Studying abroad is not something we have talked much about here at the Money for College Project. This may be partly because of, in my opinion, the demand to pay for your regular tuition first, before looking towards paying for a study abroad program.
However, study abroad programs are incredibly valuable, and I believe even essential for helping us build a world view outside of the little shell most of us have grown up in. Studying abroad is an excellent way to see the world, immerse yourself in a culture different than your own, and internalize that there are people in this world who are different than you. In fact, the majority of people in this world are much different than you. The lessons learned on a study abroad trip can be the jumping off point to a career, or it could be the catalyst used to signal change. You might find an entirely new career field while on a study abroad trip, or you may realize that your current course of action is not at all what you really want. You may also cement the fact that you are not really ready to settle down into a corporate 9 – 5 and you still need to experience some adventure in your life. These are all perfectly acceptable outcomes of a study abroad trip.
The infographic above is very interesting because it goes into detail about the most popular study abroad locations, and also the most popular programs and colleges which participate. It is interesting to me that the largest percentage of students studying abroad will do so in Great Britain. Italy however is a close second, that rings true from all of my experiences. Who would not want to spend a semester nestled in the hills of Tuscany sipping excellent vino and eating biscotti while studying architecture….count me in!
If you are considering a study abroad trip I hope you will find the above infographic helpful. These trips can be expensive but there are also specific scholarships that are dedicated to helping your find money for your study abroad trips.