Going abroad can be a valuable experience both academically and in general. Before deciding you want to go abroad, you should ask yourself two essential questions: Why do I want to go abroad and what do I hope to achieve from going abroad? The next step is deciding what form of experience you would like to have abroad: educational or work-related?
Take your time collecting information; do not underestimate the fact that going abroad can be challenging. It takes a lot of preparation and not everything will necessarily go according to plan, but the experience is worthwhile. Just ask any student who has been abroad; his or her eyes will immediately light up, memories will come flooding back and a huge smile will appear on his or her face… Next time that could be you!
Going abroad can be a valuable experience both educationally and in general. You have to be aware that the preparation could take up to a year before you actually leave.
To anyone considering, thinking of or dreaming about going abroad, we strongly recommend to follow the advice offered on this website. Going abroad during your study at Erasmus University Rotterdam is definitely the best way of gaining some international experience.
Anyone considering going abroad should clearly decide why they want to do so. For some students it is obligatory to go abroad, as it is part of their study programme; others know that some organisations stipulate you spend a few months abroad. Some students hope to find an academic challenge, while others prefer a personal one. Sometimes students simply want to improve their foreign language skills.
Generally speaking, the third year of your Bachelor’s programme will be the best time to go abroad as an exchange student. However, if your faculty allows it, it may also possible to go during or after your Master’s. Other options are internships, summer courses or doing volunteer work. Of course, it all depends on your plans. Your faculty coordinator can advise you on this matter.
Whenever you decide to go abroad, you should always be aware of the fact that it will take time to prepare. Some deadlines are very strict and only occur once a year. Consequently, it is advisable to start preparing a year in advance!
If you would like to enhance your skills in English, you will have several options to do so regarding your time abroad, as English is widely spoken internationally. Portuguese for example, is not spoken worldwide. The same goes for several study programmes in other countries, so think carefully about what you would like to gain from your international experience before deciding on where you would like to go to.
Once you have made up your mind about why you would like to go abroad, it is time to decide on the destination and the type of activity that best suits your ambitions and requirements. Have a look at the different options for broadening your horizons: study, internships and volunteer work.
Whatever path you decide to take, you will almost always have to apply for a place. Monitor the deadlines, as you definitely do not want to miss them! Faculties have selection procedures and you should bear in mind that there may be a maximum number of places available. You can find the selection criteria on your faculty’s website.