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Should I study abroad?

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. By studying abroad, you are immersing yourself in a culture that you may not be used to. It can be educational and you could learn things that you would never learn from reading a textbook alone.

The first thing to consider when deciding whether to study abroad or not is to determine how well you are at adapting. You may not have the same luxuries, such as dependable internet access or access to your favorite bath and beauty products. You may be cut off from friends and family for an extended period of time, unless you know other students that will be participating in the same

study abroad program you are interested in. If you are in a relationship, your partner may not be willing to be part of a long distance arrangement. If you have a steady job, there is no guarantee that it will still be there once you return from a study abroad experience. Studying abroad can affect your standing in clubs, organizations and sports teams. Being away for a long period of time can affect all of your friendships and even your living arrangements upon returning.

Even if you have the spirit of adventure and would greatly benefit from being part of a study abroad program, it still might not be right for you. Studying abroad can be expensive. If the program is overseas, it may be hard to get a good deal on airfare. The price of housing may be more or less of what you are used to, depending on the area you are considering. The cost of tuition may also be different. Besides costs, studying abroad may not fit in with the requirements needed for graduation. Checking with your academic advisor is the only way to make sure that a study abroad program can be useful to your degree and career goals.

Please answer the questions below to determine if you should study abroad or not.

Do you believe that studying abroad will add value to your educational experience?
Does studying abroad fit into your degree program?
Will your credits earned from studying abroad transfer to your home university?
Are the classes you are interested in taking available at your home institution?
Does your academic advisor recommend studying abroad?
Will being part of a study abroad program delay your graduation date?
Do you have the references necessary to be part of a study abroad program?
Are you hoping to improve your foreign language skills?
Are you worried that your resume or CV will be dull once you graduate from school without studying abroad?
Could you use some more life experience?
How well are you at adapting to new situations?
How self-sufficient are you?
How will studying abroad affect your diet?
Are people of your nationality, gender and race welcomed and accepted in the area that you are considering going to?
Do you have enough street-smarts to survive being in a foreign land?
Does the area that you are interested in have any laws that you do not agree with?
How interested are you about other cultures?
Have you ever been separated from your family and friends for an extended period of time?
Will you know anyone else that might be studying abroad?
Are you in a serious relationship that might be strained by studying abroad?
Will studying abroad affect the job you currently have?
Are you part of a sports team or club that would be negatively affected by your absence while studying abroad?
Will you lose your current living arrangement if you decide to study abroad?
Would you be missing out on important things at your home university if you studied abroad?
What would you do if you get homesick while studying abroad?
Modern conveniences like internet access, video games and television may not be available for some study abroad programs. Are you okay with that?
How comfortable are you with the study abroad program's living arrangements?
Do you have enough time to get all necessary travel documents and to make travel arrangements?
How are you planning on financing your study abroad experience?
Have you budgeted for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies?