Passport to Studying Abroad by Nick Apelquist

Passport to Studying Abroad

Hello, readers! I’m back with another article on studying abroad and what it takes to get ready. Last week, I wrote about the need to start talking with your family sooner rather than later due to cost and planning.

This week, I’m here to tell you about RESEARCH! There are a lot of schools to choose from! Roanoke has a couple of options: the ISEP or the Roanoke College Affiliated Programs. These can be very difficult to understand if you don’t look further into what each offers as well as pros and cons. For example, ISEP programs have some where you pay the school you are attending directly, while others pay Roanoke instead. The Affiliated Programs have more of a pay-Roanoke-College-and-they-deal-with-the-school-of-your-choosing way about them; money-wise, that is.

Another thing to consider is where you would like to travel. With a possibility of six out of seven continents, a lot of diverse options are available. Cost, culture, language, purpose of travel, population, technology, and distance from home are important options to consider.

Here’s an idea of how to begin with each:

Cost: exchange rates, transportation, food off-campus, what’s free, and what will add up (ie. Is laundry a cost?)

Culture: Are you open to strange and new things? Does meeting new people from places you’ve never heard of scare you? Are students treated differently? How you will be perceived?

Language: Will you have to learn a new one? Do you want to?

Purpose of travel: Looking for a good time? Cultural experience? Have a party? Sightsee?

Population: Big or small city? Lots of people or hardly any?

Technology: Is wifi/cell service or running water available? Or, will the cost be related to these thing? Will you need power adapter?

Distance from home: Time zone changes. Is it easy to get a hold of someone if you get homesick? Do you want your family to be able to visit?

There’s a lot to look into and a great resource is the Roanoke website: http://roanoke.edu/A-Z_Index/International_Education/Study_Abroad.htm. HOWEVER, it is not the only one you should use. Take time to look into all these. Make a top five place list of where you would like to study and then research and narrow it down. The first country you think you want to study abroad might not be the best one for you. Take time to do your research. I cannot stress enough that the biggest thing you should do is START now. It’s early in the semester, and it gives you more free time to really make the best choice possible.

Like always, I’ll be back with the next issue of the Brackety-Ack with insider’s info on how the process really works to get everything ready to study abroad. If you have anything you want to see covered in future articles, please feel free to contact me at ncapelquist@mail.roanoke.edu.