Are you in the process of applying for college? Have you considered going out of the country to continue your education? Before you start filling out applications for schools in other countries, Erin Moriarty, Loyola University Chicago’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, says it’s important to consider the following factors.
Anytime that you travel abroad, it’s expensive. When you do it for education, it has the potential to become overwhelming. Not only are there added expenses like plane tickets, but it’s also not uncommon for housing, food, and other monthly living expenses to cost more, depending on where you want to study.
While experiencing another culture has many benefits, paying to participate in those things can add up over the years. Small things like paying for transportation to and from events or cities, going out to eat more often, and buying tickets for performances are all expenses that may not factor in as much if you attend a university that’s closer to home.
2. Language Barriers
With a few exceptions, going to study in another country means you’ll need to learn another language. While this can be a great way to immerse yourself in Spanish, French, German or any other dialect you’ve always wanted to learn, it can take a fair amount of time to develop your skills.
If learning a new language or developing one that you’ve only recently started to practice isn’t a major priority for you, you may want to reconsider putting yourself into a challenging situation. Alternatively, consider attending a university in a country where the locals speak English.
3. Post-Graduation Job Potential
While the experience of attending a foreign university may have a lot of advantages, you should consider how marketable your degree will be once you get back home. Some companies or organizations may not accept a degree from a foreign university or may not want to go through the hassle of verifying whether your degree is valid.
It’s also possible a university overseas won’t have the same programs or courses you would need for your field of interest. It’s vital to choose a university that specializes in what you need, rather than simply basing your choice on a university’s location or reputation.
Moving away from your home, family, and friends isn’t an easy process. When you’re still in the United States, it’s easier to decide to travel home for Thanksgiving or spend the summer in your hometown.
If you go to a foreign university, you might not be able to make it back home for a couple of years. And while technology has made living overseas a lot easier when it comes to staying connected with people back home, it can never replace quality time with the ones you love.
If you’re the type of person that struggles to be away from home for short periods or you are in daily contact with multiple family members and friends, moving thousands of miles away from them might be too much of a shock to your daily routine.
In the end, deciding to go to a university is already a big deal. Think long and hard about the possibility before you make any definitive decisions.
About Erin Moriarty
Erin Moriarty, Loyola University Chicago’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, is passionate about students. She believes strongly in Loyola’s mission – to help mold young men and women to become leaders in today’s society and to seek God in all things. Outside of work, Erin can be found participating in Pedal the Cause or biking along the shores of Lake Michigan.