Are you thinking of applying for a study exchange?
I always say ‘studying abroad is such an amazing opportunity’. You meet people from around the world, embrace a new culture, and possibly even learn a new language. There are so many advantages to studying abroad before you can get to that once in a lifetime experience. I have to be honest and say there is a lot of work to be done. Applying for a study exchange can be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start.
studying abroad is such an amazing opportunity
I remember the application process being quite long, hard and complicated. However, in all the longness, I still managed to get through the process, and honestly, if I can do it, anyone can.
Assess your degree plan
I didn’t know anything about a study exchange when I started university/college, but when I was told about it, I JUMPED on it like a HULK! If you want to do a study exchange, I would definitely suggest assessing your degree plans. Talk to your tutor/advisor from the minute you start.
You want to be sure that whichever study abroad program you choose has classes that can fit into your degree plan. You don’t want your study exchange to delay your graduation – unless you don’t mind.
Pick the right location.
This, in my opinion, is the most essential thing to think about on your study exchange. It can also be one of the hardest decisions you make. I was only given 4 options which where:
- Hong Kong
- France (had to speak French)
I originally went with Hong Kong, but changed my mind at the last minute and decided Singapore was the best option. Looking back now, I was grateful I picked Singapore because it was so easy to travel around Asia from. In selecting your location, I would ask myself the following questions:
- Can you speak the language?
- Do you enjoy the food?
- Do you want to travel?
- How far will you be away from home?
- Would you be flying back home regularly?
Picking the right type of program
There are many different ways to do a study abroad. I don’t know every single programme and I am pretty sure it’s changed since I did mine. Check out what your university/college has to offer and don’t be afraid to talk to the program advisors! In fact, bug them from the minute you start.
As I said before, I didn’t know about study exchange/abroad programmes, but after speaking to the relevant people, I was confident enough to know what I was doing.
Picking your courses
I’m sorry to say this, but this too can be one of the hardest parts. You want classes that are challenging, yet that you will understand easily. Remember you will be in a new and different country. I picked courses that I felt wouldn’t cause me too much trouble to get into.
Also, check with your university/college on how credits are converted. I was upset when I was told that my grades would be counted as a grade lower than the original grade – for example, an A meant a B for me. This may impact your overall grade, so find out all the small details.
Finally, Apply for that Study Exchange!
If you’ve answered those questions successfully, then you know what you are doing. You may have to get a particular grade to pass for the study exchange, so be sure to study hard!
I hope you find those tools helpful. Have you done a study exchange, or would you ever consider doing one?