choose to spend their entire four years studying abroad. Students choose to go abroad for their educations because they are fond of the country, wish to learn more about the country, are studying the language of the country or because they have family in the country. Some simply do so for the excitement and life experience. No matter what you reasons are, you should keep a few important things in mind when deciding upon and applying to an overseas college.
Step 1: Begin by making a list of colleges that may serve your educational purposes and fit into your future plans.
Step 2: Consider the area the college is in. How close is it to cultural and urban centers? What languages are spoken? Dialects? This may play an important factor in your choice. For instance, if you are studying the French language a college in Paris may be the right choice for you. You will be emerged in the language and close to some heavy duty culture!
Step 3: Now that you have your list and understand a bit more about why you want to study abroad it is time to begin applying to the schools. Only apply to a small hand full of schools. For many countries, the amount of schools you are allowed to apply to are limited by how strong of an academic record you have. You will also have to keep in mind that the application fees may be high so you should have a budget for this.
Step 4: Choose at least three colleges to apply to. One should be the school you really want to go to. The other should be a safety school that you are actually overqualified for and the last one should be a reach school. This way there is an even spread of in between schools so you are more likely to be accepted to at least one.
Step 5: Before you send out your final applications you should ensure that each college you have chosen is accredited and has high marks in all areas. When you graduate and come back to America you want the degree you display to be one from a well-respected institution.
Step 6: Once step five is complete you should review each schools application requirements and do so carefully. International students may be required to submit other applications materials in addition to the basic materials. This may include proof of how proficient you are in the language of the country and qualifying tests other than the SAT which is only good for applying for schools within the United States. You do not want to send off your applications just to find out that you have to add or redo any part of it. This will make the entire process take longer than you may have.
Step 7: Once you are accepted you should call the school. You do not want to devote the next four years of your life to a school that you don’t know all that much about! So, in addition to contacting the school to speak with the dean of international affairs do all the research that you can about the college, the area it is in and the country itself. Perhaps you can even reach out to students and faculty online so you can get some firsthand information without actually going for an on campus tour.
Step 8: In order to go overseas you will need a passport. If you do not already have one you can go to your local post office to pick up an application. Do this as early on as possible as it can take a bit of time for your passport to be approved and ready to go into your pocket. You should also have your passport in hand before you apply for your student visa to make the entire process go faster and smoother.
Studying in another country can be an exciting and frightening at the same time. Make the most of your time and you will find that the entire experience will have been well worth your while.