So you are considering applying for your study abroad year – the third year abroad which helps to extend your life in education – then you probably have 101 questions floating in your head right now. I know, because this time last year that was me.

What countries should I look into? – Just be realistic. If you want to go to a country that speaks English then look into Canada, the U.S, Australia or New Zealand. If you want to stay closer to home, think about Europe. If you have ever dreamed of going to a certain country or city, then look into if your home university has a partner university there. Do you research, and you will find somewhere.

How much is it going to cost me? – depends on where you go, what you spend your money on, and do you want to travel when there. The costs for accommodation can vary, but your student finance loan should be more, so it should cover it if there is a good exchange rate. Flights are another thing, but you can get cheap flights by searching the internet. In the US and Canada you will be on a meal plan, so you don’t technically have to spend money on food, just alcohol.

Do I need to know a language? – Again that’s up to you. For South America then probably, but for Europe, a lot of universities teach in English.

Can everyone speak English? – I’m in Canada, so for me it’s a yes.

Will they hate me because I’m British? – No, they will love your accent, no matter where you are from in the country.

Will I be that weird English exchange student? – Possibly …

Will it be the best year of my life? – It depends on what you do and what you want to get out of it.

Do I want to be close to home, or across the other side of the world? – That one speaks for itself.

What are the university days like? – This is something you will have to look into on each universities websites.

5 T H I N G S  T O  C O N S I D E R … 

1. Where do you want to be in the world? – I had my heart set on Canada, so I choose five universities in Canada and now I’m here in Canada writing this. 
2. Do you really want to extend your degree? – Some people do, some people want it done and want to start earning asap. It is a great thing to have on your CV though and you get to see other parts of the world, while studying. 
3. Who are you doing it for? – If you want to do it, then do it as you will never get this chance again. However, if you are doing it for your parents or lecturers or because all your friends are doing it, then maybe reconsider it. Write out a list of benefits and weaknesses to doing a year abroad and properly think it through. 
4. Can I afford it? – There’s more to studying abroad than just university. You will want to travel and see places; maybe go out out; see a sporting event; do tourist things, which will all add up, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to study abroad. 
5. Don’t be forced into a country or place where you don’t want to go – if you have your heart set somewhere then aim for that. 

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