Studying Abroad – After High School or College?

, | Wednesday, October 11th, 2017


Living in foreign countries is one of the biggest wishes of most young people. Diving into an unknown culture and experiencing its people and customs firsthand is a unique opportunity. That is why many students wish to study abroad. However, the question remains: Is it better to leave your home country at an early age, that is while in high school, or is it smarter to wait until college? Of course, the answer is never simple. There are both advantages and disadvantages of either of the possibilities.

Leaving after high school

As much as it seems too early to separate from your hometown and parents right after high school, there are definitely good sides to this:

  • High school life can differ in many ways, while college life is pretty much standardized all around the world. Every country has its own unique approach to organizing high school education. For example, if studying abroad in the USA, a student will have the opportunity to experience things such as homecoming week or the prom. On the other hand, a foreign student in Italy will have the opportunity to choose between different types of school, some of which concentrate on humanities, science, etc. Also, they will stick to one group of students throughout the classes as they don’t have to change classrooms.
  • High school life is cheaper. A high school student doesn’t need to pay rent and take care of various bills because they live with a host family. Another thing is that tuition fees are significantly lower for high schools than for colleges. And as it isn’t a usual practice for a high school student to go abroad, there are also scholarships available.

  • International friendships. Even though this is also possible in college, it is always better to form friendships while in high school. Social circles are very wide at that period of life and students can enter college with already made international friendships that enabled them to get to know a different culture.

  • Less to worry about. College students have a lot of responsibilities during their stay in another country. On the other hand, the only obligation for a high school student is to work hard on their grades and follow the school rules. Nobody says that they have more freedom, just a couple of things less to deal with.

  • Easier to learn a foreign language. The younger the student is, the easier it will be to master a foreign language. No matter if the student already had some basic knowledge of the language or the learning process starts from the very beginning, at the end of the school year, the student will speak the language without any larger difficulties.

Foreign adventure in college

College life is magical in itself, especially if it is experienced abroad. It’s not an easy endeavor at all, but here is what is so good about it:

  • Easy to get accustomed to independent life. College students have already experienced what it means to take care of themselves, look after bills and living on their own. There is nothing new about it, only the location has changed.

  • Available systems for credit transfer. Many colleges offer the possibility to grant credits to students, which greatly helps in making the decision to study at a foreign college.

  • Better job opportunities. There are few things that look better on a job application than having studied in a different country. Experiences that a foreign student has made and challenges that he had to face up in another country can be of great value to a certain job and be an enormous advance to some companies.

  • Making an international career. While studying abroad, it is always possible to form business contacts that could later prove to be very useful. Professors that notice you on classes, seminars and conferences that you are enabled to attend, people that you meet and places you get to visit – anything could be your way towards an international business career. For example, you may leave just to study on a Sydney College of English for a year, but you could easily stay there for a much longer time, teaching English to foreigners or being an international lecturer.

  • More time to save money. Even though it is possible to get a grant, it still isn’t easy to live in a foreign country. However, you can better prepare yourself financially if you wait until college to go abroad. You will have more time to economize and to save more money than you would if you just went away as a high school kid.

All in all

One way or another, studying abroad is a wonderful experience. Advantages and advantages of any of the two possibilities can become unimportant, depending on the person’s current situation, opportunities and preferences. Every student is different and that is why there is no only one right answer. The choice needs to be made by every student individually.


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