6 Tips for High Schoolers Looking to Study Abroad

Jul 19, 2019 by

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As you go through high school, you’re preparing to begin your life as an adult. If you’re like many students, you’re probably excited to see the world and students should fully investigate what study abroad is to gain new experiences. One of the best ways to expand your horizons, experience personal growth, and gain the skills you’ll need to succeed in college and beyond is to study abroad.

If you’re interested in taking your education overseas, then you’re probably a little nervous and a lot excited. Want to make the most of your study abroad experience? Use these 6 tips to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

1. Learn From Others Who’ve Studied Abroad

Thanks to the internet, you can learn from the wisdom of students who came before you. Their experiences can help guide you in where to study abroad, how to find scholarships, and how to make the most of your trip. Getting your information from people who have already gone through the preparation and experience themselves will help you make good decisions and get the information you need to be safe and have a great experience.

Whether you’re just trying to decide on a location, worried about how to manage studying in a new environment, or you’re a student of color with specific concerns about traveling abroad, there are lots of great articles and blog posts to help you navigate the study abroad experience.

2. Think About What You Want From the Experience

Besides seeing the world, what do you want out of your study abroad experience? Do you want to learn a new language? Experience nature or history? Make new friends? Study a subject you can’t learn at home?

Why is it so important to consider what you want from the experience ahead of time? Because that helps you take the necessary steps of preparation to ensure you have the experience you’re looking for.

For example, if you are looking to learn Japanese while in Japan you should probably get a head start by utilizing some online Japanese language courses and resources. That way, by the time you get there you can focus on conversational development instead of having to learn new words from scratch.

If you’ve never thought about what you want out of your trip, now’s a good time to start. Having some defined goals before you leave will help you maximize your time overseas.

3. Start Working on Paperwork Now

It can take a while to get everything sorted out for your study abroad experience. You don’t want to find yourself scrambling to get your paperwork together when you should be packing for your study abroad experience.

Besides ensuring that you have all your documents related to your study abroad program in order, you’ll need two other essential documents: your passport and your visa. These can take several weeks or even months to process, so start getting everything submitted as soon as you can.

4. Mind Your Money Matters

You may not have had to think about money management too much up until this point. If that’s the case, then now is the time to start. Studying abroad can be expensive, and it’s important to know how you’re going to pay for it and what you need to budget for during the trip itself. Applying for scholarships is a great way to help offset some of the costs, but you’ll need to plan for other expenses and ensure that you’ll have enough of a cushion just in case you need some emergency cash.

5. Make a List of People to Tell About Your Plans

Obviously, your family and close friends will need to know about your travel plans: where you’ll be staying and how to get in contact with you. But you’ll also want to let your high school know that you’ll be participating in a travel abroad program, even if they’re not involved in the plans. It’s also a good idea to alert the government just in case. Ensuring that several people and agencies know where you’re going, how long you’ll be there, and how to get in touch with you is important from a safety standpoint.

6. Make Sure You Have the Right Gear for Your Destination

When considering a study abroad adventure, you might not have thought about what to bring. But depending on your destination, you may need some special equipment or luxuries that you can’t get in your host country.

Think about the culture when you pack your clothing. How conservative is your destination? Is it hot and sunny or cold? Will you be staying in the country or in a city? What power adaptors will you need? There are plenty of suggested packing lists online that can help guide you. It pays to put some serious thought into what you’ll use your precious suitcase space for.

Your Overseas Adventure

There’s a lot to do before you finally hop on the plane to your study abroad destination. Get started on your preparations now so you can make the most of your overseas adventure!

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