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20 questions to ask your study abroad adviser

Dreaming of studying abroad and immersing yourself in a new culture? Study abroad advisers can guide you through all the options and ensure your academic adventure is seamless, but it’s important to know what to ask. 

    Grace McCabe's avatar

    Grace McCabe

    Content Writer, THE Student
    August 23 2023
    student and advisor smiling next to an open laptop


    Do I need a study abroad adviser? 

    While it’s not a strict requirement, having a study abroad adviser can be highly beneficial, especially if you’re planning to study in a foreign country. Study abroad advisers are a great resource for anyone considering education in a new country. Equipped with up-to-date information and knowledge, they can help students through every stage of studying abroad.  

    How can a study abroad adviser help me? 

    From selecting suitable programmes to meeting application requirements and deadlines, study abroad advisers can help from start to finish. Many people find them particularly helpful when addressing financial concerns and offering details on scholarships and financial aid options.  

    Advisers can also ensure your coursework aligns with degree requirements and tell you what grades you need for your chosen destination. By organising as many details as possible before you go, you will be prepared to experience the new culture and way of life at your destination. 

    What is the difference between a study abroad adviser and an educational consultant? 

    An educational consultant and a study abroad adviser both play a part in guiding and helping students with their educational pursuits. However, they have different areas of expertise. 

    An educational consultant has a general focus, providing support across different educational stages, including primary, secondary, and higher education levels. Their services involve academic planning, college or university admissions, career counselling and test preparation, aiming to enhance overall educational development. They offer advice on various academic disciplines, career paths and educational institutions. 

    A study abroad adviser specialises in helping students who specifically want to attend university in a foreign country. Their focus is on guiding students through the process of studying abroad and they have information on international universities, exchange programmes and study opportunities available in different countries. They work directly with the student to select a suitable study abroad programme, university and host country, using their unique interests and academic goals. 

    While both professionals give valuable support, students seeking general educational guidance can work with an educational consultant. However, if you have a specific interest in studying abroad and require guidance tailored to international education opportunities, a study abroad adviser would be the best choice. 

    What are the benefits of studying abroad? 

    Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity and there are several reasons why you should consider it. 

    It fosters independence and resilience because students learn to take responsibility for their education, manage their schedules and adapt to a new way of living. The experience exposes them to diverse cultures, enabling them to embrace new perspectives, try different cuisines and immerse themselves in the customs of another country.

    It’s important to remember that studying abroad doesn’t necessarily require a full degree commitment; many institutions offer the choice of a semester or year abroad, allowing students to test the waters before making a more extended commitment. And the opportunity to study at prestigious universities worldwide ensures a high-quality education with expert teachers and modern facilities.  

    Lastly, the experience of studying abroad enhances job prospects because employers value the initiative, confidence and adaptability gained from such an enriching experience. 

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    Why should I prepare questions before I speak to my study abroad adviser? 

    Preparing questions before speaking to your study abroad adviser is crucial for several reasons. It ensures you receive comprehensive information about study abroad programmes, financial options and the application process.  

    Your questions will help the adviser understand your interests and give you personalised guidance. By being well informed, you can make confident decisions about the right programme and prepare for a successful study abroad experience.  

    Where are the top countries to study abroad? 

    The UK, Canada, the US and Australia are among the top countries for students looking to study abroad. Renowned for their world-class education systems, diverse academic offerings, and cutting-edge research facilities, these nations consistently attract students from all corners of the globe.  

    The UK boasts prestigious universities steeped in history and a vibrant cultural scene. Canada’s friendly and inclusive atmosphere welcomes international students with open arms, offering a diverse range of programmes across its institutions. The US, with its vast array of educational opportunities and global recognition, is still a top choice for ambitious scholars. Meanwhile, Australia’s landscape and high-quality education make it an enticing destination for those seeking adventure and academic excellence. 

    Together, these four nations offer an enriching and transformative study abroad experience for students eager to expand their horizons and embrace new cultures. 

    Many countries in Europe, Asia and South America also host highly ranked universities. If you want to study in France, Germany or Spain, you can find more European university rankings here. The top universities in Latin America 2023 are found in Chile, Brazil and several other nations. Finally, the top universities in Asia are listed here

    What important questions should I ask my study abroad adviser? 

    When preparing to speak to your study abroad consultant, it’s good to have some questions ready. 

    1. What study abroad programmes are available for my chosen subject?  
    2. What are the eligibility requirements?  
    3. When is the application deadline for the programme I’m interested in?  
    4. How do I apply for a student visa in my chosen country?
    5. Are there any scholarships or financial aid options available?
    6. What is the estimated cost of studying abroad?  
    7. What kind of health insurance coverage do I need? 
    8. What kind of support services are available to students while they are abroad, for homesickness, mental health, academic etc?
    9. Are there any language requirements for programmes in non-English-speaking countries?  
    10. Can you connect me with students who have been through this study abroad programme?  
    11. What are the housing options while studying abroad, e.g. homestay, dorms, shared accommodation?  
    12. What documentation do I need, such as student visa, travel insurance?  
    13. What do I need to include in my personal statement and letter of recommendation? 
    14. How do I handle academic, financial, or personal concerns while I am abroad e.g. cost of living, bank accounts?  
    15. Are there any recommended packing tips or guidelines for travelling to my chosen destination?  
    16. Can you recommend any specific study abroad programmes that have a strong reputation in my field of study?  
    17. What opportunities are there for internships, volunteering or part-time work while abroad? 
    18. Can I take part in extracurricular activities or sports while studying abroad?  
    19. Can I take courses to improve my language skills while studying in a foreign country?  
    20. What are some ways to deal with culture shock while studying abroad?  

    Remember that your study abroad adviser is there to help you discover the ideal course for your overseas experience. They are dedicated to helping you find the perfect host country and embark on this life-changing journey. 

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