Some of us have dreamt of traveling across the world and see the wonders we cannot find in our own countries. That’s why when we were children, we might be absolutely caught up in the idea of studying abroad. Obtaining a degree from another country can open a lot of opportunities.
When you study abroad, you will immerse yourself in a new educational system. You will also get to know new people and experience their culture and traditions first-hand. Depending on where you study abroad, you might have to learn a new language. You’ll be using this language in your day-to-day life abroad.
Going beyond purely academic experience, studying abroad can also boost your career opportunities. According to the Institute of International Education, in 2019, around 10% of American students obtain their education abroad. These students believe that gave them more experience and increased their maturity and their experience. They also believe that it can influence their future career paths. Companies are more willing to hire students who have recommendation letters from foreign universities.
Yet, you might have a lot to consider before you can actually study abroad. Here are the things you need to know about an international counselor if you want to acquire education in a foreign country.
What Is An International Counselor
An international counselor’s primary job is to provide counseling services. This is directed to individuals who are planning to go abroad. They may also assist people who are already currently living overseas. These include a wide variety of professionals and students who need to be prepared to venture into another country. Some of these may involve:
- Military personnel who will be assigned for dispute or diplomatic duties
- Government employees and politicians who are assigned for treaties and agreements
- International students who want to attend a foreign school
Being bilingual is beneficial for international counselors, but it is not necessary. However, this is certainly helpful if they are speaking to native students applying from another country. Speaking at least two languages enables them to communicate their client’s needs effectively.
International counselors may also offer different types of counseling services depending on the needs of their clients. For students, these counselors may specialize in educational or career counseling. They can provide complete and comprehensive university requirements and eligibility criteria.
Common Mistakes Most International Students Make
Being the first in any situation can result in a lot of failures. Your international counselor can help you prevent some of the most common errors they make while applying to universities abroad. The first mistake international students commit is not learning how to speak the country’s national language. Your counselor has information on language schools where you can take basic language courses.
Another common mistake is not researching scholarship opportunities and financial grants. This should be the start of your search as it will have an impact on your expenses. Other common mistakes international students make in studying abroad include:
- Being unaware of essential information (i.e., public transportation, maps, and other utilities)
- Having unrealistic expectations
- Lacking proper budget
- Packing too many things
As a young adult wanting to obtain education in a foreign country, you should be given an initial orientation. Your international counselor can brief you about your universities’ culture. They can help familiarize you with the departments and programs you need to know.
How Can International Counselors Help You Study Abroad
A strong desire to study abroad is not enough. Your international counselor can provide you personalized advice. They can provide you with the complete details of the program you want to apply for. They will also guide you in finding the program that’s a better fit for your academic and professional goals.
Applying to most universities requires you to submit an application file. Some schools may also require you to provide a curriculum vitae. Your international counselor may give you useful tips in writing your application file. They will make sure that you meet eligibility criteria and deadlines to increase your chances of being accepted at your desired university.
Your international counselor can also connect you with the right people and offices for your visa. They can lay out the steps you need to follow for completing your visa requirements. They may also help with translating and submitting your documents. An international counselor can also inform you of any changes in the visa process. They can equip you with the right tools to obtain a visa when you apply for it.
Lastly, your international counselor can be your mentor on your journey throughout your experience. Achieving your desired campus is not the end of the process. There can be unexpected events during your study abroad. You may have issues with boarding, lounging, or even being lost in the city. In this case, your international counselor can always tend to your needs. Trust your counselor like a good friend, and do not hesitate to ask them for help.