How to Get from Point A to Point B While You Study Abroad

The journey is just as important as the destination

*Nick Trefelos is a good example of this. He actually decided to study abroad in northern Italy because of its proximity to other countries and cities.

———

One of the best and most memorable aspects of studying abroad is the opportunity to explore every nook and cranny of your host city, the surrounding region, and other nearby countries on your “must-see” list. After all, this is your once-in-a-lifetime adventure and you shouldn’t miss visiting every iconic landmark and exploring every scenic destination that you can.

That means you’ll need to know exactly how to get from Point A to Point B in a foreign country. Depending on the international program you choose, you may be allowed to select any mode of transportation for getting around. Or you might be required to travel as a group by a certain method. Or maybe you’ll be able to get from place to place by using a combination of several transportation options.

To make the right choices and travel around as safely, efficiently, and cheaply as possible, all it takes is a little advance research. I call it the know-before-you-go approach. And it’s a must. 

The Ultimate Weekend or Week-Long Trip

Practically anywhere you study abroad, weekend excursions will be in your plans. When you don’t have to study for a major exam or have a big paper to write, you may even opt for a longer multi-city or multi-country trip. By following a few simple guidelines, these trips will be totally awesome, memorable, and virtually hassle-free for you.

How to Get There:

1. FLY 🛩

Taking a plane

Check out low-cost carriers. Ok, so they might not be the most comfortable, but the money you can save makes them so worth it,

especially for a short jaunt. It’s best to book as far ahead of time as you can, but it’s ok with many airlines to book pretty much up to the day before departure.

If you go with a low-cost carrier, keep in mind that they usually fly to airports that are outside a city center (possibly 30-45 minutes away). In that case, you’ll need to take a taxi or use a shuttle service which often is provided by the airline and often is free. Or check out bus and train airport link routes. These are a snap to hop on – especially if you’re only carrying a backpack – and are really cheap.

Taxi or Uber: Taking a taxi or your continents version of Uber usually is the most convenient and time-effective option, but also the most expensive. Having a travel companion(s) to share the fee will help. But whether you’re alone or with friends, be smart about using a taxi as many drivers charge tourists a ridiculously inflated rate (yes, you’ll probably be considered a tourist). To prevent this from happening, don’t be afraid to negotiate either a price per mile or an overall rate right when you get in the cab. And stick with it. Otherwise, seek out an official airport taxi with fixed rates.

Most other lower-cost transportation options available to you will be great, so you might want to save taxis as a last resort. Read on…

Shuttle: Airport shuttles take multiple passengers to and and from the airport to their destinations or to specific pick-up/drop-off locations. While less expensive, this service usually will eat up a lot more of your time depending on the number or riders and where you’ll be dropped off. Some shuttle companies require advance reservations, but most will take you on the spot. There also may be added fees if you have extra bags.

Train: If the airport is far from your destination city, consider using its express train service for a ride directly to the city center. You might then need to take a taxi or other transportation to your door, but that’s easy enough once you’re there. Other regional or local trains may service the airport, as well, but could require changing trains in order to get where you want to be.

2. TRAINS 🛤

In many countries, particularly in Europe, train travel can get you practically anywhere with schedules that feature frequent departure times. It’s not always necessary to book your ticket in advance, although that would be a smart way to ensure your spot. Plus you can save a lot by doing so.

Note: In the UK and Europe, if you book online with a credit card, you’ll need to have that card in hand when you pick up your Get Shinkansen Bullet Train Tickets between Tokyo/Osaka - Voyagin at the station.

Train Links

3. COACH TRAVEL 🚌

Long distance coach travel is available in many places, usually at a very reasonable cost. BUT, do your research on this one. Road travel in some countries, particularly developing ones, can be dangerous and students are advised to use an alternate means of transportation. The same holds true for road travel in a car, including rentals and carpooling.

  • Bus Links
  • Megabus (Europe)
  • Long and Medium Distance Bus in Japan

Now that You’ve Arrived…

Congratulations!

You’ve made it to the destination of your exciting side trip. No doubt you’ll want to see all the attractions you can. Some may be relatively close to one another, but some may require a trek to the other side of town, or an outlying area. Of course, the cheapest way to see and do it all is on foot. Plus, walking allows you to actually do a little exploring along the way. But, do you really want to spend all your precious time hoofing it from place to place? I don’t think so. It will take far too long and you’ll ultimately end up missing a lot. Not to mention having some mighty sore feet at the end of the day.

So what are your local transportation options?

1. TAXI 🚖

This wasn’t high on our list for getting from the airport to your door. But once you’re at your home base and want to get out and about, it’s a pretty convenient option – although depending on traffic if you’re in a major city, your ride just might take as long as walking. And it still will be on the expensive side cost-wise. Remember what I said earlier about setting the price when you get in the cab, rather than at the end of the ride. Do this and stick with it. And make sure the cabbie sticks to it, too.

A Few Exceptions to the Expensive Cabs:

  • If you’re in Asia, some places feature very inexpensive taxi service
  • If you’re in a city like London where the taxis are famous, go ahead and take a short ride just for the experience
  • If you happen to be in Belfast, don’t miss their famous black taxi tours

At some point, it probably will be necessary for you to use a taxi. Before departing from your home city, it’s important that you use the country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and other resources to research ways to identify legitimate taxi companies in your host country.

2. SUBWAY, TUBE, METRO, TRAM/TRAIN/BUS 🚍 🚝

👉 I wrote about how studying abroad in a big city can prepare you for big city life, and I’d recommend you read it if you’re planning on moving to one after you graduate.

Subway study abroad

All of these transportation options are quick, efficient, safe, and NOT expensive – a winning combination for budget-conscious students. Hop on any one of them and you can get just about anywhere you want to be. No need to miss out on a special attraction you’re dying to visit just because it costs too much to get there.

