Updated: Apr 22
How to decide whether to study abroad or not ?
Ultimately, of course, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to go abroad, but I can only say it is a great experience. I think if you already thinking about it, then you’re actually already halfway there! Don’t let your uncertainty dissuade you from realizing your dreams.
There are several reasons why you should study abroad. First, nowadays employers more or less expect that you’ve been abroad for at least a short time – whether it be for an internship, a study program or a volunteer project. Studying abroad is an easy and safe way to get this international experience – and it is also an easy way to get a feeling of traveling (alone) and living abroad. On top of that, it’s an incredible chance to see the world, an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and learn a lot about another culture and yourself. I definitely got to know my own strengths, limitations and values through studying abroad. Interacting with various people and cultures also thought me how to be flexible and adapt to changing situations and I learned to appreciate people with different languages and cultures.
If you are just not quite sure yet, put a lot of research into it. Research is super important because it’ll get you to look inside yourself. Find out if you can handle to live in a country that is different from your home (I’m sure you can!). Ask yourself if you want to experience a culture that is familiar or completely foreign to you. Ask yourself if you prefer to live in a big city or a smaller town. Find out what you want from your time abroad, and I’m sure it’ll be great.
What you need to do before you go abroad
There are of course the most obvious things like saving some money, arranging your accommodation and getting your student visa (apply for that early on, it usually takes some weeks). You Have to Do before Going Abroad. However, there are also two other things I’d advise you to do:
First, get (additional) travel insurance. Better be safe than sorry! Organize your insurance as early as possible as you certainly don’t want to deal with that one day before you leave. An extra tip from me: Check with your (family) insurance at home because sometimes they are still covering you if you’re only abroad for a certain time and still have your residence in your home country (as they did in my case). Just give them a call and ask.
Second, research – again. Sorry guys. But my advice if you haven’t done it yet: do some research on your study abroad city before you go. Well, this probably depends on your standpoint, but for me, it’s really important to feel comfortable where I live. Studying abroad is not just about staying at university all the time. Look carefully into where you are going to live, maybe you can even visit the city prior to the start of your course.