Studying abroad is expensive. Students play more than they work. You need to know a foreign language if you hope to travel overseas. There are dozens of myths regarding study abroad that keep many inquisitive students stateside. This is a shame because studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences a student will ever have in his or her lifetime. If you’re hesitant to study abroad because you’re not sure whether or not it will be worth your time, take a moment to read about the top study abroad myths and the truths behind them.
Myth: Studying Abroad is Expensive
Truth: Just like any school or university, the cost of tuition all depends on the location of the school, the duration of the program and what the program entails, amongst other factors. You can find a program for significantly less than what you pay in your annual tuition, slightly more or about the same. If you’re going through your university, you may be able to keep paying your tuition as normal, but instead of being applied to your university, it will be applied to your semester abroad.
Myth: You Need To Know a Foreign Language
Truth: The goal of studying abroad is to provide students with a global perspective, a goal that all students can benefit from regardless of their foreign language capabilities. Moreover, most professors who teach study abroad programs know multiple languages and are fully equipped to help students who need a little more clarity on any given subject matter.
Myth: Scholarships Are Not Available for Study Abroad Students
Truth: Cost is a huge deterrent for a lot of students when it comes to deciding whether or not studying abroad is right for them. This is such a huge shame, as the value of studying abroad far outweighs the sticker price. To help students who have a lesser chance of being able to afford such a program, several intuitions and organizations now offer scholarships for studying abroad. Some such scholarships are offered by private organizations, foreign governments, and the U.S. governments, as well as by the schools themselves.
Myth: Traveling Independently Offers the Same Experience
Truth: This has to be one of most steadfast study abroad myths, but it’s also one of the most inaccurate. The key word here is “studying,” something that people who are merely “traveling” don’t do. Of course, traveling and sightseeing are certainly added bonuses of going abroad, but at the end of the day, students pay for an international education, something that they couldn’t get when just visiting an area.
Studying abroad also affords students the opportunity to interact with people of a certain culture, hone their language skills and gain a deeper insight into a culture in a way that they couldn’t do when traveling. In learning about new cultures and people, students often discover that they learn more about themselves as well.
Myth: Studying Abroad Programs Are All Either a Semester or Year Long
Truth: For a lot of people, going away for an entire semester or year is a frightening thought, and so they opt not to study abroad. While many of the traditional programs are months to year-long, non-traditional study abroad programs, such as those offered by International Business Seminars, last as little as two weeks. For the more adventurous spirits, the programs can last up to one month.
During that time frame, students are afforded the opportunity to visit not just one but up to six different countries. Program participants even get to network with some of the most successful minds the business world has to offer. IBS has connections with top companies such as Coca-Cola, BMW and AT&T, amongst others.
Myth: Studying Abroad Is Not Worth the Time or Money
Truth: This is the biggest misconception of all. Studying abroad is worth it—it’s worth the time and money and feelings of excitement, fear, anticipation, homesickness and every other emotion it evokes in students. Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences a student can have, and it can be for you too if you let yourself take the leap and enroll in a program.
Studying abroad is one of the most worthwhile experience, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they either haven’t been or they enrolled in the wrong program. If you want to know if studying abroad is worth your time and money, the best way to find out is to live the experience yourself.