Want to Gain Experience Abroad? Here is How
You are ready to travel and live abroad but not sure what steps to take? Well, the good news is that there are several program options available if you want to go overseas. International Experiences are very important for profile building. One size does not fit all, just as there is something for everyone. So when it comes to finding the best fit, there’s always an option. Whether it’s work abroad, volunteering, teaching, or even just an adventure, you need to plan well.
If you want to study or do an internship abroad, you must start preparation on time. Start about a year before departure; then, you will not be faced with any surprises. This roadmap shows you what and when you need to arrange it.
Step 1. Determine your choice
Will it be an interim year, an exchange, an internship, or an entire study abroad? And in which country? You probably already have an idea, but there are some suggestions listed below:
Step 2. Coordinate with your study program
When you have decided whether you want to do a study or internship, you can contact your dean/student counselor or the International Office of your university or college. It is advisable to see if your curriculum is in line with your plans.
Step 3. Search for a course, internship or research location abroad
Start your search at the International Office of your current educational institution. If they already collaborate with a foreign institution or have several permanent internships abroad, that saves a lot of time!
If you want to do a full study abroad or if your institution does not have a suitable cooperation partner, you must look for it yourself. To do this, you can use the tips that are listed above this roadmap.
Step 4. Recognition of credits and credential evaluation
To be sure that the credits you will receive abroad, will also be recognized on your university, you must make good agreements with your college or university. You may have to collect additional information from your study or internship abroad, so start in time.
Step 5. Apply for a scholarship and arrange student finance
You know what you want to do, and it fits in with your study program. With a reasonable budget, you will find out if you can pay for it. Also, check whether you are eligible for a scholarship abroad and check whether you can take your student finance abroad.
Do this as soon as you know what you want to do. Some scholarship programs have a deadline that is one year before the start of your study or internship abroad.
You must arrange study financing for a temporary study or internship abroad at least two months before departure. You must apply for student finance for a full study abroad at least three months before departure.
Step 6. Visa and permits
Outside of Europe, it is sometimes more difficult than within the EU, and applications can also take longer, varying from a few days to a few months. Start this as soon as you know the date of your departure.
You can contact the embassy of the country of your choice. The addresses are on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Step 7. Language preparation
If you want to follow education in another country, it is evident that you must have a good command of the Language of that country. Sometimes you have to take a language test to be admitted to the institution of your choice, even if you are going to follow English-language education.
Step 8. Housing
Ask the foreign university or your future employer abroad for help with finding accommodation. Also, check with your institution. Maybe they can put you in contact with students who have preceded you. See the housing page for more tips.
Make sure you start looking for accommodation for at least three months in advance. The sooner, the better. And haven’t you found anything before you left? No worries! Book a room in a cheap hotel or hostel, and from there, look for suitable accommodation on the spot.
Step 9. Insurance
Are you adequately insured before you travel? It is essential to do proper research on the types of insurances you need for your study abroad. Check with your current insurance provider what your options are. Make sure to do this before you start your travel abroad.
Step 10. Arrange travel
Book your trip now! The sooner you book a ticket, the cheaper. For some countries, you need a return ticket to apply for a visa.
Also, check the country’s prescriptions to see if you need vaccinations and which other health issues you should take into account.
What kind of study is suitable for me?
You will have to determine what kind of study you want to do abroad. Of course, anything is possible. You are only limited by your preferences, the type of study you want to do, and of course your budget because nowadays you can go wherever you want.
Which countries are suitable and whether you can finance your trip correctly are some of the most critical matters you have to take into account. But when you have clear to yourself what kind of study you want to do abroad, you can move on to the next step.
In which country do I want to study?
Hopefully, you now have a bit of an idea of what you would like to do abroad. But then perhaps the most crucial question is:
Where do I want to go?
Do you already have a country in mind? Beautiful! Feel free to skip this piece. But if you still have no idea, you can brainstorm by thinking about the following questions:
First, does it matter how far away you go? Maybe you want to go to South America or Asia.
Secondly, is the Language they speak vital to you? If you can speak English well, you can think of America and England, but New Zealand and Singapore are also possible destinations. Or maybe you just want to go to a country whose Language you don’t know well so that you can learn. Consider, for example, South America and Spain (Spanish / Portuguese), or North Africa and France (French).
If you have an idea, then you can look at the finances. For many people, it is a dream to study in America. Americans are friendly, hospitable, and all speak English. Other countries, such as Belgium or Germany, are of course cheaper. So it is just what you want and fits your budget. To some, its a trip to China for an internship, Language, or a full degree program.
And fourthly, which countries are best suited to your studies or training? If you do a musical education, you may want to go to London, while studying in Africa may be better if you, as an animal caretaker, want to learn more about tropical animals. Besides, your school or university often has a partner university, and that can make everything easier. The disadvantage is that you are stuck at that specific university and the corresponding country.
A Guide to help you with all the Application Requirements for Chinese Universities
Through an exchange program, you have the opportunity to study quickly, efficiently, and cheaply abroad. The most important condition is that you are currently registered at a university. There are also numerous scholarships available to finance your study abroad (partly). Unfortunately, not all students are eligible for an exchange program or award abroad from Erasmus+ or other (government) organizations. Read more about how to secure admission into Chinese Universities.