When you're young, studying abroad is the quickest, easiest route to building a strong International IQ. A year or semester abroad can be absolutely life-changing. Need we say more? Here are a few tips for those thinking of heading abroad to study in the near future:
- Select the program that you think would suit you best: Are you an adventurer? A bookworm? A homebody? There are programs for every personality: You could find yourself studying for a summer in Paris, France, or a full year in Harare, Zimbabwe. It’s up to you! Self-analysis is a key component to choosing the right program. Be honest with yourself about your risk tolerance, independence, and goals for personal and professional growth while abroad.
- Your activities in the pre-departure period are crucial! Your school's study abroad office is there to help you. Ask staff plenty of questions about students who have gone before you, and what you can expect from each program. Get as fluent as possible in the language of your host country, do some research, make some plans and be sure you have your finances in order. When you're abroad, you'll appreciate the effort you put in before leaving.
- Socialize with locals: It’s easy to socialize with other expats. Don’t be tempted! Make friends with locals and you'll gain so much more.
- Take it to the next level: While you are studying abroad, get involved with student groups, volunteer or work to maximize the career and cross-cultural impact of your time abroad. Be bold and get outside your comfort zone.
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