2023 Guide to Studying Abroad

2023 Guide to Studying Abroad

There are lots of great reasons to study abroad. The most obvious is the money you could save: only two countries (Australia and Singapore) have higher tuition than the U.S. You can also get a huge jump on getting a job in another country by studying there. You’ll also become a savvy world citizen by getting outside your comfort zone and meeting so many people with different life experiences. Here’s how we recommend going about it.

1. Research the different countries & programs available

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First of all, try to have your future career in mind. If that seems obvious, it sure wasn’t to me when I went to college! It’s ok if it changes, of course, but it helps to have an outcome in mind. Once you know what you want to study, figure out what countries and universities offer the best programs. You can use resources like GoAbroad.com or the Education Abroad Network to find your options. The Expatsi Test can recommend countries that are good culture fits.

2. Consider budget, location, & program type

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Your budget is probably the biggest factor that will determine what country you can afford to study in. Location preferences and program type are also important. Do you prefer a big city, or would you rather be in a smaller town? Would you like to study in the sun or next to a roaring fire? Do you want to enroll in a traditional university experience, or are you just looking for an internship or language-learning course? Do you want to earn your degree abroad or experience a semester? All of these will help you narrow down your choices.

Here are some guides to college costs by country:

There can be HUGE financial advantages to studying abroad if you do it right! Not only can tuition be affordable (or even FREE!), the cost of living may also be much lower than where you live in the U.S. Being able to start your career without crippling student debt could definitely change the course of your life.

Did you know you can use FAFSA for programs around the world?!? Here’s the list of international schools that participate in the Federal Student Loan Program, which updates each quarter.

3. Prepare documents like transcripts & letters of recommendation

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To apply to a college or university abroad, you’ll need to collect your transcripts and letters of recommendation. Be sure to have them translated into the language of the country you’re applying for, if necessary! The admissions office may also require you to submit additional documents depending on what kind of program you’re interested in. Make sure to read all instructions carefully and submit the documents on time. Try not to bite off more than you can chew — one submitted application is better than 10 unfinished ones.

4. Learn about visa requirements & how to apply

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Once you’ve selected a country to study in, the next step is learning about visa requirements and how to apply for one. Visas can be tricky, as each country has its own set of regulations. Make sure you research all of the necessary documentation that you’ll need to provide, such as proof of financial resources, medical forms and possibly an interview. It’s a good idea to start the process early, as visa applications can take a while to be processed and approved. The good news is that basically every country welcomes students, so don’t be afraid to try your dream destination.

5. Look into scholarships or grants

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This is probably the most important step! Scholarships are one of your best chances to get financial support for studying abroad, so start scouting them out as soon as possible. Research what scholarships you’re eligible for by country or program type and apply early so that you don’t miss out. Grants are also a great way to get money for studying abroad, so look into organizations that offer them as well.

Here’s are some lists of available scholarships & grants:

6. Make sure you have health insurance coverage

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Health insurance coverage is essential when studying abroad. Make sure to research the country you’re going to be in and what kind of health insurance coverage they offer for international students.

7. Attend orientation sessions

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Make sure to attend orientation sessions or programs whenever possible. This is a great way to get an in-depth view of the country and culture you’re going to be living in for a while. It’s also an ideal opportunity to meet people and start building your network, which will come in handy during your studies and help ease those first-day jitters. It’s much easier to already know your way around before you have to start hitting the books!

8. Find a great place to live

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Start your search for a place to live as early as possible. Make sure to read reviews, look at pictures and check out the location before signing any contracts or making any payments. Look into housing options such as student dorms, apartment rentals, homestays and more — whatever works best for you.

9. Have an open mind & embrace new experiences!

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Last but not least, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the experience! Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand your horizons and learn about different cultures in a unique way. Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way — explore the city, take part in new activities, make new friends and experience different cultures.

These are nine important steps you should take before embarking on your journey of studying abroad. Make sure to do your research, apply for scholarships and find a great place to live — this will set you up for success during your studies abroad! Once you’ve taken care of the basics, don’t forget to have fun and embrace all the new experiences that come your way. Good luck!

29 Countries That Will Never Offer Student Loan Forgiveness (Because College is Free)

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Getting buried under student loan debt doesn’t have to be your future. Instead of staying in the U.S. to get a college degree that could take decades to pay off, we’ve found 29 countries with free college for American student expats. But do you have to speak the language in order to get the education?

29 Countries That Will Never Offer Student Loan Forgiveness (Because College is Free)

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?