#studyabroad

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Once you have decided what college or university to attend, and you have completed all of the necessary paperwork to study abroad, the real fun and work begins. It is no exaggeration to say you are beginning one of the most exciting periods of your life. As you overcome the cultural shock that comes with living in a different country, you will also have a wonderful opportunity to shape your future. During this period of several years, there will be many decisions to make and you will have countless new experiences. You will have much to think about, from challenging coursework to social activities to planning your future with internships, sandwich programs and other career opportunities. You will also be dealing with larger issues such as where you fit into the broader world. How you navigate these years depends upon many things.

  • A Good Understanding of Cultural Shock Helps You Cope With Big Changes

    You may be young, smart and quick, but living in a new country where you don’t expertly speak the language is a challenge for anyone. A certain level of culture shock is bound to occur. Keeping it under control can spell the difference between a successful school career and quitting early. First off, what is culture shock? A feeling of disorientation experienced by a person who moves to another country. A common situation faced by travelers and anyone undergoing a large change in his or her environment. A sense of confusion, anxiety, loneliness and frustration. A disturbance in sleeping and eating patterns caused by new food and living quarters. There are specific stages for a person who moves to a new country, with the sense of disorientation gradually fading over time for most people. Still there are a number of techniques to help alleviate the pain of integrating into a different culture. Here are four ways to reduce the impacts of shock from studying abroad. Do a little research. The more you learn about your host country the better prepared you will be. One or two brief trips abroad with a friend or parent before actually starting school can be a big help. Read about customs in the UK and learn about its history, common food dishes and popular culture. Maintain a positive attitude. It’s true that there are many challenges to your situation, but there are probably more positive elements. You are in a different country. You get to make new friends. You get to study with top-rate professors. All of these experiences will feed your personal growth. Accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. Find something you love about the UK. Perhaps you love the cinema and can get away once a week to watch a British film. Or maybe you love the music scene and enjoy going out to a pub to engage in some dancing. Finding something you love in the host country can diminish your sense of being in an alien place. Develop a social network and support system. This may not always be easy, but the more you interact with other students and find friends the less lonely you will be. Perhaps at first you can make friends with someone in a similar situation as yours. You can sometimes rely on your parents and siblings for support when needed. Remember, the shock of studying abroad is a common and temporary situation. With some good fortune, in a matter of weeks or months you will see your host country as a second home.

  • An Awareness of Career Opportunities Allows You to Choose Carefully

    Some students head off to college knowing what career they wish to pursue; in fact, they may have known they wanted to be an astronaut since they were five. Other students develop a passion for a field of study while in college, inspired by a course or by a professor. They may learn of a job they didn’t even know existed. There are many pathways to a rewarding career. Here are six factors that can help you narrow down your career opportunities. Your interests. It makes sense to study those areas that have always interested you. If you love mechanical things, it may be a good idea to become an engineer. If you love exploring nature, you might want to major in the sciences and become a researcher. Your skills. If you have a high natural ability in math, you could take courses to set you on the path to becoming a physicist. An aptitude for a particular field of study not only means school could be easier for you, it also gives you an opportunity to excel at something. Scholarships. In any given year, scholarship money may be available for particular career paths. If you are uncertain about which direction to take in your schooling, perhaps access to generous grants could shift you to a certain career. Your income demands. If you know you want to pursue a lucrative career, you can choose from a variety of high-paying positions. Consult resources that list the top-earning degrees such as engineering, business and economics, architecture and information technology. Your timeline. Some careers, such as a doctor or dentist, require extra years of study. If you don’t wish to remain in school for more than a four-year degree, this fact can eliminate certain career areas. Your level of English proficiency. Depending upon your English skills, you may want to enroll in a Pathway Program. These programs help prepare you for a successful academic outcome by improving your English skills, increasing your GPA and test scores and aiding in your cultural adaptation. A rewarding career is an important measure of a person’s happiness in life. Smart decisions while in college make that dream a reality.

  • A Sandwich Program Offers Many Benefits

    A sandwich program is unique to the UK. It is typically a four-year program when associated with a Bachelor’s Degree and a five-year program when coupled with a Master’s Degree. The cornerstone of this program is placement with a company or industry in which you are working in the field you are studying. Since this placement occurs early in your schooling, you still have the opportunity to change direction. Many successful people have benefitted from sandwich programs since this idea took hold over 65 years ago. There are a number of benefits to this approach. First, it gives you experience in the real world of industry; you may find that you are on the right path or you may find that it is time to change direction. Second, it enables you to develop contacts with hiring managers and other influential people in your field. Third, it breaks up your schooling by putting you in a different environment. Finally, it gives you insights on what you will be able to do with your studies.

  • Internships are another way to get great working experience and to strengthen your resume. They can come at any time in your schooling, but they are often entered into near the end of your studies. They offer a variety of concrete benefits for students who are studying abroad. An internship can provide you with valuable work experience. It allows you to enter the workplace and gain skills either in the field you are interested in or in a related field. This experience can be a stepping stone to future employment with the same company or with another business. It can make your resume look stronger. Hiring managers are always looking for the resume that stands out from the rest. Adding real-life work experience to your academic degree makes a persuasive argument for your readiness to contribute to the company. It prepares you for the workplace. University life and work life are two very different environments. In the workplace your education continues by providing a new level of cultural sensitivity and understanding that is hard to get in school. An internship can be required for graduation. In some programs, an internship must be completed in order to earn a degree. Many schools offer academic credit for the completion of an internship. It can help you improve your language skills. The workplace requires a new set of vocabulary from the academic environment. Your language proficiency will be increased in the area of technical matters, in the arena of human resources and in the sphere of communicating with customers. An internship increases your networking contacts. Meeting influential people in the workplace is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to impress managers with your personality, work ethic and skills. At the minimum, you can use your contacts as a reference for a position with another company. An internship is another strong tool to help you explore career options. It is a good way to gain valuable experience.

  • Contact SchoolApply for Help on Your Career Path

    To see what professional services are available at SchoolApply, go to the website and learn more about studying abroad. You can find out about specific schools as well as account options that provide a high level of personal service.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.

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