It is the dream of many students to study abroad. While some students embark on a study abroad for studies, others go to experience a new culture. If you wish to study in another country, you need to set goals for studying abroad.
Why is setting goals necessary for a study abroad? Setting goals before embarking on your journey will help you to make the most out of your study abroad experience. When you set your goals, it will help you to find a program that meets your needs.
So, think about the goals you wish to achieve in that country and plan on how to achieve them. Keep in mind that the goals you set will impact you personally and professionally.
Do you wish to study overseas and you have not set your goals? If yes, then this article will give you a lot of goals for your study abroad program. You may want to consider them.
Why study abroad?
While studying abroad may come with some challenges, there are many benefits that come with the experience. Here we will look at the reasons why you should consider a study abroad today.
The major reason why students choose to study abroad is to acquire a high-quality education. This is common with students that come from developing countries. These students always desire a destination where the educational system is totally different from the one in their home country.
Countries like the U.S, Canada, Australia, the U.K, and Europe top the list of study abroad destinations for international students.
By leaving your home country to study in another country, you will leave the customs and traditions of your people. When you arrive in the new country, you will immerse yourself in the new environment. You will find people from different cultures in the world.
Let us not forget about the food, music, and other local activities. Many international students always want to have this experience, though it is a bit challenging.
A major benefit of studying in a foreign country is the opportunity to learn the language of that country. While learning a new language is very challenging, it will help you to one your language skills.
If you speak English and you wish to study in an English-speaking country, you will have the chance to mix with the locals or native speakers. This will help you to improve your English language skills.
The major reason for pursuing a degree in a foreign country is to have better career prospects. Many multinational companies abroad offer job placements to graduates from top institutions in the world.
Institutions abroad usually have a strong global alumni network and you can get jobs from there after completing your studies.
Graduates who wish to return to their home country are always open to rewarding careers as companies lookout for employees with foreign education and experience.
If you are studying in a new country, you will definitely meet students from different parts of the world. Since you are new to the area, you will make friends with fellow students. You will even get to learn their cultures in the process.
On the other hand, you build connections in the process of meeting new people and making friends with them. A friend that you made during your program may refer you to a job offer before or after completing your studies.
How do I choose my study abroad goals?
Choosing your goals for studying abroad may be a little confusing if you do not know how to go about it. If you know your goals, you need to understand the “SMART” goal-planning framework. The SMART goal-planning framework will make it easier for you to set your goals for studying abroad.
Below is the SMART goal-planning framework:
S (SPECIFIC): Be precise in setting your goals. Do not list goals that are unclear and ineffective.
M (MEASURABLE): Ensure to set a standard for each goal that you have. This will help you know when you achieve each goal or exceed it.
A (ATTAINABLE): Try not to set and/or commit to a goal that you cannot achieve. You will definitely find it very challenging if you do not do this. Let your goals for studying abroad be something that you can do.
R (REALISTIC): Make sure that the goals you wish to set will make sense and are things you can do. If you set and pursue a goal and along the line, you realize that it is impossible, the time and sources invested would be lost.
Whenever you are realistic, you will achieve your goals.
T (TIME-BOUND): Setting a deadline for whatever you are doing is very important and this will help you to meet your target. Try and set a time frame for each of your goals. By putting a time frame, you will know whether you are meeting each goal at the appropriate time.
Goals For Studying Abroad That Is Worth The Time
Now that you know the SMART goal-planning framework, you can apply it in choosing your goals for studying abroad. So, what are these goals that you need to set in order to make your study abroad worth it?
The major goals for studying abroad include:
- Personal development
- To see the world
- Experience a new culture
- Improve language skills
- Discover new interests
- Develop a global mindset
- Build connections
- Internship opportunities
- Visit other countries
- Time management
Having a well-rounded academic experience is the major goal of studying abroad. A study abroad will introduce a learning environment that is different from the one in your home country.
While taking your studies, set a goal for your grades and work towards achieving them. Make sure that you attend classes and avoid distractions that may make you procrastinate.