In many major international cities, transit services offer passes for unlimited rides for a fixed length of time like a day, week or month. In some places, you can even buy an all-inclusive transit ticket, good for most of the modes of transportation. This is a super bargain so check out the availability in your destination city! You’ll be able to take in a huge assortment of museums, local attractions, and iconic landmarks, and discover some pretty amazing eating and drinking spots, for not much cash – probably less than $10.

Here’s another insider tip: Look into group rates. They’re a bit more obscure and are not offered everywhere, but provide good discounts if you’re traveling with a few other people. Munich, for example, is a city where group rates are available.

Don’t Do This!

One of the biggest mistakes study abroad students make is not researching the modes of transportation available to them. I know of a student who headed out with friends to see the sights in their host city, but had no idea how to navigate their way around. They ended up walking everywhere and it took them three hours just to reach their first destination. Don’t be that student.

Avoid a time-wasting scenario like this simply by researching your transit options first. Check flyers and timetables. There are even online sites that can acquaint you with things like metro routes and stops before step outside your door.

3. BIKE 🚲

Many countries around the world have super bike-oriented cultures that feature well developed bike lanes and access. If you find yourself in one of these locales, consider renting or buying a bike for getting to class and around town, or to supplement a public transit pass. You’ll be able to move about easily, on your own time schedule, with the added bonus of a little built-in exercise.

4. TOURS 

No, they’re not just for retirees. Guided tours are a perfect way to not only visit specific attractions, but to learn about them and get the inside scoop on landmarks, buildings, neighborhoods, etc., along the way. You might say this is a great two-fer, three-fer, four-fer deal! With no worries about how to get there, what to do when you’re there, and how to get back home. All you have to do is enjoy the sights.

Most major cities even offer name-your-own-price tours. As you can imagine, they’re extremely popular. You go on the tour, which has no specific cost and, depending on how you think it went, tip the tour guide accordingly at the end.

Of course, if you opt for one of these tours, please remember it’s your guide’s livelihood and offer a reasonable fee. To help you gauge a fair price, most organized guided tours typically cost $15-$25. So no matter what price you decide on, you’re likely to save a bundle.

Travel Smart

During your time abroad, you’ll want to squeeze in as many awesome adventures and experiences as you can. Don’t worry about how you’re going to make them happen. All it takes to accomplish this is a little pre-planning and you’ll be good to go.

LET’S RECAP

Do your research ahead of time. Keep an eye out for airfare discounts and book cheap flights to your host city, as well as for weekend or extended week-long excursions. You can set up alerts on sites like Hopper or skyscanner, with the optimal time to purchase flights being Tuesdays around 3:00 pm EST. Doing this 50 to 100 days before your departure date is best, if possible, and could save you big bucks on costly flights.

Familiarize yourself with the transportation options that are available wherever you are. For the most part, public transportation is the cheapest way for international students to get around. Plus, it’s safe and efficient. So learn the local systems and use them to save money. Most importantly, do your research and always use good judgement when selecting the transit modes you use.

It goes without saying that you also can ask local students about the kinds of deals they use that you might take advantage of, too. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Get an International Student Identity Card. For Sure.

Before you take off for your exciting international experience, be sure to purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Most study abroad students are required to do this and, depending on your program, it may automatically be included in your fees. Because the card opens the door to so many opportunities for exploring culture, food, and attractions, it will help make your study abroad visit easier and less expensive than you imagined.

The ISIC card is accepted globally and will provide significant savings for you on things like groceries, books, admission to museums and other attractions, entertainment, budget hotels, hostels, AND transportation – around 160,000 discounts in all – in more than 130 countries. Discounts vary by locale, but to give you an idea of the savings in store for you… you might enjoy city tours for a lower price than the general public, or save a sizeable amount on a cross-country European trip when traveling by rail, bus, or airplane.

Or you can take a bus across Europe for 15 percent off. And how does this sound: island-hop between the Greek isles with 50 percent off ferry tickets. Sweet! Even in the likelihood that you’re flying through Europe and your chosen airline goes bankrupt while you’re traveling, you’ll receive a 100 percent refund on the ticket. There’s a discount finder tool on the official ISIC website, but you might also discover a surprise deal you didn’t know about by showing your card at certain attraction sites like:

Here’s another awesome perk. Your ISIC card includes basic travel insurance. Let’s say you need medical attention in Europe or have an accident while touring. The card will automatically cover up to $2000 of your bill.

And, what if a venue doesn’t accept your ISIC card? It could happen, particularly in an outlying area. There’s still no need to worry because, in that case, you’ll be reimbursed for the extra money you paid.

‘Nuff said about the ISIC card. I think you get the idea. Especially if you’ll be travelling in Europe, get it!

Happy, Safe Travels!

It’s exciting to think of all the fun travels you’ll have while studying abroad. Follow the guidelines above and they’ll be some of the most memorable, fulfilling experiences of your life. Whether you’ll be in a bustling international metropolis or a small quaint rural area, this is your time to include some extra adventures and explore the rest of the world around you. Go for it!

What Is Study Abroad?

What is Study Abroad?

If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea that you know what you think actually is or might be the easily defined or maybe not-so-typical definition of study abroad.

Or maybe you don’t.

That’s why I’m here to help pinpoint exactly what study abroad is – and what it can be for you.

Study abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a country other than one’s own. This can include primary, secondary, and post-secondary students. There are study abroad programs for high school students, too, and I’m working on getting an interview up that focuses on this topic. 

Ok – let’s break it all down.

Live and learn… but not at home, is basically…what it means. 

Study abroad programs usually are run through universities and give students the opportunity to live and study in a foreign country. You are able to take academic classes or become fluent in another language (or two) in a completely different part of the world.

I can tell you from my own experience that it’s one of the best, most rewarding, and most life-enriching adventures you will ever have. The time you spend as an international student allows you to take in every single aspect of a foreign culture and actually live it.

