Stephen Spriggs, Managing Director of William Clarence Education, gets practical, as he offers his ‘Study Abroad Advice’ for aspiring students.
Studying abroad is generally recognised as a great benefit to your academic and overall career. Going overseas for some (or all) of your further education can help expand your knowledge of the world, improve your personal development and increase your confidence. If partaking in a study abroad programme is your dream idea of university then there are a few things you should consider before committing to study miles away from home.
Firstly, the duration of time you spend studying abroad is a decision that is personal to you. Students can study from a week abroad up to relocating for their entire course duration. According to UCAS, across the 2014/15 school year, 18,200 students from UK universities were studying abroad. The most popular duration of study was one week (1,955 students), the next was 30 weeks (1,335 students) with the least popular being 18 weeks (835 students). In the USA, 332,000 students studied abroad in the 2016-17 academic year according to the Institute of International Education. Each duration has its positives and negatives but the advantage of having such a variety of options is you can choose one that suits you.
Once you’ve figured out the duration of your study time, you can then calculate the costs. Creating a budget plan can help you work out if studying abroad is a viable option for you. This can also help with your decision on the length of time you stay in the host country. Studying abroad can be expensive to begin with, but manageable once settled if you know what you’re dealing with.
Tuition fees at most European universities are often cheaper (or the same as those in the UK) and are considerably less expensive than (most) colleges in America. Travel insurance and visas are essential when relocating abroad. The type of visa you need will depend on the country of your university and if you choose to work or not whilst studying. With the current uncertainty over Brexit, European options may change over the next few years.
The Erasmus Programme
The most well-known ways of studying abroad temporarily for UK students is via the Erasmus Programme. You apply during your first year of university; applications will then be assessed by your university and if successful, your Erasmus coordinator and your head of department will help you select modules from the overseas university that not only suits you best, but your course as well. This would also be the time you can discuss how your chosen university overseas can accommodate you with any learning difficulties or disabilities you may have. Arranging accommodation is the final part of arranging overseas study through your university. Many universities that participate in Erasmus offer student accommodation, but it would be wise to check with your chosen university.
So, if you’re looking to study abroad during your time at university then these considerations should be helpful in your decision making. Every decision made in relation to studying overseas should be completely suited to you. Wherever your travels may take you, your career prospects and personal growth will be bound to benefit from your experiences.
Whether you stay in the UK or go abroad, University isn’t the only option after school. Read here to learn more.