As part of this series, I will react to popular search terms and questions from Google Trends. This time, it is “study abroad meaning “. I split the answer into four parts.
Studying abroad means taking any form of courses, classes, or projects at a university outside of the country where your home university is based. This is mainly to participate in cultural exchange, develop your personal skills, and get to know other cultures. Sometimes, you’d be submerged in new academic systems and environments that differ a lot from your home university. Typically, you study abroad for one or two semesters and then return back home. Be aware that some universities support you only once or twice during one program (bachelor’s / master’s). This is to offer the opportunity to go abroad to all interested students and maintain a level of fairness.
However, there are also joint programs between two or more universities. Studying at multiple participating universities throughout the program is a fixed part of the curriculum and somewhat expected. Sometimes, you’d spend even more than two semesters abroad.
Whenever possible, you should only study abroad at partner universities. These are universities your home university has agreements with regarding the number of outgoing and incoming students. These agreements have several benefits:
After maintaining a year-long partnership, both universities’ international offices know each other relatively well. If you are interested in a partner university or have specific questions, your university should provide you with a person of contact.
When taking courses abroad, you ideally want to transfer them back and get them accredited towards your degree (unless you are just going abroad for fun). This is way easier when taking courses at partner universities. There should also be agreements on how the grades are transferred or translated if the university abroad uses a different grading system. The whole procedure gets unnecessarily complicated when studying abroad at non-partner universities. In general, there is always less paperwork and stress involved when going for partner universities.
Probably the most important benefit of them all. You don’t have to pay any tuition fees when studying abroad at partner universities. This is especially important if you are interested in studying abroad in the USA.
Studying abroad is not paying third-party companies, agents, or institutes to find you a spot or course abroad. Stick to partner universities and apply through your international office or official online platform. Also, I would not consider taking language courses at language institutes as “study abroad programs”. Be careful when browsing through the web and don’t go for any so-called “providers”. These charge up to $20,000 for their programs or services. Worst of all: they call themselves non-profit organizations.
Going abroad can be a once in a lifetime experience you will never forget. You’ll benefit from it in a million ways. This is why I want to inspire and support you in going abroad, too. Check out the pros and cons list or get help with your application. Get started today and find your own “study abroad meaning” 😉