Studying abroad is an interesting idea that crosses most everyone’s mind at some point. Making this idea a reality takes real effort, though. First of all, you need to be 100 percent sure this is something you really want. Second, you need to be ready to work hard and endure sacrifice. Starting college is difficult and there are a lot of adjustments to make; doing so half-a-world away is that much more difficult. So, here are eight signs that you are ready to study abroad.
You want to learn
While the primary goal of studying abroad is gaining a formal education, that’s not all there is to it. For instance, learning a new language is much easier if you move to a country where this language is a native tongue. Even in the age of online courses, it’s one thing to enroll in a course and something entirely to actively use the language on a daily basis. Apart from this, you might be interested in learning how to make meals that are endemic to foreign cuisine, adopting etiquette of a distant land and more.
You show an active interest in another culture
There are so many people who use the language of a target country more than they use their own and prefer TV shows and movies from a distant country. In fact, there are a lot of non-native English speakers who dream and think in English; they may even have an easier time remembering a word in English than in their native tongue. For these people, moving to a country where English is the first language might be an amazing experience.
You’re ready to do what it takes
Migrating to another country is not an easy task. You may have to adjust to a foreign language, currency and way of living. We’ve mentioned the scenario where you’re already fluent in the language of the target country. But what if this is not the case? In this scenario, you would have to enroll in a course to learn English just to get ready to go. Then, there’s the issue of the paperwork, which brings us to our next issue.
Being able to get the visa
For some countries, visas are the only way to control migration. Therefore, you need to check whether you qualify to get one and what it would take. The process itself may be quite lengthy, which is why you need to start gathering the necessary paperwork as soon as possible. Keep in mind this may cost you quite a bit, which is why you need a modest initial capital reserve.
You admire their mentality
While this may sound a bit strange, the truth is that there are some countries that are simply more introvert-friendly than your own. For instance, while people from the Mediterranean region tend to be extroverted by nature, people in the Far East or the Scandinavian north tend to be more reserved. Therefore, if you feel like you’ve been born in the wrong place, you might want to consider moving to a place that will fit better with your own sensibility.
You feel like you were born in a wrong era
A lot of people regret being born in a digital era. While they may recognize the advantages of 4G networks and smartphones, they aren’t that fond of how dominant these technologies are in our lives. Now, while some countries are particularly digitally savvy, there are also some regions where life still mostly takes place in the analog world. Those who long for a traditional, offline experience may be ready to study abroad in a less technologically advanced country. Just make sure that this doesn’t set your education back, due to the nature of the field. Keep in mind that colleges in these countries may not have sterling reputations. Needless to say, the other way around is true, as well.
Understand the purchasing power parity (PPP)
Even different regions of the same country have different PPPs. For instance, in a small town, the cost of rent is nowhere near as high as in major metropolitan areas. When it comes to different countries and continents, the cost of groceries, the wages and the cost of rent may be difficult for you to grasp. Also, you might need to bridge the gap before your first stipend payment or paycheck arrives. All in all, you need to figure out exactly how you’re going to finance this before you head out.
You have a naturally strong wanderlust
There are a lot of people who just can’t stay in one place for too long. These people change jobs even if there’s nothing wrong and move every couple of years just to change the setting a bit. This is quite important because studying abroad is a limited-time experience. After earning their degree, many go back home or go someplace else in search of work. Sure, there are some who stay in the target location, settle, get a job and start a family. Still, this is more of an exception than a rule.
The very last thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that studying abroad isn’t nearly as intimidating now as it was in the past. Nowadays, you can check the credentials of the institution in advance, find lodging and even find part-time work to help finance all of this. You can also use technology to stay in touch with people back at home. Nonetheless, it still takes a lot of courage and determination. Are you ready to study abroad?