Thinking about studying abroad?
Honestly, I did not really plan on studying abroad. My initial plan was to work abroad for a year and then go back home and complete my degree. However, life doesn’t always go to plan and it was extremely hard to find a work placement or internship abroad which were interesting apart from teaching.
I am studying abroad in Ankara, which is Turkey’s capital city. Yes, I know, I thought Istanbul was the capital too. But, it was a superb decision to study abroad and I have immensely enjoyed the semester I’ve spent here.
So here are some tips on studying abroad for your placement year/exchange:
Find out what is being offered by your university. Go to the international placements team, ask questions, and find out which countries your university has links with. Pretty much go crazy with researching. Don’t forget to find out what type of funding you are entitled to receive too.
Now that you have a vague idea about where you would like to study abroad, give your parents a heads up. Yeah, you are legally an adult, but you can’t just randomly pack your bags and tell your parents on the day that you are spending four or more months abroad.
Now you will need to start the application process. For me it was pretty straightforward since I pretty much stayed in Europe, so had to go through Erasmus. Erasmus is basically the European exchange program.
I rewrote my CV and cover letter, went through the interviewing process and a few emails and stuff later…wala! I had secured my place as an Erasmus/exchange student.
http://www.erasmusprogramme.com/study_abroad.php (Want to find out more about the Erasmus program? Click on the link)
DON’T MISS DEADLINES! My initial plan was to go to another country, but sadly I had missed the January application deadline due to all my exams. I pretty much forgot to apply because I was so busy.
Don’t over pack. You can go shopping when you move into your accommodation. Not like you are moving to the middle of nowhere. If you are though….. erm…. You might have some issues.
Get a valid visa, make sure you have all the insurance stuff which you need and book your flights accordingly.
Go to your chosen study abroad destination and settle in. Meet new people and enjoy the “honey moon” stage.
Don’t think about home too much, limit talking to friends back home you will see them when you are back. Try to enjoy your time abroad.
Don’t forget to study. You are still a student and you know… your grades abroad will still affect your grades back home.
Time flies. So have as much fun as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be back home again reminiscing the time you lived in another country on your own.
The video below inspired me to study abroad. What he shows and talks about is so relevant. I’ve only been in Turkey for a few months and I’m not the same 20 year old I was back home. I’ve grown so much as a person…and will continue to grow during my stay here.