September 4, 2005

Studying overseas: the basics

There are three (3) main points to consider when thinking about studying overseas:


Location
flysmall copy.jpgYour choice of location is probably the most important decision as it will affect the quality of the other two points. When choosing a country or city to study in, you should probably consider some of the following:

Most importantly, you should have an interest in the place you choose. You should research some of the local history and culture before you make a final decision on where you want to study English. Remember! Not all English speaking countries share exactly the same culture and traditions.

School
After you have carefully chosen the country and city in which you want to study, next you need a school. ESL/EFL schools are as varied as English students. Some are very small private schools and some are very large schools that are affiliated with universities and other organizations. Some things to consider when choosing a school are:

Price – usually the fees and tuition of schools reflect their size and quality.
You should check out as many schools in your chosen location as possible.
An average year (12 months) of study in Canada costs about $10,000-$12,000 CAD. This doesn’t include accommodation or travel expenses.

Program of study – Before you arrive in your chosen country or city, you should have an idea of how long and what you want to study. Some programs have specific start and finish times throughout the year. Make sure that you know when your course starts. You don’t want to have to wait a month to start your course after arrival. It would be a waste of money.

Additionally, you should have an idea of what ‘kind’ of English you want to study. You may want to take a mix of classes and programs. However, you should set some specific study goals like ‘I want to study TOEIC’ or ‘I want to be able to enter an English university.’

Accommodation
Depending on where you live while studying overseas, living costs can be very expensive. In Canada, for example, you should be prepared to spend between $500-$700 CAD per month on living costs.
There are numerous choices to consider when deciding on where you want to live while you study. Some schools have dorms (on campus accommodation) or home stay programs. You may also want to consider renting an apartment or private room.

I will talk about the pros and cons of each type of accommodation in later TIPS entries.

Posted by Kent at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack