Choosing a country destination is one of the first steps toward studying abroad. Many students already know this while going into the process, just where they would like to study. However, if your child has yet to make a final decision, you should keep some considerations in mind.
Just about every country is perfect for some field of study, but they all vary in expense, career benefits and immersion level. Your child’s destination should match his or her interests and goals, as well as your budget.
Costs of Studying Abroad
The cost of study abroad programs varies from country to country. Much of the cost may depend upon the economic conditions of the country your child wants to visit. Keep in mind that currency exchange rates fluctuate on a regular basis, so you are better off researching the cost of living in any particular country.
The cost of living for a study abroad program in any given country will also depend upon what the program includes in the fee. If your child must pay for housing or insurance, the costs will be higher. Some programs include these costs, so check to make sure.
The length of your Childs’s stay is another factor that can affect costs. Living with a host family will include room and board for your child and may end up being more cost-effective, while an apartment in London,Paris or Rome can become quite pricey. If your child will be studying in a small town as opposed to a metropolitan area, though, you may face higher transportation costs. The program provider should be able to supply you with a rough estimate of the costs reported by past participants.
Academic Benefits of Studying Abroad
Different countries lend themselves to different academic benefits by nature of their history, climate, level of industrialization and geographic location. For example, if your Childs’s passion is environmental studies, he or she is likely to choose a destination such as Australia, New Zealand or Europe that has rich natural resources and fascinating landscapes.
On the other hand, if international business is the Childs’s focus, he or she may want to consider United Kingdom or USA, two of today’s hot destinations. Children who wish to study the arts would be happy in countries like Italy or France. If they are studying in France, they can visit the Louvre and see the famous works of art in person instead of in a textbook. Architecture students in Greece, on the other hand, can study and marvel at the historical structures and buildings that have stood for centuries and still influence architects today. Aspiring marine biologists or zoologists will enjoy studying abroad in Africa with its diverse array of wildlife, while students of economics and the sciences may gravitate toward South Korea.
And of course another profound academic benefit of studying abroad in any country with a primary language other than English is achieving a mastery of that language. Students studying Spanish in Mexico or Spain, for instance, can return to India fluent in that language. They will be prepared to truly communicate with people speaking that language in a professional setting – a huge bio data enhancer in today’s global economy.
Immersion Opportunities of Studying Abroad
The extent to which your child is immersed in the culture and society of the country where he or she chooses to study abroad will vary from program to program. Immersion affords your student hands-on experience with the culture. As with firsthand language learning, this international understanding is an asset employers are increasingly seeking in prospective employees.
A classroom cannot provide the same experience that immersion can. The level of immersion in a program depends upon the students who are studying alongside your child… If they study and live with all or mostly other Indian students, they will not get the full experience, but they may feel more comfortable. If your child lives with a host family, however, he or she may be expected to speak the language all day, and will certainly be expected to contribute to the household, which may require some work, but will also help your child make real connections with the culture.
Studying alongside host country / other country students will offer your child better opportunities to network and develop friendships. In addition, some programs involve students the communities and businesses in the host country through service learning or internships, which can be an invaluable experience. The more exposure your child has to host country students and communities, the more opportunity he or she has to learn outside of the classroom.
Career Benefits of Studying Abroad
In today’s global economy and marketplace, your Childs’s experiences overseas will continue to pay off in a number of ways. Studying abroad instills independence, self-confidence and maturity. Employers value these traits, as well as the ability to adapt to new situations, and to set and achieve goals.
Employers today are well-aware of the globalization of the economy and appreciate employees with a global perspective. The ability to interact with a diverse group of people from different countries and the mastery of a foreign language are of particular interest to many employers. Studying abroad is an experience that can benefit your child personally, academically and professionally.