Don’t even think of saying no to such a sensational opportunity…don’t you dare!

Depending on your personal and educational goals, and often your finances (although this really doesn’t have to be a factor since there areStudying abroad won't extend your graduation so many financial aid options out there), you can study abroad for a semester, a month, an academic year, a few years, or just a summer. Whatever you choose, you can earn college credit toward your degree during this time. And, for most, it won’t extend the amount of time for your graduation.

How long should you study abroad?
(however many times you want, too)

The world is getting smaller every day making it more important than ever for you to be able to navigate and communicate across cultures. Foreign study gives you the tools to do this.

Customize Your Program

There are so many different types of study abroad opportunities that you really can tailor your experience to fit your own specific requirements.

Doesn’t matter how many responsibilities you have at home, school, or work, there will be be a program that’s right for you. You can receive academic credit in classroom courses at your host university or get a taste of the real thing through hands-on experiential learning (how does marine conservation in the Mediterranean sound?). 🐟🐠🐡

You can perfect your foreign language skills, do research, gain on-the-job expertise with an internship, or enjoy service learning through volunteering. Or maybe you’d like to combine a couple of these options. Whatever your preference, the choice is yours.

To get the ball rolling, talk with an advisor in your school’s study abroad office. This is the person who can help you zero in on the type of program that’s best for you so that you can explore the world on your terms.

View Study Abroad as a Smart Investment

Viewing Study Abroad as An Investment
@ishant_mishra54

Initially, you might think of study abroad as a way to travel to another country, maybe someplace on your bucket list that you’ve always wanted to visit. You will stand at iconic landmarks, have an up-close look at unique landscapes and wildlife, bravely eat exotic foods, participate in quirky customs, and take some pretty amazing pictures.

All in all, you could say study abroad is an extraordinary learning experience you would never have in a classroom.

When you travel abroad, you are investing your time, your money, your courage, and your academic efforts in one amazing trip. It may be the only time in your life where you will be exposed to new ideas, new people, and new ways of living all in one awe-inspiring package.

Of course, like anything else, you need to be on board 100 percent to reap the greatest benefit; but what you put into your international adventure, I guarantee you’ll get back tenfold in personal growth, happiness, global understanding, and professional expertise. Embrace every bit of this once-in-a-lifetime experience and it will be the smartest, most worthwhile investment of your life!

Hell-o World!

When you choose to study abroad, you are doing more than introducing yourself to a new culture. International study opens new doors that you may never have come in contact with had you stayed home. 

And guess who you’ll meet when you open those doors – YOU!

Studying abroad is a way to get to know who you are, to discover what you really believe and what you actually think of the world. It pushes you to learn because you find yourself in a place where you can’t take things for granted.

It teaches you to be empathetic and accepting of world views and life experiences that are different from your own.

When you’re in a foreign country trying to get a handle on everything that’s going on around you, the people you meet become more than friends; they are your life lines, ready to teach you and help you any way they can. And you will get a great feeling by being able to do the same with them. The kind of trust and friendship that fosters is irreplaceable.

So, back to the original question – what is study abroad? If it were a college course, I’d call it “Introduction to Yourself.”

The experience will teach you to go beyond your usual boundaries and challenge yourself, probably more than ever before. You’ll take big leaps and think in new ways. What’s so great about this is that you’ll actually love doing it. You grow as a person when you study abroad

Naturally, each student will “grow” at a different pace so it will be a little different for you than the next guy (or gal). But for EVERYONE, there’s nothing that will ever compare.

You and I both would have a hard time finding people who regret their international experience. It’s one of the best, most interesting (and most fun) ways to promote personal growth in your life and is something that study abroad alumni around the globe agree wholeheartedly should not be missed.

I’m still trying to find someone to have on the podcast who regrets their experience, and there simply isn’t anyone who regrets studying abroad.

So Now You Know What Study Abroad Is

It’s Everything. It’s Anything. It’s…

Side note: Spotify recently acquired Anchor, which is what we use to publish and share our podcast to the world, so congratulations are in order.  📄

Second side note: As of this writing, 82 percent of our listeners reside in the United States, which means 18 percent don’t (go world!) 📄📄

Third side note: Try starting a podcast, they’re fun. After we stopped recording in my very first interview, Dilyn Reisterer and I talked about how there aren’t enough female podcasters, but ironically the vast majority of students that study abroad are, in fact girls. 📄📄📄*

Oh, I almost forgot; don’t forget to take notes while class is in session 😊.

It’s pretty obvious by now that study abroad is wa-y-y-y more than going to another country to take some classes and see the sights. It’s late nights, missed flights, excursions, and impromptu adventures all wrapped into one. Quite literally, the time of your life. 

You’ll try different foods, meet different people, and come home a more well rounded individual. 🌯🌶🥓🍓🥒🥞🍭

You need to look at it as the best opportunity you’ll ever have to immerse yourself in a new environment and learn in ways you never would be able to at home. So don’t be scared. And don’t make excuses why you can’t go. Don’t let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip trough your fingers. It may never come your way again…Ever!

Now that I’ve helped you to understand what study abroad is, I hope you are inspired to start making plans for your own personal adventure. 

WHEELS UP!

*We couldn’t figure out why, either. And honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out. There needs to be more market research done in this area, no joke.

Why Study Abroad? Seriously…

Studying abroad is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime adventure. You’ll meet new friends, explore iconic locales, and experience a whole new culture by actually living it. You’ll have the opportunity to hone your foreign language skills, savor foods you’ve never tasted before, and, essentially, open your eyes to a different way of viewing the world. Depending on the program you select, you also can acquire hands-on professional experience (think local job or internship) and make priceless contacts that will help with your career after graduation.

