Education

Summer Study-Abroad Programs for Teens: What You Need to Know

Where to Begin Your Journey

1. Attend study-abroad fairs

Study-abroad fairs are often held either at local high schools or community centers. Students looking to learn more about these opportunities can attend with their parents. Most leading universities will set up stalls and share information about the programs they offer. Representatives are typically present to provide a clear idea of the different programs available.

2. Read and research

Information about studying abroad can also be found online through various websites, immigration organizations, and post-secondary institutions. Some sites offer comprehensive articles all listed by category and/or topic. You can also chat with study-abroad experts online in real time for more direct answers.

3. Connect with current and past students

Reach out to existing study-abroad programs to get connected with current and/or past students. These individuals can provide first-hand accounts of their experiences, while also offering recommendations on where to begin your own journey.

Tailoring Your Experience to Specific Goals

Embracing a personalized approach when it comes to studying abroad ensures students will get the most out of their experience. Before choosing a program, it’s important to first identify your individual dreams, interests, and academic path. Engaging in one-on-one conversations and assessments with education professionals can provide informed guidance toward determining the right study-abroad program.

A personalized approach also allows for flexibility in both program duration and intensity. Depending on the preference of each student, a short-term experience may be better versus a more immersive long-term academic journey. This level of customization ensures students can optimize their time abroad to suit specific academic, personal, and cultural preferences.

In order to see the best results, study-abroad programs should cater to students’ academic interests and disciplines. Whether pursuing arts, sciences, or business studies, a personalized approach enables students to immerse themselves in intellectually enriching experiences. The aim should be for students to find programs that resonate with their passions, while also enhancing their academic desires.

Budgeting for a Summer Abroad

Decide Where You’re Going to Study

Some countries with study-abroad programs have a much lower cost of living than others. The cost of living (regardless of the country you choose) will immediately affect your budget.

A location with a hefty living cost, as well as unfavourable exchange rates, will require a greater investment. If the budget is limited, then consider approaching your decision with a conservative financial mindset.

Consider Work-Study or Paid Internship

While studying abroad as a full-time student, you may also be eligible to work a certain amount of part-time hours a week. Being qualified to work in your host country can be an excellent opportunity to help fund any extracurricular excursions you choose to explore. Before budgeting for these situations, be sure to first check your host country’s visa guidelines and your study-abroad program restrictions.

Apply for Grants and Scholarships

Financial aid is offered as part of many prospective study-abroad programs. While each individual experience may vary, planning ahead can help ensure you receive as much financial support as possible, including any available scholarships and grants.

To learn about the financial opportunities available to you, consult with a financial aid or guidance counsellor at your school. They can help establish your level of need and merit-based aid.

Essential Steps Before You Travel

Insurance

Insurance can ensure you are protected in the event that something unexpected happens. A study-abroad adviser can be a good person to speak with at the start to determine what travel insurance options are available.

Students also want to make sure they get in touch with a health insurance provider (if they’re not already covered) to see if there are any special offers available for coverage abroad.

Documentation

Having both digital and paper copies of all your important documents can be beneficial while travelling abroad. This may include your passport, insurance, credit card information, etc. You should also leave a copy at home with your family in case something goes wrong.

Research

Researching where you will be studying abroad is an exciting part of getting prepared. Reading travel guides or searching on the internet can be two useful ways to learn more about the cultural experience, food, and notable places to visit. Establishing an overview ahead of time can help you plan any trips and excursions you may want to take while abroad.

Adapting to a New Environment

Set Goals

Whether you have visited another country before or this study-abroad trip will be your first, it’s important to make the most of your experience. Setting goals about what you hope to achieve academically, as well as what you want to see, eat, and experience, will help. When participating in summer abroad programs, it’s important to make the most of it.

Get Involved

Studying abroad is already a huge step, but don’t stop there. It’s important to push yourself outside your comfort zone. To make the most of your time abroad, be sure you try new things. These may include taking part in organized trips or events, joining clubs and university societies, and/or becoming a student ambassador.

Be Open Minded

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about local customs and values. The more open-minded you are, the further you will become immersed in the culture. Connecting with locals will not only provide an excellent opportunity to network but could also open up opportunities to meet new people and make some international friends.

Tips for a Fulfilling Summer Abroad

Learn the Language

Learning the language of the country you’re visiting will not only be a fun way to engage with the surroundings but also allow you to become more acquainted with the locals.

Travel and Explore

Studying can become a bit tedious, regardless of where you do it. Travelling while you study abroad is a great way to get away from day-to-day life and explore the surrounding area. Planning short trips around the neighbouring region will allow you to discover new places, meet new people, and learn different customs.

Embrace Cultural Immersion

Learning about the cultures and values of the country you are in will not only improve your lifestyle there but also make it easier to get along with the locals. To learn more about the country you are visiting, you can choose to:

  • Attend cultural events
  • Participate in local festivals
  • Be friendly with your peers
  • Try the local cuisine
  • Visit historical sites

Go Global and Study Abroad

Embrace the unexpected. Studying abroad can expose students to unique experiences that allow them to grow academically, personally, and professionally. Learning about different cultures and countries is a great way to expand your understanding of the world. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to enrich your studies!

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