Hello, Olivia here! In this blog I will be talking about the study abroad experience quite generally to answer the question- how do you know if studying abroad is for you? I also give my five top tips for a smooth application process.
Before I begin, I encourage everyone to consider either a semester or 3rd year abroad, if possible on your course, as both are fantastic opportunities, however, I am personally speaking from the perspective of the 3rd year abroad experience, so this may be reflected more in the thoughts that I present.
I posed this question to a couple of my Erasmus friends:
“What qualities do you think are key for anyone who is going to study abroad?”
- You like adventure.
- You are prepared to let go of your expectations and to be spontaneous e.g. befriend strangers and try new ways of learning.
- You like to be challenged and can be adaptable, especially academically and in life skills (including linguistically depending on the destination).
- You are open-minded and want to build an international network.
- You are brave enough to live in a different country, culture and away from everything and everyone that you know.
*This is NOT an exhaustive list, but we thought that these were important*
If you think you see yourself in some of those qualities or would like grow in these areas, maybe an international experience would be great for you. At this stage, you might have questions about how to apply, which could be answered by visiting this Uni webpage or via dropping an email to email@example.com if you would like to speak to someone from the team.
Once you have made the decision to submit the initial application, you:
- Have an interview (with someone from the international team and normally someone from your faculty).
- Find out whether you have been successful.
- Are nominated by the University of Worcester to the partner university.
- Complete an application for the University you intend to go to.
- Complete applications for visas, insurance, flights, study loan, accommodation etc. (all of the not so exciting, but really important parts).
- And FINALLY go to your destination!
Here are my 5 top tips for completing this process, when you’re still in the decision-making stage, creating the initial application and through to the post-acceptance process:
- Do your research
When deciding which continent you would like to study in; the specific city and university, plus the courses they offer; the average cost of living and the climate are all key things to research. Additionally, check out what the host university’s exchange programme is like e.g. visit their social media to see if they are engaged with the student community.
- Speak to people who have already studied abroad
This is my favourite tip (I’m biased, I know). The reason why I became serious about studying abroad was because I spoke to a friend who was on her experience at the time. I realised that it could be a reality for me too and I got authentic insights into what it is really like.
- Consider the implications
Really thinking about the impact this journey could have on both your personal circumstances and academic journey is important. For example, graduating later than your course peers may be a significant consideration for you.
- Little and often
The whole process is long and occasionally feels like there is too much to complete, especially alongside your studies. Spending 30 mins/1 hour a day on your application/paperwork is a good way to manage this.
Please don’t leave anything until the last minute, as you may need time in case you encounter delays or need to make corrections later on.
- Speak to the international team
The biggest help for me, has been having regular communication with Cristina and the international team. They’re experts in sending students abroad- so take advantage of the amazing support they can provide!
All that’s left to say is, applications for a semester or 3rd year abroad (2022-2023) are now open- so what are you waiting for?
You can follow our Study abroad Team on social media:
Facebook: join our International Experience group