Studying abroad has increased in the last few years–up 2.9% from last year and more than doubled in the last fifteen. But while it certainly can be attractive, it can also be outrageously expensive.
The Full College Experience
If you think you may like to study abroad throughout college, ditch the American colleges altogether and focus your attention on European colleges. Nearly all state European colleges offer free or low-cost tuition even for non-citizens. Even Germany, which is reinstating a full-cost tuition, is vastly cheaper than US colleges at only one or two thousand euros per semester. That leaves you with finding housing and paying for food, although in some countries you need a set minimum income per year to qualify for a student visa.
But say you only want to study abroad for a semester or two. Nearly every college, especially the larger ones, offer some sort of temporary study abroad programs. These are usually one of the easiest ways to study abroad as all credits are pre-approved and occasionally the university will handle your student visa application! This is usually as expensive or even less expensive than staying on campus. However, there’s one downside—not all majors are offered as study abroad applicable, in which case students need to find a third party through which they can go overseas.
Third Party Providers
Third party providers have a large variety of study abroad programs offered, and some of them even have established relationships with a large network of colleges so that credits transfer easily. If you choose to go with this option, be sure to check with the program to make sure that your credits are transferable so as to eliminate any hassle later.
Now, the only thing left is to decide where you want to go. Almost every country has some form of study abroad program, so the world is your oyster! Enjoy the food, absorb the culture, and study hard. Good luck, wherever you end up!