Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2014 Contents 8
There's a variety of fac-
tors that can impact where
you want to study abroad.
One of the most obvious
will be whether or not your
home institution has a set
list of approved schools to
which they send students.
If you wanted to study in a
country in which the native
language wasn't English, you
had to be proficient in that
language. Here's a list of
other things you may want
Are you going to be study-
ing a language in a particular
country? If not, will you be
comfortable in a country
where English isn't the na-
tive language? It's not im-
possible, and if you're
determined to go to a non-
English speaking country,
and are confident in your
ability to communicate and
find your way, by all means
go for it.
Summer, Semester, or
Type of Program:
Does your school have
the type of program you are
looking for? Is there a possi-
bility you might have to go
through an independent pro-
gram? Are you comfortable
participating in a program
where you won't know any
other students? Which pro-
grams can you afford? How
will you finance the cost of
the study abroad program?
Will you be able to com-
plete any major require-
ments while abroad? Will
your degree progress suffer
if you can't? Will your cred-
its transfer either way?
This one's pretty easy.
What type of climate do you
want to live in? If your idea
of being abroad is on a
beach under palm trees,
then Moscow probably isn't
Do you want to live with a
host family or in a dorm?
There are positives and neg-
atives to both.
Studying abroad and living
in a dorm
In a dorm, you are more
likely to interact with people
your own age, who are going
through the same adjust-
ments you're going through,
and who can relate with you
on a greater level. In most
dorms, there's no curfew,
and living in a dorm requires
you to be much more inde-
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 9, 2014
The following are a few definitions of terms
used in American higher education that will
help you to understand materials written in
• A university is an educational institution
which maintains one or more undergraduate
colleges, a graduate school or arts and sci-
ences awarding master's and doctoral de-
grees, and graduate professional schools.
• A college is an institution of higher learning
which offers only undergraduate programs,
usually of four-year duration, leading to the
• The term college is also used in the general
sense to refer to any post-secondary institu-
tion of higher learning.
• The term undergraduate studies refer to
two-year or four-year programs in a college
or university, after secondary school, leading
to the associate or bachelor's degree.
• The term post-graduate or graduate studies
refer to a course of study for students who
already hold a bachelor's degree.
• The first year of an undergraduate program
is called the freshman year, the second year
is the sophomore year, the third year is the
junior year, and the fourth year is the senior
• Your major is your area of in-depth study
and a minor, which is an area of secondary
study, may also be pursued.
Info courtesy studyabroad.com
Studying abroad and living with a host family
If you're studying a language, living with a host
family will vastly increase the amount of interactive
situations in which you'll speak that language.
There's also a greater possibility that you'll experi-
ence more local culture first-hand.
Do you want to study abroad in a big city or small
town? What is the campus like? Are there any fa-
mous landmarks, sights or tourist attractions close
by that you'd like to visit? How's the night life?
What is there to do when you're not in class?
How close will you be to an airport? Are there low
cost airlines flying out of those airports? Do you
want to visit nearby countries/cities in your free
time? If so, are you close to countries/cities you
want to visit? How long will it take you to travel to
Do you like the food common to that country? Can
you get by on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
While this shouldn't be the deciding factor, you
should go somewhere where you can appreciate
local cuisine as it's definitely a big part of the overall
Talk to people from your school or just people that
you know that have been there before and ask their
opinion. They'll probably be very happy to share their
The most important thing is to go with your gut
feeling. If there's a place that you've wanted to go
since you were nine years old, then go. Do the re-
search needed to be sure you know what you're get-
ting into so you can be as prepared and confident as
possible when making your decision.
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