International study programmes have become incredibly popular over recent years, and if done properly they can enhance your studies and your life. Much of the preparation needs to be done before you even decide on taking a year abroad, so here are five tips on how you can make the right choices so you can create your perfect trip!
Consider Where You Want To Study
Whilst it’s tempting to get excited about all of the fun experiences you’re going to have during your time abroad, remember that the main purpose of your trip is to learn. Research the local universities and education providers using international league tables, such as the one provided by QS World University Rankings so that you can see how successful each university is and learn more about how they support students.
Think About How Far You Want To Travel
Depending on where you live, some countries might be further away than others, so think about how far you’re willing to go before you narrow down your choice. It might seem tempting to study in Europe, but having to travel halfway around the world to get home and see your friends and family can be a real drag, so consider just taking a holiday there and studying in a country that’s closer.
Remember, There’s More Out There Than Just Big Cities
It’s easy to be drawn to the allure of the bright lights of cities like Barcelona, Paris and London, but remember that there are so many places to choose from when you’re looking to study abroad. One country I’ve always wanted to visit is Portugal, and when I did some research I was surprised to find out that even the Algarve, a region I’d previously believed to be mostly a tourist destination, has a thriving student population and even has renowned international student accommodation providers to support students, such as Collegiate AC. Check out all the options before you choose your destination so that you have the time of your life and visit places you’d love to see.
Use Your Hobbies and Personal Tastes As A Guide
When you’re researching study abroad programmes, consider the activities you enjoy doing, then see if any of them are popular in certain regions. For example, if you’re a big fan of winter sports then look into studying in a mountainous country such as Austria, Switzerland or France. Using your own tastes to help influence your decision will mean that you end up studying somewhere you’re happy.
Be Prepared Before You Leave
Once you have your study abroad programme confirmed, make sure that you get everything ready. Check whether you need a visa, have enough time left on your passport and have all the vaccinations you need. Research what you will need and try to pack accordingly. After all, there’s no point in moving to the Arctic with a suitcase full of summer dresses! Take the time to check that you have the things you need and read local forums and social media posts to learn the tricks that residents use to keep comfortable.