Tips to Pick the Right Study Abroad Location
You are ready and raring to travel overseas and pursue your major. But where to go? Well you want to select a travel destination which really resonates with you. Yes, you might want to be close to the beach or maybe a trip to the mountains might vibe with you but another key factor to keep in mind is the availability of your major. If you are willing to find the perfect mix of dream travel destination with the proper university you can easily transition into your international studies.
Are you fluent in any language other than your native tongue? This can factor heavily into your choice of travel hotspot. You can easily overcome typical challenges like culture shock or language barriers by being fluent in the native language. If you are an American student from New Jersey who happens to speak Spanish then picking a destination like Costa Rica can make your life as a student studying abroad that much easier.
What Climate Makes You the Most Happy?
I love warm weather and hate cold weather. If I wanted to study meteorology overseas in a cold weather climate I would be miserable, even if I pursued my major of choice. Do not overlook climate before selecting a study location. Take all factors into account. You might select a tropical paradise that excites you to no end. Then you arrive at your desired destination and find out that you are visiting during monsoon season. Unless you absolutely love rain you will be disappointed. Research the local climate. Some spots like Chiang Mai in Thailand see a massive range of temperatures, shifting from over 120 degrees Fahrenheit during high season to 60 degrees during the nighttime in late December. Do your homework to pick a climate which vibes with you.
Can You Speak with the Locals?
Speaking the native tongue improves your experience studying abroad in a big way. Yes, you can get by with most people as English is spoken freely around most universities, and in surrounding bigger cities, but if you can communicate with individuals you are far more likely to have a pleasant experience during your studies.
Take the time to learn a few key words and phrases before you arrive at your intended destination to ease your transition into a new culture. You will have much more fun and make more meaningful connections if you take the effort to speak to the local people in their language. You will elicit some smiles and laughs too. People like that you took the time to communicate with them in their language, and they will likely make you aware of this by their response, or more appropriately put, their reaction.
Know the Culture to Improve Your Experience
If you are a young woman traveling to the Middle East you might be in for a bit of the shock. Certain cultures are focused on being modest, so much so that you would be wise to cover up your shoulders any time you make an appearance in public. While this is not a big deal to most people you might not vibe with covering up in climates where the temperature reaches 100 degrees or more on a typical day. Do strict due diligence to become acclimated to local customs. Pick the right study location for you by weighing out the pros and cons of pursuing your degree in any specific location.
You are likely to spend a semester or even years studying your discipline so it makes senses to do your homework and make the right choice for you.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who loves writing about travel and education topics; visit Our Lady Lake University online for information on a variety of interesting degrees.