But…

There are other aspects of study abroad to consider. What about the expenses that come with your international experience, like tuition fees, housing, food, airfare, and transportation. The financial costs can add up fast, putting a good dent in your already student-size wallet. What about the fact that you’ll be away from family and friends for an extended period of time? On your own; in a foreign country, is study abroad worth it 💰? 

Abso-friggin-lutely 

Besides being an extraordinary experience, 🏖beyond the fun you’ll have and the memories you’ll make 📸, spending time in another country has an unmatchable, lifelong impact on your personal and professional growth.

Of course, the benefits of studying abroad will be different for everyone. Truthfully, for some it will simply be an expensive vacation. But for others – hopefully you – it will be a life-changing and eye opening moment in your life that forever shapes your future. Keep reading and you’ll discover the tremendous benefits that study abroad can offer to you.

7 Ways Study Abroad Impacts You Personally

You may be surprised at how much study abroad can help you learn and grow as a person. It can boost your confidence, teach you how to be self-reliant, help you improve academically, provide you with greater cultural understanding and tolerance, and generally improve your international perspective. And that’s just a few examples. So how does it enrich and expand your personal horizons?

1. HELPS YOU IMPROVE ACADEMICALLY 

I think we all agree that education is the primary focus of any study abroad trip.

Because the academic experience varies throughout the world, studying abroad is a great way to view a different style of education first-hand (e.g. how your host university is structured, length of academic terms, emphasis on assignments vs. exams, how homework and grades are handled), and maybe see a side of your major that you wouldn’t have been exposed to at home.

At a foreign university, learning will take on a whole new perspective, one that’s likely to have a positive impact on your studies.

According to a study by the University System of Georgia, students studying abroad saw improved overall GPAs when they returned home. While abroad, those students became responsible for their academic success by learning to manage their time and utilize better study methods.

Afterward, the benefits were undeniable as they found writing term papers and studying for exams at their home university to be a breeze.

For those seeking a higher level of education, the academic benefits are just as compelling with 90% of study abroad students getting into their first or second choice for graduate school.

Like future employers, grad school admissions boards look for candidates who will introduce a unique aspect to their university- and that’s exactly what study abroad students bring to the table.

College graduates with global experience have demonstrated that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or face difficult situations. They have proven that they have the curiosity and academic acumen to be leaders in graduate school.

And if you’re at a place in your academic life where you are feeling a bit unmotivated, perhaps a change of scenery or lifestyle is the boost you need to re-energize your studies. UC San Diego research has shown that your potential for graduating in four years is likely to ramp up if you study abroad.

2. BOOSTS CONFIDENCE AND IMPROVES SOCIAL SKILLS

Think about it. How can you travel to a foreign country, possibly where you don’t speak the language well, live and study in a culture with which you’re unfamiliar, and form lifelong friendships with people you don’t know?

Just the fact that you’re getting on a plane to undertake all this is a feat in itself. Studying abroad may sound intimidating at first, but it quickly becomes the adventure of a lifetime, and a fabulous one at that. Seriously, if this doesn’t build confidence, nothing will. Maybe that’s why 96% of study abroad alumni say their experience helped them expand friendships and build their self-confidence.

Speaking of friends, you will meet people from all over the world – other international students, your fellow students, local residents,

Studying abroad gives you life long friends
Me, Becca, and Trey at Iguazu Falls

professionals – many of whom will become your friends for life. The connections you form during this special time will be with you forever and may open exciting new doors for you for future employment and travel.

On a similar note, after stepping outside your comfort zone, your newfound confidence may help you feel a little bolder at home, as well, and make it easier to make new friends when you return from your time abroad.

3. GIVES YOU AN APPRECIATION FOR NEW CULTURES

Studying abroad gives you an appreciation of new cultures
@debashismelts

Life moves at different paces in different places around the world. Wherever you choose to have your study abroad experience, you’ll come to appreciate a new way of life. It may move at a faster pace than what you’re used to or it may be more relaxed and slow. Either way, it’s exciting and enlightening to be introduced to a lifestyle so different from your own – one that’s brimming with incredible new foods, customs, social perspectives, and traditions.

4. LAUNCHES NEW INTERESTS AND HOBBIES

This is the perfect time to try something new. Make travel a favorite pastime and explore other locales and landmarks around your host city. Try playing a new sport. Explore new cuisines and learn to cook your favorite dishes. It will be fun to bring your newfound expertise back home and share it with family and friends. This is your chance to think outside the usual box and open yourself to new experiences. So get out there and explore.

***You’ll notice I linked the entire paragraph to Cameron Zbikowski’s interview. He ended up spending two years down under because he fell in love with rugby, and was able to replicate a ‘high school life’ with the spice of college. #jealous

5. PROMOTES SPIRITUAL GROWTH 

You probably never thought much about this, but many foreign countries have unique religious perspectives. If that’s the case in the country where you will be studying, consider it a great opportunity to open your heart and your mind and reflect on a way of life that’s dissimilar from your own.

6. TEACHES MONEY MANAGEMENT 

Living abroad helps you to understand finances and how to manage them. No one wants to run out of money thousands of miles from home. By allocating funds for things like groceries, field trips, social events, and shopping, you’ll become a budgeting expert. And that’s a skill that will serve you well back at home and throughout your life, as well.

7. IMPROVES LANGUAGES SKILLS 

Communication is a vital component of traveling abroad, both in coursework and socially. What better way to perfect your chosen foreign language than by immersing yourself in it. While you’re abroad, talk with university professors, your fellow students at school, shopkeepers, the local residents. Your host university probably also will provide more formal language courses. Use every opportunity to become proficient. Later, fluency in a foreign language can make you a standout with potential employers.

Ways Study Abroad Impacts You Professionally

In today’s competitive economy, it’s more vital than ever to stand out from your fellow job applicants. The time you spend studying abroad can give you the edge you need to do just that and make your dream job a reality.

