As a college student spending my Thursday night in my room going over finances and researching overseas expenses, I wanted to blog about my experience when it comes to studying abroad. Discussing with my past professor what to do with my blog now that Electronic Communicaions class has ended, she gave me a great idea to use my blog as a resource to discuss the daunting task that is applying for Study Abroad. Beware, this blog post is going to get very…frustrated.
I’ve decided to go with the option of applying for a reciprocal exchange program, which is an option that is administered through my university, and in the long-run, the tuition and fees I pay will essentially be what I pay now at Oklahoma State. That’s a great option for those who are careful with what they want to spend on their study abroad experience.
However, it’s not all cheap. You have to factor in housing costs (in London, housing is MUCH MUCH more expensive than anywhere in a 500 mile radius of Oklahoma), meals, round-trip air fare (also not cheap), travel, visa fees, insurance, etc. As you can see, a semester abroad doesn’t come cheap.
What am I going to do about it? Well I’m still rigorously applying for scholarships and financial aid. I feel that if I could at least get my costs to equate pretty much what I’m paying now at OSU, then I’ve won. Jobs are also hard to come by in Stillwater, but I’m actively seeking out a job to earn money for my savings account. Hopefully to at least pay for the flight out there.
If you’re a student wanting to study abroad some time, the best advice I could give you is to start early. The application process is long and daunting, and will take priority over much of what you will be concentrating on. I’ve been researching, filling out paperwork, making phone calls and all that fun stuff since early November. It’s almost February and I still haven’t received any sort of confirmation telling me that I’m “for sure” going to be in London next fall.
So what to do next? My application is in and most of my free time is spent applying for scholarships and job-searching. It’s not helpful that I’m enrolled in a Reporting class, which has a workload equivalent to a part-time job (too bad it doesn’t pay like one), and I have a lot of work and tasks to complete for that class.
All I can say is that I need to stay focused and on top of things. This is going to be one long semester.