5 Kinds of Support You Need in Your Study Abroad Journey!
Apr 17, 2023
5 Kinds of Support You Need for Studying Abroad | Edukasyon.ph
In an increasingly borderless world, getting the opportunity to study abroad is the stuff of dreams. Beyond top-notch education and a boost in career preparation, all sorts of adventures await: IG-worthy landscapes, a diverse social life, and chances for glow-ups and character development.
However, the journey can only begin with a step outside your comfort zone. A big dream requires courage and determination – not just to pursue it, but to acknowledge the support we need to see it through. #KnowledgeIsPower, right? So, we’re here to help you out!
Below is a list of the kinds of support you need to have a hassle-free study abroad journey.
1. For your emotional support
Being the new kid in town isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that you’re leaving behind the world you know. A support network of friends and fam can make the difference between a healthy approach to new experiences and a debilitating amount of regret and homesickness.
Before embarking on your journey, make sure your family and friends are aware of your goals. There might be a bit of conflict and heartache; you are sure to be missed in your community, no matter how proud they are of you. However, do your best to infect them with your passion for a bigger world and brighter future. They’ll be sure to remain your loving home away from home – whether through regular messaging or video calls, online holiday celebrations, or planned homecoming trips. Through these modes of contact, inevitable bouts of homesickness are sure to give way to the feeling that you will always have a place where you belong.
2. For your new environment
Even with a support network back home, studying abroad can be lonely. It’s difficult to thrive and have your #maincharacter moment when you find yourself always craving the sights, sounds, and tastes of home. Not to worry – Filipino communities abound in many parts of the world!
For example, in Chicago, where the excellent international student-friendly Lewis University is, there are Filipino communities that can help you adjust and feel right at home. AFIRE Chicago, which stands for The Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, offers free legal clinics, citizenship assistance, and even first aid training for Filipino workers in Chicago. The Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, on the other hand, upholds Filipino-American history in Chicago. They also offer chances for Filipinos to socialize by hosting events, such as their Santacruzan Annual Fashion Show and Filipino fiesta.
Wherever you go, you are sure to encounter lively Filipino communities who are more than happy to share their little corner of the world with you. Not only will they be able to empathize with you, but they’ll also give you some of the cozy Filipino experiences you’ve been missing – whether it’s good ol’ Filipino food or full-blown all-nighter Filipino parties with parlor games and karaoke. It might not be home exactly, but it’s sure to ease the longing for home.
3. For your Requirements
Preparation is key! First, you need to ensure that your current education is considered acceptable by your target universities. Second, you need to know if you meet the minimum admissions criteria – is your GPA good enough? What kind of extracurriculars did you take? Were you active in your community? Second, you need to find out if your target school requires you to take certain exams. In a lot of cases, you will also have to take English language proficiency exams, such as the IELTS exam.
Once you’ve deemed yourself qualified, you are ready to submit your requirements. These usually include previous school certificates or diplomas, transcript of records, your English language test results, a statement of purpose, recommendation letters, an updated resume, and bank certificates. At this point, you also have to apply for a student visa, an official endorsement on your passport that indicates your temporary eligibility to stay in a country for your studies.
Make sure to identify the specific requirements of your target schools. Good news – some schools have fewer requirements than others. For example, with Lewis University, the only admission requirements they need are your Senior High School transcript, copy of valid passport, and financial documents.
It takes a bit of #adulting to get all your requirements in order, but studying abroad is sure to be a worthy cause.
4. For your finances
Taking your education to the next level isn’t easy on the pocket, but that hasn’t stopped students from climbing the ladder to success. There are plenty of options that make an international degree feasible for students from all walks of life. For one, you can talk to your parents – they want the best for you, so do your best to convince them that this is what’s best for you. It certainly won’t be easy, but your parents’ financial support in this endeavor will go a long way into helping you become the success they’ve worked hard for you to be.
You can also look into scholarships – there are plenty to go around for students with big dreams. One of your best options is the government programs of your target countries, which usually have a specific number of scholarships just for Filipinos. A prominent example of this is the USAID in the U.S, which aims to provide a high standard of education to young people all over the world for no cost. It covers tuition fees, housing, transportation, medical insurance, textbooks, equipment, as well as provides a monthly stipend.
Alternatively, you can apply for the student-centric foundations of multinational companies. A lot of scholarships, usually merit-based, also become available once you’re already enrolled in a school abroad.
5. For your studies
Do your research – programs, fees, and scholarships vary between countries, so target one that fits your needs. If you can, find an educational advisor who can guide you through the process of studying abroad — from choosing the right university and course, to visa application assistance and pre-departure support.
Lewis University in Chicago, for example, is a student-centric university that is sure to give you the experience of a lifetime – and they are excited to have young Filipinos come on board. With programs for aviation, science, and technology, they have proven to be a stepping stone for lucrative STEM careers overseas. Moreover, the university boasts a first-rate student experience, with scholarship opportunities, industry-standard training, and an inclusive international community. They are also proud to have educational advisors who can ensure that you have your student essentials for a hassle-free study abroad journey.
Wanting to be a little #extra for your education may be difficult, but it goes a long way, with plenty of resources designed to support your goals and schools excited to have your unique perspective. In the end, the key to a successful international student experience is identifying the kinds of support you’ll need – and choosing the right place that can provide all of it.
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