Thursday, September 15, 2011

Study Abroad: Are You a Good Candidate?

Are you a good candidate for a study abroad program? While many students assume that they have to have the highest grades in their class or be loaded with money to participate in study abroad programs, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, most study abroad programs are seeking students with at least average grades, but even more important than your GPA is a willingness to learn and to try new things. As for money, you may be surprised by how affordable these programs truly are. Many organizations offer scholarships and financial assistance to study abroad candidates, and with thousands of host families throughout the world, many of your “room and board” type expenses may be 100 percent covered.

It is true that many study abroad programs have some academic requirements, but this does not mean you have to be Einstein-like to become eligible. Additionally, contrary to popular myth, most study abroad programs do not even have language requirements. What’s truly important to those who make the participant selections for study abroad programs is who you are as a person. Generally, a good candidate for a study abroad program is someone who enjoys new experiences—an independent and self assured person who enjoys meeting new people and is tolerant and accepting of other cultures. Those who enjoy a challenge are also great candidates, because the experience of studying in another country is bound to be fraught with new environments, circumstances and predicaments, all designed to help you grow both as a student and a person.

If you’re still wondering if you would be a suitable candidate for a study abroad program, try asking yourself the following the questions and see what you come up with:

· Do I like to try new things? This could include new cultures, traditions, customs and language, along with meeting new people and eating different types of food.

· Do I enjoy making my own decisions? When studying abroad, for awhile you will be without your normal support system, your friends and your family. This means you will need to be independent, making simple decisions such as what to eat and when to leave for school, as well as more important decisions such as how to cope with conflict and change.

· I am a risk taker? Let’s face it. Studying in another country can be intimidating initially, but the rewards are well worth any of the risks.

· Do I have a track record for dealing with complex situations? Through the course of your study abroad program you will be faced with many complex situations that are aimed to help you grow and mature.

· Will my current school accept credits from my study abroad program? While most colleges, universities and even high schools will accept credits from study abroad programs—and for good reason—it is always best to confirm this fact before applying to a program.

If you don’t like challenges or taking risks, study abroad programs may not be your cup of tea, but on the flip side, if you enjoy experiences that allow you to meet new people, absorb new cultures and think independently, these programs are definitely worth considering.

1 comment:

Shreyansh said...

According to the QS Rankings 2018, University of Cambridge is ranked first in the UK and ranked 5th in the world. University of Oxford is ranked 6th in the world.

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