1. CHANGES AND BROADENS YOUR CAREER GOALS

Did you know that participating in a study abroad program can make a difference in your future career goals?

It’s true.

In fact, reshaping the way students think about their career plans is the #1 impact of international education.

Study abroad gives you a fresh look at the world we live in and how your actions and interactions with people from other cultures really has an impact. In other words, it helps you reflect and re-evaluate the role you want to play in the world through your chosen career.

Here’s the breakdown of how study abroad impacts students’ career plans:

A positive study abroad experience also could bolster your desire to work in another country once you enter the job market.

Today, a whopping 58% of students who have studied abroad are actively pursuing careers in other countries. And their chances of succeeding are fantastic. 8 out of 10 HR executives say that international experience is a determining factor for overseas job placement within their companies.

Good to know if your sights are set on employment in a foreign land.

2. INCREASES MARKETABLE SKILLS 

Research shows that studying abroad provides students with “above and beyond” qualifications that improve their chances of landing a position after graduation. During your time overseas, you will gain a plethora of highly marketable skills that can boost up your hiring factor such as:

  • The ability to work with diverse groups of people
  • Management techniques and time management
  • Problem-solving; teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Organization
  • Cross-cultural communication skills

You’ll also acquire some very desirable personal traits like:

  • Independence
  • Maturity
  • Flexibility
  • Self-confidence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Adaptability
  • Tolerance
  • Respect for others
  • And don’t forget about one other big plus – fluency in another language.

These are the skills that make employers stand up and take notice and distinguish you from the competition. Study abroad gives you them all.

3. INCREASES YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING THE JOB YOU WANT

What study abroad students look like down at Human Resources 😉

The global exposure provided by study abroad programs provides you with some of the most beneficial opportunities for jump-starting your career.

Employers overwhelmingly agree that international experience is important to them when evaluating job resumes.

It’s certainly something that catches their eye and increases your chances for that crucial first interview. Once you meet with your potential employer, the door is wide open for you to initiate compelling conversations about your impressive credentials. 

Employers place a high value on the cross-cultural experience and strategic international understanding that study abroad alumni possess. And they appreciate having an employee with substantive content or technical knowledge of their field of business, particularly if that field influences the global economy.


Are you still asking “why study abroad?”

Let me answer that with two words – Higher Salaries. According to UC Merced, study abroad students earn 25% more than their peers who stayed home to complete their degrees.

And here’s a final good reason: Ultimately, the salary scale for an employee with international experience is progressively more than that of someone without it. Study abroad will more than pay for itself as your life progresses.

Of course, the economic price of studying abroad will vary among programs and destinations. So don’t let affordability or, more specifically, lack of it, deter you from this life-changing experience.

If cost is in issue, look into the many options available for financial aid (scholarships, loans, grants, internships, job programs), check out destinations and schools that cost less (like China, India, or Puerto Rico, for example), or consider staying for a summer, rather than an entire semester or year.

Here’s another money-saving tip:

If your credit card charges foreign exchange fees, get an International Student Identity Card. It offers international student perks, discounts, and benefits in 130 countries. They even have an app that allows you to search for deals. Finally, if all else fails – and if you’re willing to take the time – you can always build in a gap year to help get your finances and plans in order before pursuing your higher education overseas.

An advisor in your study abroad office is the perfect resource to help you with all these aspects of planning your trip. Just remember that the cost of NOT going abroad is the same no matter where you decide to go, how long you want to stay, or what program you choose.

It’s more evident every day that forgoing the study abroad opportunities we have discussed may significantly reduce your chances of success in the ever-globalizing world we live in.

Remember, bi-lingual is quickly becoming the international norm and multi-culturalism the new standard. Studying abroad can provide the advantages that help you get to the leading edge of it all.

(sources from Lifehacker)

The Hidden Benefits You Reap By Studying Abroad In A Big City

You’re off to college!

Ready to expand your horizons and begin a new adventure away from home. For many students – maybe you? – this is the first time you’ll be outside the comfort zone provided by your family and the familiar surroundings of your home town. You’ll meet new people, live in a dorm with a bunch of strangers, or in some other type of college housing, and you’ll get a first-hand look at diversity like you’ve never seen before.

When you decide to study abroad, your lifestyle will change again. And if you choose a big city as your destination, those changes can be pretty dramatic. You might feel a little scared, but the life experiences and opportunities that will be opened up to you make those fears melt away.Living In A Big City While You Study Abroad

This is your sneak peek at what it’s like to live in a major city and you’ll quickly discover there’s no better way to learn who you are and what you want in life. Sometimes you just have to take adventures to figure out where you belong.

So how do you prepare yourself for the new lifestyle you’re about to experience, in a city much larger than what you’re used to?

The majority of the students I’ve interviewed on The Study Abroadcast have completed their international studies in cities that are bigger than their home town or university town. With a little research and advance planning, you, like them, can be well prepared to adjust to this brand new way of living and viewing the world around you.

Once you’ve made the decision to study abroad you need to select your destination. Determine if you want a rural or urban setting and learn the pros and cons of each. Words and pictures can only tell part of the story of any city or campus so talk with your study abroad advisor about what you can expect.

It’s also helpful to talk with other students who have studied in the city you have in mind. Combine their advice and insights with the research you do online and you’ll find the place that’s right for you.

Life at an urban university is influenced by the city where it’s located.

The size of the city, its cultural and social life, even the geography of the region are all factors. Unlike being in a small town where the university is the focal point of daily life, you’ll find that activities at an urban university extend far beyond campus. 

In a big city, students have a much wider choice when it comes to things like entertainment, restaurants, art and cultural outlets, shopping, and housing options. Not to mention the ease of traveling around to visit other interesting locales. If these types of things are important to you, then big city living probably will be a great choice for your international experience.

