|Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses|
What Students Can Expect from their Year Abroad
When it comes to choosing your university course, or deciding what subject you’d like to focus on beyond further education, there’s a chance you’ll explore the opportunities for extra curricular activities and travelling abroad before making an application. In addition, the types of clubs and societies on offer, as well as the chance to study in a different country are attractive prospects for students, and for good reason. You see, studying abroad has so many advantages for students regardless of the course they’re embarking upon, including the opportunity to embrace a new culture and learn a different language, a chance to view your subject matter from a new perspective, and the possibility of developing a sense of self that can only be discovered away from home. Studying abroad can enrich all kinds of courses, including history, literature, modern languages, geography, and the sciences; such a journey allows us to see our subject matter from a fresh standpoint and with a little extra insight.
The journey that you undertake as you study abroad will be an enriching one, which will begin the moment you choose your course and university. The experiences you’re likely to have, and the education that you take away from your travels, however, are up to you…
Heading abroad: What to expect
We’ve established that studying abroad is a great idea for students across a range of disciplines, but when is the right time to further your study, and how do you prepare for such an adventure? While listening to the stories of those who have been abroad and returned, and reading endless blog posts and articles should give you a little background, the truth is that no one really knows what to expect until they get there. Studying abroad is a personal experience, and you will take away from it what you’re prepared to put in. Students typically travel during their second or third years, but it’s worth researching the opportunities that are available at your new university.
Learning a language
Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language, regardless of whether your course is centred round modern languages or not. During your year abroad you’ll become familiar with a wealth of terms that once sounded alien, and learn so much more about your subject. While being fluent in a different language may not be essential for your travels, understanding a few key phrases is helpful. If you’re still deciding upon your route into higher education, consider picking up a language at GCSE and A-Level, particularly if you’re likely to travel abroad in order to study further. Many schools, including the Hornsey School for Girls, London, offer dedicated classes at sixth form level, as well as those offered for GCSE; such classes are ideal for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of a particular subject beyond the playground. The Hornsey School for Girls Ofsted Report, which was published in 2013, shows that the school is outstanding when it comes to modern foreign languages, an attribute they have worked hard to maintain.
A subject turned on its head
No one can tell you exactly what you’ll discover as you head abroad for the year, as personal perception will no doubt alter the type of experience you expect, and those you end up being left with. What you can expect, though, is to have your understanding of your course turned upon its head; looked at from a new perspective, your subject matter may start to make more sense, and you’ll no doubt find your experiences of learning enriched and fulfilled.
The adventure of a lifetime
Above all you should expect an adventure like no other you’ve ever been on; studying abroad will expand your horizons, introduce brand new concepts, and allow you to better appreciate your subject matter, as well as exposing you to a series of experiences you could never have at home. You’ll greet new faces, access different kinds of research materials, and see a little more of the world, as well as coming to appreciate your subject matter in a way you never thought possible. Your year abroad will enrich your studies, and personal life, endlessly; this is an adventure you’ll want to relive repeatedly.
If you’re still undecided about your academic future it’s worth exploring the opportunities for studying abroad that will be open to you; such an adventure is hard to ignore, and will take you to places you’d only ever dreamed of.
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