Best Countries for Studying Abroad.
Students who spend time studying overseas are offered many wonderful opportunities. They can study another language, establish friendships with other young people from countries all over the world, participate in internship programs, and develop skills that are important in today’s globalized society. The good news for American students is this: Several European countries have wonderful opportunities available for American students wishing to attend college on the other side of the Atlantic, or who are seeking internship opportunities in Europe. Many of these programs are tuition free, or require only a minor fee. Students who only speak English don’t need to worry about language barriers. Most universities who have programs for American students offer classes and degree programs in English. Other opportunities exist across the other ocean as well, and, of course no one should discount some great opportunities in Latin-America.
American students wishing to study in France have the luxury of choosing from nearly eighty undergraduate programs designed specifically for students who speak English. Unfortunately, most of these programs are tuition based and a bit expensive, as they are offered by private universities. American students also have the opportunity to attend college at public universities in France where the tuition would be significantly less, although the English speaking options would be considerably more limited. Another bit of good news for American students interested in studying in France: the tuition in Frances maxes out a less than fifteen thousand dollars per year. This is much less than the fees many students pay to attend school domestically.
Norway is often the first choice for Americans who want to study in a foreign country. In many cases, it is because universities and colleges in Norway charge no tuition to students from other countries. Many American students also find the Norwegian educational model to be very comfortable for them. Most American students want professors who are easy to talk to, and they don’t want to be in overcrowded classrooms. These features are standard in institutions of higher learning in Norway. English only speakers will feel welcome in Norway where many of the degree programs are offered in English.
There is a down side to studying in Norway however. Living expenses are quite high for foreign students, in spite of the free tuition. In addition to this, the weather in Norway can be extremely harsh. Norway is on the same latitude as Alaska and Siberia, so you get the picture. The only that moderates the cold winters are the westerly flow of ocean breezes. Still, winter is brutal for those not used to it. Take your insulted underwear!
One of the biggest draws of Spain is its climate and its top notch colleges and universities that welcome students from everywhere. And there are course programs for English-speaking students. While schools like the University of Barcelona offer any degree program that would be offered in the U.S., the most popular ones are for students of environmental science. Spain is a world leader in renewable energy, and its universities have large environmental science programs that offer internships to their own students as well as to students from all over the world. American students with Bachelor’s degrees in the environmental science field are welcome inn their graduate programs and in their internships. Given the future of careers in this field, an internship in a country with cutting-edge technology will be a valuable asset to a number of American energy companies.
Studying in Spain is not cheap, and students can expect to pay about what they would pay in private colleges and universities here in the U.S. Beyond that, Spain is rich in cultural history itself, and it is easy to travel to other parts of Europe. And don’t forget the Mediterranean coast for some of the best beaches in the world!
The opportunities for study in China are opening up exponentially now. Because there is a “push” to bring America to China to study, students will find a lot of benefits. The University of Beijing offers programs of study for English-speaking students in all academic disciplines, and there are a huge number of internship and volunteer possibilities that will defray tuition costs. If you are interest in a year of study abroad in China, you can attend your classes and volunteer to teach English to elementary and high school students in exchange for tuition; housing is cheap but don’t expect it to have all of the luxuries of your parents’ home. Running water, electricity and indoor bathroom facilities are what you can expect. Still, a semester or a year abroad in China enhances your value to corporations who are continually expanding their presence in Asia.
Study abroad possibilities in Latin America can occur in most major cities, where universities now boast state-of-the-art academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. While the majority of American students select study and internship opportunities in Brazil, Peru is another outstanding possibility. The University of Lima offers programs in international business, global studies, and, most recently and environmental science program that focuses on sustainability of the Amazon region.
Because Latin-America is a growing presence in the international community, American students who study or intern there have a career “edge” with many corporations that are expanding their presence throughout the region.
Studying abroad isn’t for everyone, to be certain. However, if you have a sense of adventure, are a bit of a risk-taker, and want to be a strong competitor for careers in fields and with companies that have and continue to expand their global presence, a summer, a semester or a year abroad should definitely be under consideration.