This decade has seen the number of U.S. students going abroad for their education rise dramatically. From 2000 to 2009, the growth rate in the number of students studying abroad was 60%, according to an educational institute based in Washington, DC. If you are a student interested in growing that number, then now is the time to start looking.
Where to Go, What to Do
The first thing you need to do once you decide you want to study abroad is to figure out what kind of education you want to get in another place. Even if it is a program that may already be available in your home country, it should not stop you from wanting to go abroad—especially not if you have the resources to make it happen.
Once you have decided what you want to study, start searching for schools or universities that offer the program that you want, in all the countries that you are interested in. Every program in every school in every country will have its own unique offering, so figure out which ones really is of interest to you.
Even if you do not have the money to pay for a program that you really like, don't lose hope, as other options may be available. You can either look at similar programs but in a less expensive country, or look at the possibilities of getting a sponsor or a scholarship to help you finance your studies. In addition to loan and grants, some institutions also offer student assistance programs in which they give you part time employment opportunities to help you pay for your studies.
The possibilities are endless; hence you need to give the entire process time to make it work properly. Take time to work on each step of your search and application process to make sure that you are not deciding on what is best for you out of just the prospect of how exciting it will be—it is going to be an exciting experience, so leave the excitement for the actual experience and not just the process that will get you there.
If you go to another country to study, your learning experience will not just be within the confines of the classrooms. It will be much more than that, and it will be an experience you will treasure for a lifetime. Beyond the skills and book knowledge you will get, you will also bring home life lessons from living abroad—these, more than the books, are the things that you will treasure for the rest of your life.