Study abroad is one of the most prevalent summer study program being availed by many college students. A number of colleges and universities around the world offer such programs to foreign students. This provides the students the opportunity to pursue their education in other countries. Other students who have major academic subjects study in a particular country wherein they can have hands on experience. With this, they can have the chance to apply their knowledge in actual practice. Generally, subjects taken during the study program is credited to the student’s academic records.
Basically, one of the common reasons of students in studying abroad is to learn different languages. Many believe that in order to learn a language effectively, one must immerse into the setting where the language is spoken. Another reason is that the students want to experience traveling and learn from diverse cultures of other nations. It is also a way to expand their knowledge beyond those that their home school can provide.
Students under the study abroad program stay in dormitories designated by the home university or live with a host family who agrees to provide student lodging. Study abroad programs normally last for a week or even longer. It most often takes place during the summer break of the academic year. Study abroad also presents loads of benefits to students such as scholarships, grants, and even job opportunities.
Some students may pursue a college degree in which they directly enroll or apply to educational programs offered by study program abroad companies. These companies grant more options to students and allow them to be involved in group of students from all other countries. Another choice offered by these companies is the chance for students to attend intensive language schools during summer. These schools focus their classes on foreign language instructions given only to their students.
There are certain requirements that a student needs to comply before availing the study program abroad. The student must first identify and decide on a program of interest. He or she must secure important travel documents such as passport, visa, and in some cases a medical certificate, as well. A student is also advised to make necessary arrangements for accommodation. Some schools which maintain dormitory facilities in the host country can house their students. In some instances, the student must shoulder his or her own board and lodging expenses.
In addition to all these, students are obliged to attend an orientation so as to know what to expect from their destination country. Through the orientation, the students are provided with all necessary information on the culture of the host country. It will also prepare them with possible difficulties they might encounter in the host country.
In the United States, mandates under the Higher Education Act of 1965 states that students can receive financial aid for study abroad if they are enrolled in a program that is approved by their home institution. Under the law, financial aid can cover reasonable cost for a study abroad which includes:
• Round-trip transportation for the approved program
• Tuition and other fees for the programs
• Living costs incurred during the program
• Passport and visa fees
• Health insurance
In order to qualify for the government aid, the student must secure and complete the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). The funds are awarded by the United States Department of Education.
Here are the eligibility criteria for United States government aid:
• The student has to be enrolled in a qualified home country institution as an official student in quest for a certificate or bachelor’s degree.
• Must be a US citizen having a legitimate Social Security number
• Must have GED or a General Education Development certificate or a high school diploma
• Male students need to be enlisted for Selective Service
• Must present a result of partially or full eligibility on drug-related conviction of the free application for FAFSA
Summer study abroad is a noteworthy break for students to discover a new environment with a new perspective and insight. It is a challenge in experiencing independence and being exposed to people with contrasting points of view, too. Equally, having the opportunity to study abroad proposes a great advantage when applying for a job because this will show your potential employer that you have the independence and motivation.
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Article Added on Monday, October 6, 2008
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