The decision to study abroad at a college or university is a big one. But even more important is choosing the right program that will help you reach your career and personal goals. With so many choices out there, it is hard to narrow your choice to focus on just one.
Here are some tips on how to start this process:
- Everyone will tell you to start by thinking about your hobbies or what excites you. It is great to keep these things in mind when deciding what career is right for you. However, it is also important to consider the following:Those who are most often pleased with their professions are those who are proud of their work, and happy to do what they do. So, first, think about things you excel at, whether it be at school, work, or home. Then, consider if you can use these talents to succeed in a career. If you are able to associate a career with your talent, ask yourself if you would enjoy doing it for a significant amount of time during your days, weeks, months. If you come up with two or three options, that is great! You already narrowed it down significantly.
- Take time to research. Can you apply your talents in a career? If so, what areas of study will you need to pursue? Will you need an advanced degree to work in this field (Master’s Degree or a Doctorate)? If financial success is important to you, do not forget to research the expected income is for a graduate of your program of interest. If your area of study matches your talents and desired income, take the next step by talking to people who work in these areas. Internships and job-shadowing would also help you find the career path that really fits your personality, work-style, and expectations.
- The next step is to start searching for institutions that may offer programs in these areas. These might be very specialized degrees that may require you to take college prep classes. Consider your program options very seriously in terms of availability, cost, and requirements.
These three steps are a good beginning, but there are many other helpful websites for students like you, looking for a career path. Attend the ISN Expo in your local city to find out the best program and university for you. For further information about possible careers, check out these links:
As a former exchange student in the US, I can assure you that nothing beats the experience of living and studying abroad. You can travel all over the world, but a small tour or a short two-day stay in a large city abroad just does not compare with what you’ll get when you study abroad. Think of all the hours of companionship with fellow students/travelers from all over the world, with whom you will work on projects with, or share cultures with, knowledge and firsthand experiences, as just one of the many reasons why it is worth it to study abroad.
The question is not “can I do it?” but “how can I do it?” As with everything in life, it takes planning and dedication.
Start by taking the time to meet American university representatives wherever you are. Universities that travel to enroll international students will be excited to meet with you and talk about your goals. They want you on their campus, which, in many cases, already has a decent-sized international student community. They will teach you about the enrollment process, the scholarship opportunities and student life at their universities. Talk to as many of them as you can, and always keeping in mind the program and degree you will need in order to work in your chosen career.
Studying abroad can be costly, but it is affordable. Research tuition costs, internship opportunities, student employment; don’t be afraid to ask questions! If your university has positions available, work on campus! It will help with your personal expenses and weekend fun, too. Be prepared to work hard to communicate with universities and fill out many scholarship forms. You will be surprised with the number and amount of scholarships you can receive at some universities.
Then, most importantly, prep academically. Universities will look at your grades and test scores (TOEFL, SAT). Take these tests early and if possible, repeat them at least once to get a better score. Not all universities will ask for SAT, but your university of choice might. Academic preparation also involves studying habits and your ability to focus on the tasks at hand. Be ready to take responsibility for your studies and ask for help. Tutors and learning centers are available in every university; utilize these services.
Studying abroad be one of the most fulfilling experiences in your life! Don’t miss out on this adventure. Preparation, dedication and a personal contact with the right university representative can change your life forever.
You can check these sites for more information on studying in the US:
If you are considering studying abroad in the US, do not miss the American Education Event! This is a unique opportunity to not only learn more about the study abroad process and what will be required of you, but this is your chance to meet U.S. university admission officers, too. Admissions officers will give you the answers you are looking for when it comes to studying abroad.
Here are some things that you can do to make the best of your visit to the American Education Event:
- Learn the basics about the American education system ahead of time at the visa briefing. This event usually occurs in each city, and it begins 30 minutes before the American Education Event is scheduled to take place. There is no cost to attend, and you can invite your parents as well.
- If you are new to studying abroad, bring your parents so you can learn together.
- Make sure you can speak about your educational background: high school grades and graduation; previous degrees and any college level classes; TOEFL or IELTS score. Bring your TOEFL or IELTS transcripts if you have them to the American Education Event.
- The language spoken at the fair is will mostly be English. The admissions representatives from the universities are used to speaking with international students, so don’t be shy. They want to hear from you.
- Focus on universities that have the program(s) and the degree level that you want to study. Check them out before you approach the person for a conversation and save your time to talk to universities that offer what you are looking for.
- Talk to all representatives that have the programs and the degree you want. Several of them might offer it, so arrive early and do not rush. Take all the time you need.
- Make sure to collect brochures and other materials from the tables of those you spoke with. It is of the utmost importance that you make sure to leave your contact information with the representative at the table. Usually, they will have a contact sheet where you can put your name, email, and phone number. They will communicate with you and remember you when it is time to evaluate your admissions materials.
- In case your TOEFL/IELTS score do not meet the required score at the university you are considering, ask about English programs at the universities. You can also see if they partner with any language schools in their area. Then, check if they offer conditional admission. Conditional admission guarantees that you can start the program as soon as your English score improves.
- And finally, get detailed information about the costs of the program, housing, insurance, meals, international students on campus, and scholarships.
Come prepared, take your time, and ask questions. You will be surprised how much you will learn and enjoy this opportunity. We look forward to seeing you there!