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What is Study Abroad?
When you search the term ‘Study Abroad’, ‘Studying Abroad’, ‘Semester Abroad’, maybe even ‘Study Aboard’ with an oopsie if your pinky finger went weird you are bound to find the following:
Bland articles from college and universities speaking directly to their students about how to find the next on-campus study abroad fair
Inspirational Quotes about Study Abroad
Day in the Life Videos of Study Abroad students
White papers (boring for most people, but fun for those of us who are NERDS)
Assorted “news” articles about studying abroad
While none of these are completely irrelevant and could all potentially be helpful, most students find themselves scratching their heads still wondering: HOW does this help me? My Learn How to Study Abroad in 30 Days Series aims to help you answer THAT question and much more, with proven clarity.
Ready to get started? Away we go!
So What IS Study Abroad, Anyway?
I always love to contrast the “basic” or “generic” definition that you see all over the internet with my own spin on the subject matter.
The BORING Definition: Study Abroad is traveling to a foreign country to learn during your studies
Kimber’s Definition: Study Abroad is an unforgettable adventure in a different country other than your birth. It provides students with the chance to explore the world, grow as individuals, and often contribute and give back to cultures. While it is not perfect, your life will never be the same.
Yes, my version is definitely longer and does not roll off the tongue as easily, but it has meaning and I hope it inspires you to want to be part of this journey.
This brings me to my next point.
This IS a Journey. No two study abroad experiences are the same and that is a wonderful thing. There are so many programs out there to fit every goal, every mold, and every ‘dream’ of a semester overseas.
Who Can Study Abroad?
There is no “right” answer to this question.
Typically when students ask this, they are really asking ‘SHOULD I Study Abroad?’. They are searching to verify that this option is actually right for them, but “should” is much more subjective than “can”.
There are some programs that begin accepting students on a summer vacation basis at the age of nine and in contrast, there is a growing market for young professionals that are now past “studying”, but still want the feel of a study abroad program in their 30s.
For most of you though, you are likely in high school/secondary school or college/university. Actively enrolled students between the ages of 17 and 23 are the target market for the majority of study abroad programming worldwide.
The primary reason is that it makes sense. As a student, the ability to study in a new country marries easily into your academic plan. You are also at the stage in life where even if you are in college, you have fewer responsibilities and can easily commit to a long stretch of time in a foreign country. Lastly, and to be frank, you’re still able to be convinced.
Younger minds have a lower tolerance for being jaded and therefore are often very open to new experiences, willing to look past stereotypes, and more likely to effortlessly incorporate the lessons they learn from studying abroad into their future endeavors as needed.
This was my experience and rings true for the students I advise that have studied all around the world.
Examples of What is Study Abroad
Italian student undertakes summer courses in Ireland
American college-junior does a Maymester in Cuba
UK student enrolls in a degree program in Texas
Canadian grad student does Fall internship in China, then Spring program in London
Examples of What is NOT Study Abroad
“Travel abroad” or a vacation abroad
Short-term “mission” trips – although is considered living abroad
Study Away Programs – becomes complicated…
International jobs such as Au Pair, Foreign nanny schemes, etc.
Over the course of this 30-day series, I will walk you through all of the steps you should be taking to turn your study abroad and overseas learning dreams into a reality.
The journey to building a meaningful study abroad experience is not quick and it does not happen overnight (and may, of course, take longer than 30 days to fully materialize), but this series will provide you with a solid foundation.
Are you a visual learner? CLICK HERE TO WATCH the series on YouTube instead!
Are you feeling excited to study abroad? Do you already know where you would want to go? LEAVE A COMMENT below to tell me more!
Until next time,
Known as The Study Abroad Specialist, Kimber Grayson is a serial-study abroader turned International Education coach and expert. Since 2014, she has helped 100+ students navigate their semester away journey from the coastal areas of Spain to China and every place in between. In 2018, she launched The LiveStudyLearn™ Abroad Association, a one-of-a-kind online membership platform for study abroad students worldwide.
She holds two Master's degrees from two well-respected London-based universities and has experience working in the US, UK & and Italy.
In her spare time (what's that again?), she enjoys leisure travel city breaks, any snow-based activity, skeet shooting, and attempting to learn new languages.