Lately I’ve realized that rumors kill dreams. There are so many students who wish to study abroad, yet they all let themselves be quite overwhelmed by stupid rumors and false facts. While studying abroad is not necessarily a piece of cake, it is not as complicated as people believe either.
Although there are a lot of steps to be taken, experiencing other cultures and foods, meeting new people, learning another language – these are all worth it. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to explore and engage in new conversations. It opens up doors for you, and gives you the chance to network outside of your native country. Also, if you are really passionate about traveling but don’t want to drop out of school, going abroad will be of great help to you.
Take a look at the next myths on studying abroad, and check out the actual facts.
Myth #1: Study abroad is recommended only for International Studies or Language majors.
Of course people who study International Relations or Languages will be more interested in studying abroad – but that does not mean that studying abroad is strictly designed for them. As I was saying before, getting the experience of another country is something unique, and regardless of your major, I am positive it will help you. The global experience will make you understand how other people think, and will open your mind to new perspectives.
Even if you are majoring in Mathematics, you will still get something out of it – for instance, a new prospect on how Mathematics is taught in other countries. There are many people who realize they want out of their countries after studying abroad. You don’t know it fits you until you try it. So go for it!
Myth #2: Studying abroad will influence your graduation.
Some students are under the impression that studying abroad will delay their graduation. Wrong! If you choose programs approved by your school and make sure all of your credits transfer, there is no chance on Earth your graduation date will change. There are lots of cases in which students realize they want to reshape their careers after returning home, that is correct. So they change majors, and delay their graduation date. But that does not mean that it’s the general case. It can happen. And if it does, be glad about the fact that you discovered what you actually like.
Myth #3: Studying abroad is for juniors.
You don’t have to be a junior to go abroad. It is indeed not recommended to change schools as soon as you arrive, so the fall of your freshman year is probably not the best option. Most schools require at least 16 credits earned before you apply anyways. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change schools during the spring semester of your first year. The sooner you get the experience, the sooner you realize what you truly enjoy.
Karen Tellez, content writer at BestEssays, believes that “The best time to study abroad is in the first two years of college. That’s because studying abroad will open your perspective and possibly change your mind about your major.”
Myth #4: Studying abroad is too expensive.
There are schools where it might be extremely expensive, but there are also schools where you don’t need to pay extra at all. It really depends on the country you choose, and on the scholarship you get. Studying abroad can be affordable if you search for affordable programs. A semester abroad is usually the same amount of money as a semester spent at home – or at least it should be. If you prefer to study abroad in Second or Third world countries, it is even cheaper, so you might even get some money back.
Myth #5: Studying abroad is about partying and nothing more.
Of course it can be. It all depends on the student. If you are the type of student who hates school and enjoys partying, then I advise you to stay at home. You can party at home at no cost. But I highly doubt the fact that students who study abroad have the sole interest of partying. They have to get out their comfort zones in order to explore new places, so the intention has to be bigger than strictly having fun. Anyhow, a little party never killed nobody, so enjoy the full experience if you go abroad anyways.
Myth #6: Employers do not appreciate studying abroad.
If you heard that before, you’ve been lied to. In fact, it’s been proved that employers are more likely to hire you if they see you’ve experienced a different culture. That proves open-mindedness and international experience. It also shows proficiency in another language other than English, which is extremely important on the job market nowadays. Employers want people who are bold enough to go for more and try new things. They appreciate courageous workers who are willing to push their limits and take initiative. So sorry to disappoint you, but somebody really lied to you.
Myth #7: There is no financial aid for studying abroad.
Wrong again. There are thousands of scholarships available for students who wish to study abroad. In order to apply for them, you need to see your school’s International Department for Studying Abroad. They will be able to provide you with more information on the application itself. You can also ask about how credits transfer, since you are there. Get a bigger picture before coming to a conclusion or taking a decision.
There are also government-subsidized or private scholarships. You can apply for them online. Take a look.
You should never believe what other people tell you until you check out the facts for yourself. Rumors can kill your dreams – you might believe there is no way you could study Politics in Japan because of your financial situation, when in fact there are more than enough ways to do it. Also, you don’t have to wait for a certain year to come in order to change schools. You can do it as soon as you entered the spring semester of your freshman year. So go abroad and explore new lands! You will not regret it.
Brenda Savoie is a content marketer, private English tutor, and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romance novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Check her blog BestWritingClues. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.