Studying abroad is a unique experience that every student should try, as it brings numerous advantages, from mastering languages to improving your personal skills. When it comes to choosing a destination, getting seduced by the attractions of a large city is very tempting, but it may lead to a poor choice academically. To help you make the most of the academic experience, we recommend these five tips for studying abroad in 2017.
1. Study in groups
In a new environment you will have plenty of challenges – getting to grips with a new location, culture, perhaps language. This is all before worrying about your actual course. Studying in groups is a good solution to help you settle in, since working with like-minded individuals will allow you to share doubts, concerns and ideas, motivate each other and learn new things.
2. Choose the right subjects
You may think that taking fewer credits during the year abroad is a good idea, as it will allow you to have more free time to devote to other things, but it’s a trap. If you take a course with a small workload, on your return to your original degree you will have a year so loaded with subjects and with so much work volume that you may struggle to cope. Find out if the university you want to go to has similar subjects to those that you must take to ensure that you will be validated when you return. It’s also advisable to ensure that these subjects are taught in a language that you speak fluently enough to feel comfortable studying and with sufficient confidence to pass the exams.
3. Choose the destination carefully
One of the most important tips for studying abroad in 2017 is that you not let yourself be carried away by emotions and consider carefully which destination suits you best. Make a list of the most prestigious universities in your field of study, which language you are interested in learning or improving, and which cities offer the best opportunities outside the classroom to add points to your curriculum.
4. Learn the language of the country
Studying in another country is the perfect opportunity to learn or improve a language. If you don’t feel prepared before leaving, take advantage of the intensive courses that many universities offer before the beginning of the academic year. Seek to surround yourself frequently with local people, both in class and at home. Do everything that you can to be exposed to the language as much as possible so that you are forced to speak in all kinds of situations. There is nothing better than a language immersion in the native country, and it will open many doors in the future.
5. Take advantage of everything the city offers
The host University will be the main source of knowledge and learning during your stay abroad, but not the only one. One of our tips for studying abroad in 2017 is that you thoroughly investigate the destination you go to and enrol in all the activities you can profit from academically and professionally. For example, if you study a career in the artistic or creative field, take a look at the agenda of exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, courses or interesting meetings in museums, institutions and local associations. This will not only allow you to learn new things, but also brings benefits of practicing the language and making contacts that will be very useful to you.
If you follow the tips for studying abroad in 2017 that we have commented, you’ll have a more enriching and complete academic experience.