On the other hand, the hustle of urban living brings with it things you may not be used to such as air pollution, traffic, and noise. So if being in a calmer, more comfortable and safe environment with fewer distractions is more your style, you’ll be better off moving to a smaller town.

The location of your school can have a major impact on your overall college experience, especially when it’s in a foreign country. Factor this in when choosing where you want to be.

6 Benefits of Studying Abroad In a Big City [Infographic]

SOCIAL OPPORTUNIIES

Living in a big city means there’s always something interesting, fun, and exciting to do in your spare time. And you’re not limited to what’s available on campus. Maybe you’d enjoy exploring local museums, or trying an intriguing dish at a local restaurant. Metropolitan areas are renown for restaurants and eateries that accommodate all tastes and budgets. You won’t have a hard time finding tasty options even on a limited student budget.

Or maybe you’d like to take in a play, music concert, or sporting event, or spend time with new friends at your favorite coffee shop or pub. How about hitting the unique shops and stores to discover special mementos to bring back home for family, friends – and yourself.

Between classes, lectures, and lab sessions, studying abroad gives you a lot of time to absorb your new environment. Use that time to mingle and meet new people, barter at a local market, or visit an iconic landmark. It’s particularly easy to do these in a big city where you can discover something new and interesting around every corner. Remember, you’re thousands of miles from home in a place you’ve never been before, so take advantage of this exciting adventure you’re on and grab every opportunity to explore and learn.

TRANSPORTATION EASE

Public Transportation in Large Cities
This is just the U.S.*

Major cities have awesome public transportation systems that make it super easy to get around. Hop on a bus, subway, above-ground metro, or train to get just about anywhere you want to be in and around town. And do it efficiently and cheaply. With public transit, any type of commute is a breeze. If you get tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s just as easy to escape to a quieter setting and enjoy beautiful and natural surroundings. Or to visit another exciting locale or attraction.

When studying abroad, most students want to soak up as much local culture as they can. Chances are that’s what you’ll want to do. After all, who knows when, if ever, you’ll have this opportunity again. Living in a large city makes it easy to plan the extra adventures that make special memories happen. That was the case for me.

While I was a study abroad student in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I took the subway and the bus every day and it prepared me for life in Los Angeles without a car after graduation. I wouldn’t have been as prepared as I was had I not studied abroad. 

ACCESSIBILITY TO PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Specialty food markets, supermarkets, coffee shops with that special blend you loved back home, clothing stores, book stores – as a city dweller, just about about any product and service you need will be at your fingertips, often right in your neighborhood. Conversely, if you choose rural living you may need to forego the conveniences you’re used to. They simply won’t be available so you’ll have to either adapt to what is there or do without.

Previous Interviewee Lacy Freward

CULTRURAL DIVERSITY

Big cities are melting pots of cultures. As a student in an urban setting, you will be exposed to people from a diverse assortment of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, not only at your university but among the general population. What a great way to learn first-hand about the world. And what a boost for a future career anyplace around the globe – international experience is always looked on favorably by employers.

Living in an urban setting in a foreign country has one more advantage. As you increase your knowledge about the cultures surrounding you, you also will develop the cultural sensitivity that comes with being in a foreign environment. In the process you’ll begin to see your own culture through fresh eyes and develop your own personal points of view.

Whether in class, at work or at play around town, you’ll acquire a new global mind-set that will prove to be invaluable many times over throughout your life, both personally and professionally.

INTERNSHIP AND WORK OPPORTUNITIES

If you’re considering an internship or working at a job related to your field of study, an urban setting will provide greater opportunities and easier access to both. It also will increase your chances to make connections and network with people who can open career doors after you graduate that otherwise would be difficult or even impossible to open on your own. And, unlike in a small town setting, language is not likely to be a problem.

Jobs and internships in small cities are harder to come by and the available options typically aren’t too great. You may only end up with a student job on your university campus.

GAINING LIFE EXPERIENCE

This is the ultimate goal of studying abroad.

Yes, you’ve signed up for this international program to further your academic studies in a new and challenging way. But at the same time, you’re leaping into the unknown, opening your mind to new experiences, fending for yourself, and handling unforeseen situations. You’re storing up important life experiences, learning what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at.

It’s not easy being independent, but gaining self-reliance sure feels great. The end product of this amazing journey is a more confident, independent and self-sufficient you. Living in a big city as part of your personal study abroad experience is an unbeatable way to learn about yourself and grow. I can’t think of anything better, can you?

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Studies

Students, parents, advisors, professors – everyone agrees that there are a million great reasons to study abroad. University life in a major city can be especially exciting and offer you countless special ways to experience a new culture. Just remember that having all these opportunities within easy reach can distract you from your studies.

So if you’re thinking of transitioning to a big city for your study abroad experience, make sure you have the discipline to keep on track with your educational goals. If you do, then go for it!

Should You Double Major or Study Abroad?

Trying to decide between picking up a double major or studying abroad
@mattragland

Deciding whether to pursue a double major or study abroad is a dilemma facing many college students. They can’t get beyond the fact that it’s six of one, half dozen of the other.

If you’re trying to decide which is the better option, there are some clear points to consider which may be very helpful.

Perhaps the foremost is the career path you have in mind. Will a second major add value to your chosen career or, possibly, broaden your career prospects? Often, the answer is no. Will the opportunities provided by a study abroad experience prove to be beneficial when you enter the job market? Definitely, yes.

Having completed a study abroad program is considered a plus on job applications, particularly in the United States.

College students who can add this type of life-enriching exposure to their resume demonstrate to potential employers that they are independent and adaptable.

Noting that you have proficiency in a foreign language, which you are sure to hone while abroad, adds even greater value. It’s a step beyond listing classes you’ve taken in your liberal arts studies, or the academic programs you have completed to earn your bachelor’s degree, for example.

Remember, your goal is to stand out from the other applicants.

