Whether it is one year, a semester, jetting off for some voluntary experience or attending a summer school, studying abroad is TOTALLY WORTH IT! I am writing this from my own perspective after my recent experience of studying abroad with the University of Worcester. I began with the process of applying for a semester abroad, then the interview and finally I studied in another country. Keep reading to hear about my experiences and top tips on studying abroad.
How is the University of Worcester able to offer opportunities to study abroad and why should you go?
- There are many countries within Europe and outside of Europe that the University of Worcester is partnered with.
- You are supported by the Study Abroad Coordinator, lecturers and other staff who work to send students abroad.
- You have the best possible chance to experience other countries and how they teach students.
IT WILL CHANGE YOU! Trust me!
First things first, how to decide if you want to do a study abroad?
- How will studying abroad benefit you as a student, is it worth doing and, if so, how does this impact your degree?
- What is your motive for studying abroad?
- Can you financially afford to pay for the part of the semester abroad that your loan does not cover?
- How will you use this experience to get a job and develop your career in the future?
All of these are important questions to help you decide if studying abroad is right for you.
How do I go about applying to study abroad?
First of all, check that your course allows you to take a semester abroad. My course, Education Studies, allows me to do a semester abroad in my second year or a full year in my third year. However, doing a full year abroad could mean you have to come back to the University of Worcester and do an extra year overall. This is because your grades abroad do not always count towards your final degree classification when you return to the UK.
Once you know your course allows you to do a study abroad, speak to your lecturers! Your lecturers will advise you whether they think this is the best decision, and, if so, they can share some stories of past students on the course who have completed a study abroad.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
Google ‘Why a study abroad is beneficial?’ ‘How can study abroad benefit my career in the future?’.
When you’ve decided on studying abroad, it’s best to contact the Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator at the Uni. They will, alongside a few other members of staff, be the person to guide you, answer any questions and help you through the process of studying abroad.
If you’re choosing a University in Europe, a funding scheme called Erasmus will offer you help financially (unfortunately this is not the case for countries outside of the EU). However, I applied for funding which covered all my travel costs.
Top tip: If you are going to mention on your CV or personal statement that you are studying abroad / have studied abroad, make sure you state how the experience developed you as a person. Employers WANT to know this!
Important things to know when applying:
You will be given a relatively simple form to complete about your interest in applying to study abroad. I would definitely advise researching the countries where you can study as part of your degree. Some Universities may not offer the course you are doing and therefore taking modules at that specific University would not be a good idea.
My experience of applying to study abroad was quite stressful. I was already busy with my studies and I had the idea of studying abroad on my mind constantly. However, I had so much support from staff , who work to help students with their applications, so it was OK.
You will have an interview before you are accepted by the University of Worcester to study abroad. Do not panic! It really is not that bad. I remember having my interview in May 2017 at the end of my first year of University. I was due to fly out January 2018 to Pennsylvania.
YOU MUST, AND I MEAN MUST research your chosen University and country. What are the risks in that country? Do you know the language (If it is non-English speaking)? Why is this University good for your chosen subject? All these types of questions will be asked in your interview, along with the basics such as “why do you want to study abroad?” and “how will studying abroad benefit you?”
I HAVE PASSED THE INTERVIEW.. NOW WHAT?
Your Study Abroad Coordinator will guide you through the process of what comes next. You will choose modules from the list that your chosen University offers. You will apply for a visa (if required) and then you will prepare over the summer whilst you’re at home for your departure! When you come back to the University, you will meet with your Coordinator a few times to discuss possible questions or anything else that needs to be done. Then during the second semester of the year, it is time to JET OFF!
What did I learn throughout the process?
I learnt that I had many fears about studying abroad. It can seem scary financially, emotionally and socially. However, you will have the BEST time! Study abroad programmes are a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it’s important that you consider taking part in it.
Post semester abroad..
I studied at the University of Pennsylvania from January 2018 – May 2018 in my second semester of my second year. I’ve included some photos of my trip throughout this post. I was able to make the most of opportunities to travel as you will see from the pictures!
Make the most of your time at the University and CONSIDER studying abroad! You can read more on the Study Abroad pages on the Uni website. Do you have any questions about studying abroad? Where’s your dream study abroad destination? Please let me know in the comments!
Loved this blog post? Read more about Study Abroad: “How will studying abroad change you (in a good way)?”