There are many reasons England is at the top of the list for U. S. study abroad students. More Americans study in England than any other country in the world. For one reason, they speak English! It’s such an easy transition to make when you take living and communicating in a foreign language out of the stress of going abroad. Also, we, as Americans, are intimately familiar with the history and culture of the country. Who hasn’t had to read Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Dickens in High school? And we all know about the historical sites; Stonehenge, London Tower, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, et cetera. I’m sure, since most of us are descended from someone in the united kingdom, that must have a part to play in choosing England as the top destination for studying. If you are interested in genealogy, you can even take some time on the weekends to research your family background. My brother visited Scotland and eventually tracked down some of our family history from that area.
I studied at the London School of Economics during a summer Graduate school session. I had a great experience. The visiting lecturers were Parliament members and successful businessmen. Our group 升學中心 tours included the Lloyds of London, the Land Rover plant, and seeing the Kingdom’s crown jewels in an underground vault at the Tower of London. Also, my dorm room had a pub in the basement; you can’t beat that!
There are programs for everyone; the casual traveler that wishes to learn more about a specific subject, summer sessions, college credit sessions, high school programs, and, as i previously mentioned, Graduate programs. The three main cities you should look into are; London, Oxford, and Brighton. London obviously will have the most programs available because it is such a large city. The great benefits of studying here are the multitude of things to see and do like shopping, nightlife, and visiting the historical sites. Oxford is a smaller academic town and has a lot of University students milling around. The benefits of studying here are that you will easily meet other students from the united kingdom. Brighton is a small sea-side resort area about an hour from London. The benefits of studying here are that the city holds two Universities, so there are a lot of students, it is a good jumping-off point to visit France just across the channel, and, if you’re lucky to study there in the spring or summer, you can attend a three week city-wide celebration in May, the Brighton Festival.
Studying in Spain can provide a great opportunity to explore the vibrant culture and passion of the Spanish people. Fun loving and full of life, every city in Spain abounds with great nightlife and historical sites that you can visit when you’re not in class. From the party scene around Ibiza in the Costa del Sol to the ski slopes along the French border, you’ll never run out of things to do during your time away from classes.
I had a friend that studied business in Madrid for his Junior year of College. Madrid, of course, is a huge city but it is also loaded with University students from the major schools of Spain. In fact, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid itself has approximately 100, 000 students. During his studies, my friend was sitting at an outdoor cafe, enjoying a coffee, and met the woman who would later become his wife.
There are programs for everyone; the casual traveler that wishes to learn more about a specific subject, summer sessions, college credit sessions, high school programs, and, Graduate programs. Some of the cities in Spain that offer great cultural events, plenty of activities, in addition to a multitude of study abroad sessions are; Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia. Madrid, being the capital, obviously has all the benefits of a major city; shopping, nightlife, historic sites, et cetera. Also, since Madrid is centrally located, you can branch out in any direction for weekend sightseeing trips. Barcelona is truly filled with an international atmosphere. With the city’s location in the northeast of Spain, you can choose to hit the beautiful beaches or, in the winter, take a trip up to one of the ski resorts in the Andorra region. Also, the city is home to another huge school, the Universidad de Barcelona, so you won’t find it hard to meet students from all over Spain. Seville is a beautiful city and the people are fun loving and friendly; maybe that’s why its the birthplace of Flamenco, a beautiful flowing dance. If you are there in April, you can enjoy a week of festivities at the Feria de abril de Sevilla. Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, El Oceanográfico. Being a coastal city near the Baleaeric Islands, it also provides ferry services out to Ibiza.
Discuss Studying Abroad with Family and friends: International study is a major decision whether you plan on going overseas for one month or one year. Be sure to first listen to input from family members and friends as their prior knowledge on this topic should be valuable in making your final decision.
Domestic High school or University Requirements: Check in with your counselor or adviser to ensure that all course credit earned abroad will transfer in full to your home high school or university. Get this confirmation in writing as well, because you will not want to return home and learn that you will not receive credit for your hard work.
Obtain Passport, Visa, Currency, or Other Documents: Passports are required for travel to nearly every nation outside the US, and you can receive a passport from any US Post office. Only some countries require a visa for international students and this information can typically be found on the abroad school’s website or country website. Most banks within the united states offer currency exchanges from US dollars to the desired international currency. However, monitor the markets before doing so because you may get more bang for your buck if the foreign currency has weakened to the dollar at the time of exchange. Other documents which need to be prepared prior to abroad study include: registering with the US State Department, immunization records, health insurance, and inform your bank and credit card Company of your travel arrangements.
Decide upon Housing and Travel Arrangements: Meet with friends, or other abroad students which you have learned to trust by networking, and determine the type of housing everyone would like to live in. I highly recommend using the international high school or university’s website to make housing arrangements as they are the most trusted. Typically dorms, apartments, and sometimes houses are available via the international school’s website. Be wary if you venture outside of the school’s website as you could be susceptible to scams and other legal issues, which would be an international headache for you and your roommates. There are many available websites to books flights via the internet, so be sure to keep a lookout for the best deal available. Once you arrive in the foreign country be sure that you have a means of travel to your school and choice of housing.
Pack Your Bags: Pack only essential luggage which you will need to study abroad such as clothing, medication, laptop, and some bathroom items as most airlines have a specific weight limit. Make sure that you also pack lightly because you will more than likely purchase items overseas that you will want to bring home.