Many students choose to attend college in a foreign location, thereby qualifying them as “international students.” During their four-year program, many international students choose to study abroad, which is different than them studying internationally. These students often hope to forge a career in international trade, politics, economics or diplomacy. Studying abroad offers these individuals a chance to immerse themselves in different cultures, network, take part in new and exciting research opportunities and to grow their global contacts. That said, studying abroad as an international student can be difficult, and here’s why:
- Cost: For most international students, the cost of tuition is nearly double that of students who are state or national residents. For residents, studying abroad is a costly endeavor, but for international students, it is even more so. Some international students may find that studying overseas is not a worthwhile investment.
- Visa Requirements: Every country has a unique set of visa requirements, many of which include the stipulation that students must remain in the country to maintain student status. If a student leaves the country for an entire semester or even a year, he or she risks losing F-1 status in his or her host country.
- Time Investment: For international students, studying abroad is not as simple as deciding one day to apply. Because of the cost and visa requirements, most international students should know before they apply to university if they plan on studying abroad and, if so, where. Many individuals do not think this far ahead when sending out applications.
- Studying abroad can add significant value to one’s education, and it is almost always a worthwhile investment. That said, if you are an international student who plans to study abroad, you have your work cut out for you, but know that in the end, theexperience will be well worth it.