University Study Abroad
Studying abroad at the university level is a great opportunity for every student. Not only will you be given the chance to learn in the classroom, but you will also be able to learn from the people and culture that surround you outside of the classroom. You will be able to travel and see parts of the world you only dreamed of and you will have opportunities to talk to people you never would have met if you hadn’t studied abroad. University study abroad programs are not just about learning in the classroom; they are about learning in general and giving the student a better cultural awareness to be a better person. The things you learn while studying abroad will stay with you for the rest of your life and will ultimately lead you to a richer and fuller life.
Finding the Right Program
There are several things you need to consider as you are making the decision to attend college abroad. Programs exist around the world and allow you to do many things. Some programs are very specific in design, while others are much more open to student interpretation. In the end, it is all about finding a program that fits your style and your needs as a student and person:
There are several things you need to consider as you are making the decision to attend college abroad. Programs exist around the world and allow you to do many things. Some programs are very specific in design, while others are much more open to student interpretation. In the end, it is all about finding a program that fits your style and your needs as a student and person.
How to Choose a Study Abroad Program
- Location - Perhaps the most important thing you need to think about as you are making the decision to study abroad is the location of the program. You need to make sure you select a program that is in a part of the world that you have always wanted to travel. As a college abroad student, you need to make sure the program is in a city that interests you and provides you with a culture that will keep you engaged.
- Time - Do you want to devote an entire year to studying abroad? Maybe you are more interested in a semester program. If you do not want to spend months abroad, perhaps a summer program makes more sense for you. No matter how long or when you want to go abroad for school, there is a program that provides what you are looking for. Be sure that you know when and for how long you would like to be abroad as you begin the process.
- Type - What do you want to do while you are abroad? Are you more interested in travel or schoolwork? Do you want to gain practical work experience or would you rather volunteer? Study abroad programs can be easily found or tailored to suit the needs of the student. If you want to travel more, then perhaps you should find a summer program that allows you to learn about history and culture. If you are interested in learning and working to gain practical skills that can be applied to a future career, then maybe you want to consider an internship study abroad program.
- Making It Happen - You might figure out when, where, and for what, but then be lost as to what to do after that. When you have all of these things figured out, it is time to make it happen. You need to contact your current school and see if they have a sister school or if they have worked with any foreign universities in the past. You also want to make sure your international credits transfer when you come back home, so work with your school to make it happen. Just do not rely on them for everything; you are going to have to take initiative to make this happen.
Preparing to Leave
If you will be studying at the sister school of a U.S. university, many of your room and board needs will be easy to arrange through the school’s international division. If you are striking out on your own to an international graduate school, there will be individuals at your campus of choice that can help you get situated in your new home. Whatever your situation, there are some key preparations you’ll need to make before leaving home.
How to Prepare to Study Abroad at a University
- Money - Not only will you need money for tuition, but you will also probably have bills to pay. Save as much money as you can for emergencies, entertainment, and a souvenir or two. Also, be sure to look into teaching assistantships or any other work-study programs that you can enter to earn some extra money while abroad.
- Insurance - Since you are traveling to a foreign country, your domestic health and medical insurance will probably not cover you once you leave home. HCCMIS® offers an international student insurance plan for graduate study abroad called StudentSecure®. StudentSecure insurance is offered with multiple levels of coverage so that students can choose an appropriate plan for their needs and their wallets.
- A Place to Live - Remember, if you don’t attend a graduate school through a U.S. institution, then you will probably have some extra responsibility when it comes to arranging a living situation. Your new institution is probably the place to start when looking for a new home
- Comforts from Home - While you are away in a strange country, your favorite comfort foods, entertainment, and even the basic toiletries you are used to might be hard to find. Be sure to stock up on whatever you can’t do without while abroad.
Settling Into University Life
As you move overseas to a new life, you may be in for a slight shock at the difference in cultures. Preparing for this and understanding what life is going to be like will surely help you as you settle into your new university life. Here are some things you can expect to encounter along the way:
What to Expect in a New Country
- Language - Even if you are going to be studying abroad in a country that speaks the same language as your native language, you can still expect to run into certain language barriers. Different dialects, accents, and common speech are going to be different. You should try doing a little research on what people in the area talk like and some common phrases that are used, so you are not caught off guard.
- Food - You can definitely expect to find new and different foods in your new home. Undoubtedly, your school’s cafeteria and other eateries will have food that you may not recognize. However, there may be food that you do recognize and love. Try not to eat the familiar food all the time. Remember that studying abroad is about discovering new things and cultures, and a major part of every culture is the food.
- Friends - The people of your new home are going to be different. they will have different styles, different accents, and different tastes. This is your chance to really immerse yourself in the culture. You may be tempted to hang out with students from your home country, which is fine, but you should also branch out a little bit and get to know some new people.
- Customs - The customs and traditions of your new home are going to be different. This is one of those times where it really does help to do some research. You want to avoid upsetting people or seeming rude, so do some homework and try your best to avoid doing these things.
Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime and as a college student it is the perfect opportunity for you to learn and see the world. Put aside any fears you might have, find the perfect program for you, and be sure you pack everything you need. Before long, you will be experiencing some amazing things!
International Student Health Insurance Options
HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.