As an adult student, you may have work, home, and family obligations that many “traditional” students don’t have to worry about. If these responsibilities are a concern for you, you may want to consider participating in a short-term study abroad program.
Adult students often worry that they won’t fit in because they are older than most college students. Sometimes, the age difference can cause adult students to feel isolated from others. Nevertheless, studying abroad is still a valuable experience for you, especially if you have never had the opportunity to live or go abroad before.
Check out the following questions and tips, and keep them in mind as you consider what the best program for you might be.
Must Ask Questions for Adult Students:
- Do I have work, home, and/or family obligations that prevent me from studying abroad for an extended period of time?
- Will there be other adult students in my program?
- How old are the other students participating in my program?
- How do people in my host country view adult students?
- What skills do I want to gain or improve while I’m abroad?
Tips for Adult Students:
- Look into short term programs if you cannot afford to spend an extended period of time away from your family and can’t take too much time off work.
- Talk with other adult students who have studied abroad.
- Sometimes you might feel that you don’t fit in, but remember not to isolate yourself from the rest of the group. Get to know the others and let them get to know you.
- Research what people close to you age in the country you will be studying in and the areas they may live. For example, do they work? Take care of their children and/or parents? Live alone or with extended family?
While adult students may have some additional considerations to keep in mind during the study abroad process, they also have certain advantages over traditional students when they study abroad. You have more life experience, and can gain deeper insight into the culture and politics of the host country. Plus, because you have had experience in the workforce, you will understand the value of developing skills such as cross-cultural communication. Going abroad will help further develop your existing skills and may also spark some new interests. It is never too late to take advantage of global learning opportunities!
Author: Diversity Abroad Community