4 Tips on Deciding if You Should Study Abroad
Over the course of the fall semester, I made a huge decision: I decided that I wanted to study abroad in Ireland in June 2020. It took a lot of thinking, talking with my parents, and talking with advisors to figure out whether or not I should go through with it. I learned about the program in September, and I made my decision in November that I wanted to apply. If you aren't sure if you want to study abroad or not (whether it's over the summer or for a semester), here are five tips that will help you make that decision!
1. Only do what you can afford
The whole study abroad experience costs a lot of money, and this is one of the most important deciding factors. If you can afford it, or if your parents can help you pay for it, then go for it. If you have to take out loans, but you don't mind having to pay them off later, go for it. If money is a huge concern for you, then don't do it. Your financial stability is very important, and if you don't want to risk being broke, then you don't have to!
2. If you need extra credits or want a gen-ed covered in a fun way, this is the perfect way to do it.
Going abroad anywhere outside of the United States automatically covers your Global Studies gen-ed requirement, no matter what you take while you're there! And yes, some classes can count toward your major or minor! They could also give you extra elective credits if you need them! PR majors need 40 credits to graduate, so this is a perfect way to get some of those out of the way, or even catch up on your credits!
3. You need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone
Chances are, if you're studying abroad, the country you're going to will be nothing like the United States. When you go to another country, it'll be a complete culture shock, and there are going to be some things that you've never seen, done, or eaten before. You need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try new things if you want to study abroad.
4. Do research on the program
Before you go abroad, you have to do your research on the program to make sure it's the right fit for you. Is it with a professor you really like? Is it in a country that you want to cross off your bucket list? What kind of housing will you have? What classes will you take? There are so many questions you need to be asking yourself before making the decision, and if you feel a bit uncomfortable with any of it, don't do that to yourself. If you're willing to take the risk and the research you did makes you excited, look into it more and definitely apply to the program!
No matter what you decide to do, it's not a requirement to study abroad, but it will give you an experience that you wouldn't be able to get by just staying on Temple's campus. If you're comfortable with studying abroad and you can afford it, I say go for it! I hear the experience is great, and I can't wait to embark on my study abroad journey in three months!
This blog post was written by Christina Billie, Digital Publications Editor.