Interpersonal Competencies Gained From Studying Abroad

Increase in competencies one would gain when studying abroad
Christine Farrugia, Ph.D., Jodi Sanger

Here’s something else to consider in the dilemma of a double major that you believe may enhance your career prospects vs. study abroad travel where you will learn about yourself: Traveling just might change your major and career focus.

Where, once, you may have been thinking of a profession in one particular area, maybe in the United States, you may realize that you prefer another similar profession – somewhere else. Maybe in Europe? Or South America? Or Asia? Or perhaps you might want to land a job that will give you the opportunity to travel to any of these places.

The best advice is to weigh the costs and benefits for YOU. With either option, think about opportunities that may be gained or lost as a result of your decision.

Deciding between studying abroad and a double major
@ingle_jake

If all this sounds confusing and you just can’t decide, keep in mind that it is possible to do both.

There are students who have double majored and studied abroad. This can be a little more difficult to work around, depending on the majors, but it’s not impossible if you plan accordingly.

The first step is to make an appointment with your academic advisor(s) to determine which courses can be substituted if you study abroad. This is because some universities or academic programs require that certain courses be taken on-site at their campuses.

Next, carefully examine the study abroad courses available through your university (some of which you may be able to substitute for required courses), as well as the host university’s course list. Then take these course lists, with descriptions, to your academic advisor (not your study abroad advisor) for discussion, as this is the only person who can tell you if they can or will accept those credits.

Comparing a double major to studying abroad

Of course, if a full semester of studying abroad doesn’t work fo you, don’t forget hat many universities offer summer or even winter study abroad experiences which are shorter, but equally as fulfilling, adventure-packed and enjoyable.

High school students also can take advantage of this wonderful benefit as they plan their future areas of study, their degree programs and majors in college – and even look ahead to graduate school.

Doing both sounds complicated, but it’s definitely doable.

The goal of this website is to get more college students to study abroad so obviously when faced with this question I am going going to lean in the direction of studying abroad.

That being said, double majors are great; two is better than one, three is better than two, etc. And yes, I have met people who have had triple majors.

So if, for some reason you absolutely can’t study I would advise you to do a double major. Both help with your job search but as long as we’re talking about doubles, let me ask; what if you studied abroad twice? How do you think that would influence your job search? 

Conclusion

The key point to remember when deciding between a double major and study abroad is that this doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

All you need to do is weigh the opportunities, risks, the amount of time, costs and benefits – both long-term and short-term – then do whatever fits you best.

It’s really pretty simple, only you know what you are targeting as your life goal and, as a result, will be able to select the path that can take you there most effectively and satisfactorily.   

Thank you so much for reading. Please listen to the podcast if you haven’t done so yet. 

Studying Abroad in Seoul with Minel Cannucciari

Minel Cannucciari in Seoul South Korea

“Life is short and I just wanna have direction and purpose in my life.” — Minel Cannucciari 

Minel Cannucciari studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea last summer and liked it so much that she is thinking about studying abroad again. She did an exchange program and was able to squeeze in a whooping 13 credits in one month during her trip.

In this interview Minel talks about how she was able do a work study while abroad in order to help with the finances. She also talks about how now is the perfect time to study abroad which, in my opinion, is advice that people much older usually give, so she is wise beyond her years. All in all, she does of really good job of explaining what it was like to live in Seoul for a month, and she makes you feel like were actually there with her.

Quote Minel would like to leave you with:

“I don’t want to be a person with full hands resting from dreams, but a person full of dreams unable to rest as hands” Tablo 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Why Minel chose Seoul and how she went about planning her study abroad journey [1:40]
  •  Utilizing her school’s exchange program with Hanyang University [3:30]
  • Options for living arrangements with her exchange program [3:53]
  • How Minel afforded it [4:30]
  • Adjusting to an intensive, but well worth it, course load [5:58]
  • Who Minel went to school with [7:58]
  • Why the when was important [9:50]
  • A perfect South Korean day (and night(almost)) [11:08]
  • Advice to a student who is on the bubble about studying abroad [12:55]
  •  Korean fried chicken [14:24] (this looks soooo good)
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Rob Has a Podcast [16:30]
  • Explaining what the above quote means [18:37]
  • Thinking about study abroad round two [20:30]

What You Might Not Know About Seoul [Infographic]

3 interesting facts about Seoul

 

Studying (and interning) Abroad in Dublin With Jessica Kisluk

Jessica Kisluk in Dublin, Ireland

“It’s been an amazing experience because I’ve been planning events for networking between composers, directors, and writers.” – Jessica Kisluk 🦘

Jessica Kisluk SUNY - Oswego

In this interview I talk with Jessica about her unique study abroad experience. Although she’s technically studying abroad for a semester, she will have spent the better part of this year in Europe due to a mini study abroad experience she did last spring in Italy and a summer family trip to Poland.

She does a great job of educating us about Irish culture and tells us everything she has in store for the duration of her trip. But she doesn’t stop there.

We also learn that Jessica has also secured an internship with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland which aligns perfectly with her major and minor, which is graphic design and arts management.

