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Study Abroad

Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a foreign country. We provide information on educational opportunities for students to study in other countries. We have a comprehensive directory of study abroad programs, including summer study abroad, internship, service learning and volunteer abroad programs, high school study abroad, intensive language programs and more, all organized by subject or country or city. We also provide a complete guidance to education abroad, health and safety and study abroad scholarship/financial aid information.
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Reason for studying abroad ?
One of the most common reasons students study abroad is language immersion. Students wanting to learn a language will go to school in a country where that language is spoken, the theory being that immersion into an environment where a particular language is spoken is the best way to learn the language. Indeed, many schools require that students majoring in a foreign language study abroad. However, this is more often done through an exchange program.
Another popular reason to study abroad is the desire of many to gain an understanding of the world around them. The ability for students to go to a different part of the world and undergo complete submergence into another culture teaches them invaluable lessons about the diversity and complexity of the world, as well as important lessons about themselves.
Many students study abroad in an effort to expand their opportunities beyond those their home university offers. Strategically, study abroad offers many exciting benefits from high school students hoping to get into a prestigious university, to college learners pursuing reputable post graduate schools or professions. It may lead to scholarships, grants, and job opportunities to leading institutions or employment.
Study abroad versus exchange
Typically, institutes of higher education refer to Study Abroad programs as programs in which courses are taken (usually for academic credit) in a foreign environment. These could range from students taking courses at a foreign institutions either through direct enrollment or institutional exchange. Some programs, often referred to as "island programs" utilize the professors of the institution that is sending the students.
A Student exchange program implies that the student is being exchanged to the foreign university (and is therefore taking courses with local students taught by local faculty). These definitions, however, are not strictly adhered to. In fact, new terms are constantly being created and used to more accurately describe different types of programs/experiences (e.g. direct enrollment programs, immersion programs, (faculty-led) study trips, etc).
Students can participate in a program through their home university, a study abroad company, or directly through the foreign university.

Necessary steps to study abroad
Though requirements vary by institution, several steps must be taken in order to study abroad. The first step is to identify a program of interest. Application procedures differ between programs. Students wishing to study abroad must also obtain the necessary travel documents. Documents include a passport, visa, and often certain medical releases. Obtaining visas can be a time consuming process involving lots of paperwork. It is best to begin the visa process well in advance to avoid delays and problems.
Students may also have to make their own lodging arrangements. Some schools maintain residences in foreign countries or at host universities. Other programs may require a student to provide his or her own accommodations. Most students know where they will be staying when they depart, but some students make temporary living arrangements from home and seek a more permanent residence upon arrival. Arranging for a place to live in a foreign country can be made difficult by such problems as language barriers, students' inability to see apartments in person, and differing procedures regarding contracts, deposits, and payments. However, the internet makes remote apartment finding easier, and is thus a good place to start. Advice from other students who have previously studied in the location is also very useful.
Another important step is to learn about the destination, in order to be aware of any potentially jolting differences. Thus, many study abroad programs include compulsory orientation sessions for students that address many of the possible difficulties that will be faced while the students are abroad.

Scholarships are offered by a number of organizations and foundations. Scholarships, like government grants, can be highly competitive, because students aren't required to repay the money awarded. Because of this uncertainty, it is not the most reliable method for paying for study abroad. Research into available scholarships and private grants should be initiated well in advance of a student's planned travel date, and/or private or government aid should also be sought.

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