Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. While you’ll be sure to learn a lot in your academics, lots of personal growth can also come from outside the classroom. Culture, environment, and language all play a big role in your educational experience. That’s why deciding which country is best for you is a crucial decision.
Here are five things to consider when choosing a study abroad destination!
1. Climate and location
Weather is a big part of everyday life; it affects your daily decisions, such as what comfortable clothes to wear and how often you can go out. Some people enjoy piling on layers of clothing to brave the cold, while others prefer strolling through the streets in comfortable shorts and t-shirts. Wherever you end up studying, make sure you can handle the weather!
Location is also a consideration when thinking about where to study. Living in a college town has its own quaint charm; the social environment in these places is often warm and welcoming.
Looking for a more urban experience? Consider whether you want a more old-world vibe in a place like Paris or Barcelona, or a more modern, cosmopolitan experience like Abu Dhabi or Tokyo.
The people you interact with on a daily basis can be your teachers outside of the classroom. Experiencing new cultures is one of the most exciting parts of being abroad. You can see culture in small things such as the food you’ll eat, and in big things such as religious practices. While it might be tempting to stick to cultures that you are comfortable with, don’t be afraid to take a step into the unknown and experience a culture you don’t know much about yet!
Part and parcel of a country’s culture is the language it speaks. There’s nothing quite like learning a new language by immersing yourself in a place where you have to speak the language. Honing your mastery of a foreign language by using it every day will help you become fluent! But if you’re not up for the task of learning a new language, you can always choose a country where English is widely spoken.
Find a country where you can maintain a healthy work-life balance while studying abroad.
Different countries offer various ways to kick back and relax. Snowy countries offer sports like skiing and snowboarding, which can be thrilling. If you plan to stay in a more tropical climate, make sure you check out the beaches the country could offer. Or maybe the country you’re interested in has gorgeous mountains or towering urban skylines.
Every country has its own destinations and activities to offer. Making the most of your country’s uniqueness is a great way to make time for yourself.
Lastly, try and align your study abroad destination with your plans for the future! Certain locations can be much better places than others to break into a particular industry.
If you’re interested in finance, studying in New York will definitely give you a boost by connecting you to big Wall Street banks. If art is your niche, a city like Florence or Rome will put you right at the heart of Renaissance history.
Studying in a different country gives you access to new perspectives and connections that can boost your eventual career.
You can get the most value out of an international education by putting careful thought into planning for the experience. So take time to sit down and ask yourself what you really want from your education abroad; your future self will thank you!
Once you’ve decided where to study, the next step is to find the best schools in your dream country. Check out our Study Abroad page, where you can search and apply to schools abroad!