We get it: sometimes you just want to go exploring! But wanting to study abroad and choosing where to study abroad are two different things. There’s literally a whole world out there full of adventures just waiting to be had. Fear not! Magoosh has put together a quiz to help you decide, “Where should I study abroad?” Once you’ve taken the quiz, come back to find out even more about choosing a study abroad country that’s right for you.
Which Country Is Best for Study?
You’d be surprised at how common the question, Where should I study abroad? is. A lot of students have the misconception that you have to know exactly where you want to study abroad before you make the decision to go. That’s not true! There are a ton of factors that can influence your decision. One of the most important? How valuable the experience will be for your education. Will the courses you take count for your major? Beyond that, how well will they prepare you for what you want to do after college?
You may or may not have chosen your major yet, but if you do know what you want to study, it can help you narrow down your list from hundreds of countries to a handful. Check out some study abroad guides that emphasize the disciplinary strengths of different programs.
However, if you don’t know your field of study yet, you can still make a strong choice based on academic rankings. While this isn’t a foolproof method (what differentiates a #13 from a #14 ranking? Is it enough to base your decision on?), it can give you a great starting point. Times Higher Education has a well-respected overview of the world’s colleges and universities.
Which Country Is Cheapest to Study?
Believe us, we know that college isn’t cheap to begin with. You may think that throwing study abroad costs on top of already hefty tuition will saddle you with more debt than you can handle. However, planning carefully and choosing the right program (and the right country!) can make studying abroad go from a far-off dream to an awesome reality.
There are a few things you’ll need to think about when asking Where should I study abroad to save the most money? First of all, how expensive is university tuition? For most students, tuition will top the lists of study abroad costs by far. Be careful, though: sometimes tuition is cheaper for citizens of a particular country, and those enrolling through study-abroad programs or partnerships may have to pay more.
The second biggest study-abroad cost is likely to be living expenses. Finding out the average cost of living in various countries can help, though don’t forget to factor in travel costs such as visa fees, passport applications, and airfare. Do some research on travel prices, as airfare can vary considerably depending on when you’re traveling, how far in advance you search, and, yes, how long the flight itself is.
If your dream country seems out of reach, don’t despair—and don’t give up just yet! There are ways you can save money on study abroad, even in the most expensive cities on the planet!
Where Should I Study Abroad in Europe?
Ah, Europe. The vineyards of France, the ski slopes of the Alps, the art of Italy…we could go on and on. If you’re one of many students set on going to Europe but haven’t decided where precisely you want to go, think about a few things.
First of all, what languages do you speak—and what languages would you like to speak? You can find programs offered in both English and foreign languages abroad, but they’ll give you different experiences. (And, of course, don’t forget that Great Britain is always an option!) Ask yourself a few questions when evaluating your choices in Europe. How immersed in the local culture (and slang!) do you want to be? Six to nine months may feel like an eternity to spend in a foreign city, but you’ll be amazed at how fast it goes by. How much of that time are you willing to spend on language study, and how well do you want to speak the local language when you return home?
Second of all, what kind of experience do you want? Would you prefer to be in a big city, a small village, or a rural area? There are tons of options, but they may be limited by country: research is in order to find out just where in Europe you can get the experience you want.
How Do I Decide Where to Study Abroad?
Still wondering, Where should I study abroad? It’s spreadsheet time, my friends! In a column, make a list of the factors that you care about in your study abroad program, then arrange them in order of their importance to you. Then, in a row, make a list of countries you’re considering. Rate each of them on a scale of 1-10 for each factor. (It’ll take some research time, so plan on filling this out over a couple days or weeks.) Once you have your scores, total them. The math should help you decide where to study abroad—and if it gives you an answer you’re not happy with, that’s also important information!
A Final Word
Where should you study abroad? Only you can decide—but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on the spur of the moment! Careful research into things like cost and university rankings, combined with an evaluation of your feelings about the experience you want and your future plans, will lead you to the best possible answer to that question. Happy travels!
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About Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Rachel is a High School and Graduate Exams blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She has taught test preparation and consulted on admissions practices for over eight years. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!
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