What a year 2020 was! Who knew quarantine and social distancing would be mainstays in our daily vocabulary. While the Covid-19 pandemic has created some disruption (ok…maybe a lot of disruption) it has also provided opportunities for many of us to spend time thinking about the future and even start planning ahead.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming about studying abroad and wondering if it’s still even possible. The answer is YES! And now is the perfect time to begin your preparations for one, if not the, best experiences of your life. Preparing for an international adventure during a global pandemic may seem like mission impossible. Luckily, we love a good challenge! We’re also experts in this area and we’ve got loads of helpful tips to help you prepare for study abroad in 2021.
There are many amazing opportunities available for students and it can be tricky to determine which one is best for you. Asking some key questions and understanding what you need can help move your research process along. For example:
- Are you looking for specific professional experience?
- Are you drawn to a certain country or region?
- Do you have degree requirements that you are trying to fulfill?
- How much time can you spend abroad?
- Am I just in it for the food?
Finances & Budget
Studying abroad is an educational investment and always bears some cost. Before plunking down a deposit, make sure you have a financial plan. Take time to review all the costs associated with your program and discuss them with anyone who provides financial support. Review your financial aid package and ask questions about how it may apply to your program. Research study abroad scholarships and grants that you may be eligible for. Start budgeting now for your study abroad experience – you won’t regret it.
While we know it’s hard to keep up with the speed of information these days, make sure that you are well informed about what’s happening in the location you plan to travel to. Understanding the local laws and restrictions that may be in place will help you set appropriate expectations for daily life. We’ve also got a Coronavirus specific page to help everyone stay up to date with the latest and make the best decisions when it comes to your CIS Abroad program.
Share Your Plans
You may not be able to meet in person, but you can take advantage of virtual office hours to connect with your university. University support is key when making your study abroad plans. While every university is different, we recommend reaching out to the following offices to share your plans:
- Study Abroad Office
- Academic Advisor/Department
- Financial Aid
In addition to university support, we recommend sharing your plans with trusted family, guardians or friends. Having an excellent personal support system can make a world of difference when it comes to your success on a study abroad program.
Still not sure it’s possible? Check out what our study abroad alumni have to say about planning to go abroad during Covid and how study abroad is happening this Spring! If they can do it, so can you! So what are you waiting for?! Start working on those plans and make your study abroad dream a reality.