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Kavitha Vijeyavelan
07 Jul 2017 1.3K 4 mins Share

Busted! Common study abroad myths

Some common myths about studying abroad that have been doing rounds for a while - we're here to bust them!

07 Jul 2017 1.3K 4 mins Share

Heard of any study abroad myths lately? Did those myths make you reconsider your study abroad plans or did they make you think of quitting your overseas education plan? There are many misconceptions that have been doing rounds for a while that we have busted in this article.

Based on what we heard from the co-author of “A Student Guide to Study Abroad”, also a business professional, Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, here’s what we can tell you about the common misconceptions surrounding study abroad journey. 

Check the overview:

Myth#1: studying abroad can cost a bomb! 

Fact: The general impression is that studying abroad could be unimaginably expensive, which might leave you drowning in an ocean of debt. The fact is that the cost of your education is going to vary depending on the type, duration, and location of the program you choose. So the answer to the question whether overseas education is an affordable option or not rests on you. 

Myth#2: it’s going to be all fun and frolic! 

Fact: The word ‘study abroad’ doesn’t mean you can skip classes and go on a short jaunt every weekend. It actually requires you to work hard and build valuable skills for your career. It’s not going to be a walk in the park but it will definitely be an enjoyable experience — that’s for sure.  

Myth#3: scholarships are hardly available!  

Fact: Fortunately, there are numerous study abroad scholarships that you can take advantage of, which are either merit or examination based. Make sure you do your research before-hand and make use of all the opportunities in hand to reduce your financial burden. Most colleges have a straight forward and clear scholarship application process — be sure to hand in all the materials before the due date. 

Myth#4: travelling abroad will give you the same thrill as studying! 

Fact: Needless to say, studying and travelling are two absolutely different phases of a person’s life and cannot in anyway give you the same experience. Studying abroad will not only boost your academic profile but also hone your communication skills, give you a deeper insight into the foreign culture and make you more independent and self-reliable.

On the other hand, travelling abroad is more about enjoying your freedom for a short duration and having a good time that will leave you recharged.

Myth#5: only international relations and language majors can opt for study abroad programs! 

Fact: That’s incorrect because any course can be taught through a global perspective. It was seen more in the past that most of the study abroad programs were related to humanities or languages; however, in recent times there has been an increase in the number of students opting for social sciences, engineering, math, sciences and business.

Myth#6: only juniors can study abroad! 

Fact: It’s never too late to start anything. Age was and will remain just a mere number. Study abroad programs are very much open to undergraduates and postgraduates as they are to juniors. Freshmen and sophomores generally study abroad for any given duration from two weeks up to a complete academic year. In the US, it is seen that an increasing number of community colleges are offering study abroad opportunities for graduate students.  

Myth#7: study abroad programs are only for the local students! 

Fact: It’s incorrect that only local students are eligible for study abroad programs because any student looking to study abroad can generally do so. It is seen that 8% of students that take up Study Abroad programs are Asian Americans, 14% African-American and 13% Hispanic. 

Myth#8: Europe is the only destination for studying abroad! 

Fact: Students can choose to go to any country across the globe. The year 2012 saw 40% of students studying in these destinations — Italy, the U.K., France, and Spain. As per the Open Doors Report, it was found that four of the top ten destinations featured are outside of Europe, which are: Australia, Costa Rica, China, and Argentina.  

In fact last year, Canada saw a massive surge in the number of international students owing to many reasons. Ireland is another destination that has been drawing a significant number of international students, and the figures are increasing since the ‘2 year stay back option for postgraduates’ was rolled out.

Myth#9: you will graduate late if you study abroad! 

Fact: If you plan ahead and ensure that you fulfill all your credits on time, your graduation will not be delayed. In fact, recent findings show that graduation rates for those who studied abroad are 17.8% higher than those who didn’t. 

Myth#10: some employers don’t value an international degree!

Fact: This is absolutely incorrect and we all know it! Employers are increasingly looking for individuals who can speak another language and work in a cross cultural environment.

Simply mentioning your overseas education experience in your resume is not going to help you much; you will have to find ways to show the employer what you learned through your experience and the various skills you developed during the course duration. And you need to also prove how your experience could complement the job you are looking for.

Myth#11: Studying abroad isn't safe!

With so many incidents happening all over the world, it’s quite certain that some parents become skeptical in sending their children abroad for education, but doing so doesn’t help either. Students should be open to fear, or for that matter, anything to face since they will be on their own in a foreign city.

Many universities and colleges abroad conduct programs or crash courses for students on how to get around in a foreign city or town. You can either follow them or follow your heart, the choice is yours. 

Therefore, these are just some common misconceptions that we wanted you to get straight. Explore all your options well before you reject, or think of rejecting, this life time opportunity. You can call us for any assistance or let us know if you have heard of any different myths related to studying abroad, and we’ll help to bust them.

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