“Whatever you do in life may be insignificant but it is very important that you do it” – Ghandi

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Jessica’s multiple international travels through SUNY Oswego 🗺 [2:14]
  • Why Jessica chose Dublin 🇮🇪 [3:26]
  • Coming home before going back 👨‍✈️ [4:25]
  • Quarter courses at Oswego 🏫 [5:30]
  • The grading scale in Dublin  📑 [6:57]
  • Piecing together the study abroad puzzle 🧩[9:15]
  • Jessica’s living arrangements in Dublin 🏠 [11:30]
  • Learning about Irish Time ⌚️ [13:18] 
  • Landing an awesome internship in Ireland 👩‍💻[14:01]
  • Irish cuisine 🍔[16:30]
  • Pasta Carbonara  🍝 [17:27]
  • Jessica’s crazy travel story and upcoming adventures 🛣 [18:20]
  • An official CAPA blogger ✍️ [20:20]
  • Jessica’s website and app recommendations 📱[20:40]
  • Her Instagram travel hack 📸 [22:14]
  • Jessica’s favorite quote 🧐 [23:03]
  • Hanging up in Ireland 📞[24:40]
  • Recommendations 🙌

Jessica’s Amazing Journey [Infographic]

Detailing Jessika Kisluk's European journey

Pasta Carbonera

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Studied Abroad

A student waiting to board a plane to his study abroad destination
@jeshoots

Everything that you could possibly check off a to-do list I did. I crossed all my t’s and dotted my I’s. I was ready, or so I thought. Beginning with the end in mind is a tried and true adage that holds true to most life experiences, and studying abroad is no different. Here are 10 pieces of advice I wish I would have had before my flight landed.

This list was harder to make than one would think and here’s why: there are travel bloggers who have traveled more than me, and students who’ve had higher GPA’s and gone to better schools than me. And both can probably give better advice on travel hacking and grades. If you combine these two areas you get the process of studying abroad, which is where I flourished, and coincidentally tried to focus this list without getting into travel hacking or study habits where you can find advice on in plenty of other places.

If you like podcasts you can subscribe to mine here. An infographic is associated with most episodes.

Go slow at the beginning

I remember the first few weeks after I landed I tried to go out to do and see everything. This happens to a lot of people who travel but probably more so to students because they are young, alone, and have more money than they’re used to having. Don’t worry, you’re going to get to do everything that you want to do, but you need to have patience. 

My advice for when you first get to wherever you’re going is to take one of those bus tours around the city if its big enough and sample some of the local cuisine.

Aside from that just wait and try to get know your new classmates and plan future activities with them. You have no idea what other travelers would give to be in a school setting where you can meet new people who are around the same age and have something in common with.

You’re all going to be plugged into to different mediums that you consume for travel advice and guidance: blogs, podcasts, apps, and advice from other friends who’ve done it before. Whatever the consensus of your new found friends is will most likely consist of your weekend activities.

Learn from your host family if you have one

Exchange host family from Queensland, Australia
pernilleseiersten

What I mean by this is learn the nuances about the culture you are trying to become a part of. What time do they eat? How long do they eat? This is what its all about, and why studying abroad has been proven to give you more self clarity.

You have probably never lived in a world where the majority of people didn’t grow up getting excited for a football game on Friday nights. Life is different in other countries, and your host family is there to help you transition into living in yours. If you’re trying to learn a language they’ll probably help you just as much, if not more than your classes. Ask them lots questions, and try to have meaningful conversations.

The family also might be involved with your major in some way, they might know something that’s not in the travel blogs. Tickets to events, interesting happenings, etc. But you’ll never know the doors they can open if you don’t take the time to hear their story.

Don’t send it all to social media right away

Social media icons on a smart phone
@christianw

I am not saying don’t post pictures of last weekend’s excursion on Instagram, but what I am saying is save a little and for Pete’s sake, forget Snapchat, this is a time you want recorded and remembered.

Treat your pictures and videos like a commodity. You’re only going to have a finite amount of these so keep that in mind too. Everyone loves seeing a picture pop up six months later from an activity or event from which there were multiple pictures. And six months…how about six years? #TBT.

If you want to take it even farther, start a simple blog and post some of it there. I will get into this in future posts, but it demonstrates a level of professionalism and could potentially morph into something you will use to apply for a job down the road. Everyone uses social media, but not everyone has a blog. 

Explore your school and introduce yourself 

I have always said that given the price of tuition, the two biggest reasons reasons to attend college are the memories and the resources available. Most students don’t utilize the ladder and have no idea what they’re missing out on. Websites you have access to that companies normally pay thousands of dollars for, equipment and rooms you can rent for free, counselors, and the list goes on and on.

The above is what schools in the United States have, and I have no clue what schools in other countries offer, but they probably have something of value that is available to students. On that note, you should also meet as many as the faculty as you can. Walk around and introduce yourself. Like with your host family, you have no idea what the hidden gems of the city are, and the more people you meet, the more opportunities you will have to explore and try new things.

Get involved with some kind of team activity

When I studied abroad one of my roommates was from France and joined a I rugby team. I went to the gym and worked out (by myself). They have rec leagues at your school back home, and guess what…they’ve got them abroad too. But for some reason, most people throw all team sports out the window when they leave the country.

Here is why you should join:

  • You’ll meet new people
  • It will help with language learning if that is why you are there
  • Its exercise
  • It assimilates you to the culture more (e.g. you’re probably going to be playing soccer instead of football)

When I was abroad I had one team activity where I subbed in for a club baseball team. I don’t remember how or why it happened, but it was an adventure. The diamond was about 45 minutes outside of the city and I road in a van with the team to and from the game. Every country and city is different, but if you seek out a team sport of some kind you will find one.

Record more

Men need to take more pictures while studying abroad
@priscilladupreez

This part ties in with the section above and honestly, is meant mostly for guys. Girls have no problem taking pictures and guys do. Girls usually take too many, but when you’re traveling you can’t take enough. Guys on the other hand barely take any.

Keep in touch

You will have to come home, it’s inevitable. BE SURE TO KEEP IN TOUCH with everyone that you want to. Don’t just view their social feed and think that is keeping in touch, its not. I understand that the more time goes by, the harder it is to keep in touch. The fact of the matter is that you have gone through and experienced this once in a lifetime opportunity a handful of people and that is ‘for the rest of your life’ shit.

When you get back home you’ve now got lifelong friends who are scattered throughout the country and I’m betting since you already studied abroad that you like to travel. Now you’ve got this network of people your same age whom you have made cherished memories with that will be happy to entertain you whenever it is that you stumble into their corner of the country.

 

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