Lots of students daydream about traveling across the world or living in a foreign country one day. For many it may seem like a luxury, an experience reserved for only a privileged few. They write it off as a summer daydream or something to hope for in the far future. What they don’t realize is that opportunities to study abroad are ready and available to people of all education and income levels.
With proper planning, traveling to another country can be more than just an exotic vacation. It can be an educationally beneficial and personally enriching experience. There are a variety of tools and resources to help you make the best decision on where to study. Seek out an outside source such as EduBookings or a similar service for advice and information.
The most obvious benefits to studying abroad are the simple joy of adventure and the chance to return home with a collection of unique stories. However, there are other potential, less obvious positives to consider. For example, many countries or even specific cities actively encourage foreign students by helping to make the experience more affordable. In contrast to traditional tourists who come for a good time and then leave, foreign students have the potential to bring new in new skills, cultures, and connections. They contribute to the economy, work necessary positions, and some even decide to stay and become citizens. Often there will be public or private programs designed to help offset the cost of studying abroad. Homestay programs allow foreign students to stay with families in their chosen area to reduce their cost of living. Some operate farms and exchange free (or reduced) room and board for extra help around the household. Others do it for the simple pleasure of a new face in the household and a chance to learn about another culture.
Along with the financial benefit of cutting back living expenses, opting to live with a homestay family has other positives. For one, traveling to another nation can be an overwhelming experience. A homestay family provides a support network for students away from home for the first time. They can prove a valuable source of information, experience, and support while exploring an unfamiliar environment. Constant contact also forces travelers to practice regularly with the local language and pick up some of the necessary social skills required to operate in a new country. While many first time students may chafe at the thought of leaving home only to find themselves living with a different set of “parents” the fact is that living with another family can provide the structure necessary to offset many of the potential negatives that first time college students experience. These include things like isolation, financial stress, and neglect of schoolwork in favor of social activity.
Choosing to study abroad is by no means a minor decision. The resources, support structures, and opportunities available to traveling students varies greatly depending on countries and individual cities. However, with careful research and proper planning students from any walk of life can have the opportunity to learn first-hand what it is like to live and study in another country. The potential rewards include a host of new experiences, skills, and opportunities that could not be obtained following the traditional route. These can be of great value in future endeavors.