So You Want To Study Abroad?

 We’ve all seen pictures and heard stories of friends travelling for a semester of university—but just exactly how attainable is this experience? What is the process? Am I ready to live alone in Europe? All questions I asked myself before applying to study abroad in Paris this term. While the process isn’t just about checking boxes, it is certainly easy enough to figure out with the help of the Centre for International Experience at U of T. So, without further ado, here’s what I learned about applying for exchange. Do Your Research Before I decided to study abroad I mapped out all the possible places I could see myself studying and then cross-referenced them with U of T’s partner schools. In retrospect this was a lengthy process and I should’ve just looked at U of T’s options first, but to each their own. Either way, narrowing down my options was the most challenging part. Rank Your Choices The system allows you to rank your top school choices. Based on your grades and written application, you’re evaluated on the basis of what school you’re the right fit for. I ranked my top 3 as schools in Paris or broader area because I knew I wanted to be in France. Wait This part is simple, but also nerve-racking. Decisions Released I believe a month or two later exchange schools were released! All my friends were successful in achieving their first choice picks and realized the stress wasn’t worth it, but as I said before, it really depends on the best match for you! Attend Study Abroad Classes In preparation for your departure it’s mandatory to attend several CIE workshops that are valuable in teaching students about safety abroad and course conversions. Apply To The Partner School As I’m on exchange in the second semester, schools in Europe begin their applications much later in September. It depends on the institution, but I heard that I was accepted in November! Start planning! Now the tough stuff is complete and all you have to worry about is the actual living abroad part—but more on that next week! U of T’s study abroad offices can give you a more detailed rendition of these steps and more specific deadlines and requirements, but thanks for bearing through my experience, let me know if you have any questions! À la prochaine! -R

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