Have you ever wondered if studying abroad is right for you or a relative?
Foreign learning comes with a whole host of benefits. From the different climates that other countries offer, to practical new life skills such as improving your Hebrew, or getting better at cooking traditional food, there are plenty of reasons to do it. Studying abroad does, however, come with some important challenges and questions, and it’s vital that you address these before you make the big move.
Consider what you want to learn
Different countries/regions offer different areas of focus when it comes to what subjects they prioritize, so it’s wise to do your research first to make sure that you find the right school. In some East Asian countries, for example, a strong emphasis is placed on subjects like science and engineering. If a humanities degrees is your desired area of specialty, it could be challenging to find the right fit there.
The structure of universities can also differ around the world. Here in the US, it’s very common for colleges to be campus-based, whereas some European universities prefer to integrate their universities into the city or town in which they’re located.
Check entry and visa requirements
Moving to a new country, even as a student, can pose a huge range of administrative headaches. Many students who move overseas need a special visa that can take months to secure. Some countries also have additional requirements above and beyond visas and passports.
Many Jewish students want to study in Israel and will need to undergo an entrance test. The psychometric course at HighQ is a great way to study for this. Whatever the requirements are in your country of study, it’s important to make sure that you do your research and know about them so that you can prepare in advance.
Think about coping mechanisms
Even if you’re really excited to get started with your year or degree abroad, it’s likely that there will still be some unexpected moments of struggle. You may be affected by culture shock, which is the mind’s way of reacting to a sudden change.
Feeling a little homesick during important family-oriented periods such as Hanukkah or High Holidays is a given. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have some strategies lined up. Arranging a weekly call back home on Friday afternoons to family and friends is an easy way to overcome the distance. If possible, organize a family vacation to your new study country before the move, so they will understand how and where you’re living abroad.
No matter where you’re heading for your studies, it’s likely that you’ll deal with these issues at some point. While it may seem like a lot to anticipate, it’s nothing that a little research won’t solve. By looking up the relevant requirements and deadlines well in advance, you’ll be able to make sure that your study abroad trip goes smoothly.