Studying abroad: How to overcome fears

Published: December 5, 2013, 12:11 pm, by Debbie Kelley

world_globe_clip_art_19358Many schools offer study abroad programs but kids are often fearful of venturing too far from home. Author Eleanor Goodall offers these tips when considering such a program.

  •  Expense – Though parents and students may think that spending a semester abroad is more expensive than staying at school and taking classes, most programs are of equal value or even cheaper, Goodall says. Participants usually just have to cover the cost of getting to the location, and some offer scholarships for financial assistance. Programs last from two weeks to one year generally.
  •  Language barriers – Students concerned about not speaking the language of the country are surprised to learn that English is spoken widely across the globe and that being immersed in another culture and language provides a great experience for learning another language.
  •   Loneliness – After a week of attending classes with other students, eating together and socializing, new friendships will develop. Creating bonds with people from all over the world opens doors to a future of travel and cultural experiences.
  •  New city – Most countries outside the U.S. have developed public transportation systems with maps and other resources for navigating living in a new city.
  •   Classes – They won’t be the same as they are in the U.S., but studying abroad is about more than just classes, primarily gaining new real-world experiences in a global society. Different perspectives of materials provide new opportunities not only to learn but also to expand and grow.