Studying abroad has become more popular than ever in recent years, but the ways in which students are engaging the world is changing. While a semester/year-long study abroad used to be normal, more and more students are going abroad in other ways. If you’re thinking of studying abroad, there are so many different paths for you to consider. Read on to learn about some of the best-defined ones.
#1 A Traditional Study Abroad Semester/Year
During a semester or academic year abroad, students – often in their junior year of college – spend time abroad in a formal program for university credit. Fewer students are choosing to study abroad for a semester or full academic year now than in years past. Regardless, this is still the most traditional (and often most immersive) way to study abroad. Whether you do a program through your home university or a study abroad provider, choosing to go abroad this way is a tried and true method.
#2 Short-Term Study Abroad Programs
Some students choose to go abroad on short-term study abroad programs. These are typically also organized through their home universities or partner programs. These may be summer programs or courses that include educational travel during a winter or spring break. These programs offer the opportunity to study abroad while being more flexible in terms of time commitment and money spent.
#3 Doing a Gap Year
The concept of a gap year is rapidly growing in popularity, and I’m a big supporter of the idea. A gap year is a year that students take off from studying in the traditional sense, most often after high school but sometimes at other junctures as well. During this year, it is popular to travel, complete not-for-credit study, or work. Formalized gap year programs where students complete a combination of studying and working are becoming more and more common. Whether you spend a gap year studying, learning a new language, volunteering, or otherwise, it’s a great opportunity to engage the world and learn something new outside of the classroom.
4# Learning a Language
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, students are seeing the value in learning a foreign language. Companies looking to hire students are also looking for this aspect. Choosing to study anywhere at a language academy is another great way to go abroad. Whether you do so as part of a gap year or at another point in life, learning a language is an invaluable skill, and getting to do so onsite is a great way to get to know another culture.
#5 Taking Time to Travel
Although often part of a gap year, traveling abroad deserves recognition in its own right as well. Although far from a traditional study abroad program, traveling extensively teaches you a lot about the world and helps prepare you for later studies in any field.
Studying abroad is at an all-time high. People all over the world are looking to have experiences in other countries. Whether you choose to study abroad for the year in a college program, learn a new language for a few months, or something in between, studying abroad will provide you with the opportunity to learn something new about the world and something new about yourself.