Find a quiet place (usually the library) to study and do your homework at all times. Try and revise lectures that you take at the end of each day. It will improve your retentive memory.
2. Personal development
Developing yourself academically, socially, and physically is a major goal for studying abroad. By mixing and sharing ideas with students from different countries, you get to learn new things.
Additionally, the new culture that you will immerse yourself into will teach you new things that you are not used to in the past.
Let us not forget the high-quality education that will make you learn new and improved methods of solving real-world problems.
Try to set a goal of being empathetic, improving your communication skills, and handling conflicts.
3. To see the world
Traveling out to see the world is one of the key factors that motivate students to consider a study abroad. While on the journey to your study destination, you will come across some countries that you have been dreaming of visiting.
In addition, you may choose to visit neighboring countries during semester breaks. You may also decide to go see historic and tourist centers in your study abroad country.
4. Experience a new culture
If you are leaving your home country to study in another country, keep in mind that you are leaving your culture behind.
You will experience a different culture that may be overwhelming. From the social atmosphere to new dishes, customs, and traditions the list is endless. A new way of life awaits you and it will affect how you approach things.
5. Improve language skills
Studying in a foreign country comes with learning their language. By learning a new language, you will have improved your language skills.
If the official language in your country is English and you are studying in the U.S, the U.K, you will have the chance to mix with the locals. Interacting with the locals will help you to sharpen your English language skills.
For students studying a country whose language is different from theirs, you will have the opportunity to enroll in a language class to learn the new language. So, this is a whole new experience.
6. Discover new interests
Your study abroad destination comes with lots of goodies. If you are a sports lover, you will find teams in your institution that you can join.
There are many entertainment centers where you can catch fun including clubs, cinemas, etc. If you fantasize about mountain climbing, snow skiing, or any other activity, you will surely find it in your study abroad destination.
Like experiencing new cultures and discovering new interests, a study abroad will give you the opportunity for a vacation. It is usually a whole new experience visiting different places of high interest.
8. Develop a global mindset
Your goals for studying abroad cannot be complete without the aim of developing your mindset. As you learn from renowned faculty staff and interact with students from other countries, your mindset develops.
By developing cross-cultural-minded knowledge and skills, you will be able to work in top multinational organizations in the world.
9. Build connections
Networking/building connections should be tops on your list of study abroad goals. When you interact and make new friends, they may help you when you are in difficulty. Many schools also have alumni networks and you may find part-time and full-time jobs on such platforms.
If you are a graduate student, you will be mentored by renowned professors in the field. These professors can recommend you to fill certain career positions during or after your program.
10. Internship opportunities
Another important goal that you should consider is the chance of securing partially paid or all-expense-paid internships. You can find most of these internships in your study abroad destination. The internships may also earn you additional academic credits.
If you are studying in another country, you are almost on your own. Keep in mind that your family is not there with you. For the big spenders, it will be a period to test their financial skills.
So, set a goal of managing your finances without having to call your family or friends for some cash.
12. Visit other countries
During your breaks from school, you may choose to visit other countries around your study nation. It will enable you to gain more global exposure.
You can make your passport stamp collection reach double digits by visiting many countries. This is a great study abroad goal.
13. Time management
Managing your time effectively should be your top priority while studying abroad. Therefore, set it as a goal. Wake up early, do your chores, eat, and go to classes. You may want to develop a self-care routine too. Above all, create time for every activity and manage it very well.
There are lots of scholarships that are available to international students for almost every academic program. These scholarships come in the form of financial funding and are provided by academic institutions, government, and non-profit organizations.
So, if you intend to study abroad, aim to secure a scholarship that can help you to finance your studies.
Setting goals for your study abroad program is similar to writing a personal statement where you state reasons for pursuing a particular program. However, many students who dream of studying abroad do not know exactly what they want to achieve.
Before embarking on your study abroad program, make a list of things that you hope to accomplish during and after your program. If you are still confused about what to accomplish, the article has provided for you the goals for studying abroad.