You can study abroad in many different ways, including:
- semesters spent studying or working abroad
- institutional exchange programs
- degrees at a foreign post-secondary institution
- courses or course-components abroad
- international research, practicums and internships
- educational study tours
You can choose to enrol in a program offered by a:
- Government of Alberta study abroad partner
- program offered by an Alberta post-secondary institution
- post-secondary institution or organization of your choosing
Why study abroad
70% of students who studied abroad agree that their experience influenced their career choice.
There are many reasons to study abroad. You can get an education while exploring a new country and discovering new things about yourself. You can also learn:
- how to live in another culture
- a new language or improve your existing skills
- how to embrace change and new situations
You will also:
- reach goals you set for yourself, whether they’re:
- become more independent
- make personal and professional connections
Is it right for you?
If you’re not sure whether you have what it takes to study abroad, see if you agree or disagree with these statements*:
- I thrive on challenges.
- I enjoy meeting and getting to know new people.
- I love new places, foods and cultures.
- I can get along with many different personalities, even those others find difficult.
- I thrive on change, and am happy to be surrounded by it 24/7.
- I enjoy taking calculated risks.
- I don’t get bothered by things that seem different or strange.
- I don’t mind being alone.
- I go the extra mile – time and again – without being asked.
- I thrive when asked to go outside my comfort zone.
- I am curious about what makes the world go round.
- I am adaptable.
- I am a good listener and communicator.
- I like working in teams.
- I can handle failure and learn from it.
If you answered yes to:
- 12 out of 15 – study abroad may be for you
- 10 out of 15 – you have the makings of a good internationalist, but may need to look at those areas where you replied no
- about half of the questions – you may need to consider what types of programs may make you feel most comfortable when abroad
- less than 5 – you may want to think about why you want to study abroad, and how you can learn to be more comfortable in new situations
* This quiz was adapted from Go Global! Launching an International Career Here Or Abroad by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan (2011).
Study abroad options
You can study abroad in 4 different ways:
- applying for an Alberta study abroad program
- taking a study abroad program through a post-secondary institution in Alberta
- pursuing opportunities through the Government of Canada
- planning your own study abroad experience
What to consider
Programs developed or offered in Alberta, either by government or post-secondary institutions, have supports in place to help you figure out:
- eligibility requirements
- application processes
- financial supports (if they’re available)
- travel requirements (such as visas)
If you plan to study abroad on your own, you take responsibility for researching all of the information you need to know before, during and after you travel. Many post-secondary institutions in other countries have international student centres that may be able to help. Contact institutions you’re considering for details.
If you are accepted to a study abroad program offered by government or a post-secondary institution, funding support may be available.
If you’re preparing to study abroad on your own, funding support may not be available. You may need to pursue student loans or find other ways to pay for your studies.
Preparing to go
Before you leave the country, be sure to get travel and planning tips from:
- Studying abroad: Getting ready to go outlines everything you need to arrange before you start your adventure
- Services for youth: Studying abroad can help you plan your studies, work or travel abroad
It’s also important to have key contacts on hand while you’re away:
- assistance abroad can help you find out who to ask for help in an emergency situation when you’re overseas
- write down contact information for the closest Canadian embassy or consulate in case you need to contact them while you’re away
To connect with the International Education and Intergovernmental Coordination Branch: